The Literary Rants: Unrealistic Writing Goals
When it comes to writing, the wrong goal can be a killer. Last year, a blogger I follow stated that her writing goal was to publish a blog post every day for the entire year. Sometime in March, she suddenly burned out and stopped writing. At least, I think she stopped writing because of burn-out. It’s easy to burn out if you set your goals too high.
Another blogger wrote a goal to gain ___ followers in a given year. Despite being a really good writer, the blog didn’t get many new followers that year, and the writer quit blogging, I think out of frustration. You can control the quality of your writing, but you can’t control the number of followers you get.
When I set goals, I try to make it something I control. It would be nice to get ____ followers, but I’m too much of a control freak to set a specific number and then get frustrated when other people don’t cooperate.
I’ve done a lot of writing over the last five years since I started blogging. I haven’t written as much as some other writers (especially James Patterson) but my production hasn’t been bad for a married guy with kids and a full-time job that has nothing to do with writing.
In order to write a blog about reading and writing, I’ve had to set up routines and realistic goals that keep me from burning out.
I only finish books I want to finish.
If I’m going to be a writer, I have to be a reader too. At least, that’s what most writers say. But I don’t want to waste time with books I don’t enjoy. I’m not a student anymore. Nobody can force me to read any books, even if the book is on a MUST-READ list. So to encourage me to read, I only read books that I’m enthusiastic about. Out of the 20 books I start, I probably finish only one.
When I stare at the computer screen for more than 10 seconds, I quit writing.
There’s always something else to do besides writing, such as errands to run or chores to complete or books to read. I usually get my best ideas when I’m in a situation where I can’t write, so doing something else can keep me creative. Plus, getting chores and errands done gives me time to write later on when the right ideas/words come back to me.
I sit for only 15 minutes at a time.
Sitting too long is bad for my back, so I get up and move around. I don’t set a timer or anything like that, but I can just feel when I’ve been sitting too long. This applies to reading, writing, and even watching football. There are a lot of things to get done, and moving around helps me get things done while still giving me time to read and write.
I need to get enough sleep.
I’d rather have a little time to write and be rested than to have of lot of time to write while I’m tired. I don’t know about other aspiring writers, but I have to be alert in order to write.
If I follow my routines, I might not get as much reading/writing done as I want, but I know I’ll get something accomplished, and I know I won’t burn out. And that’s what I want to do ; follow my routines and accomplish something without burning out.
A lot of writers write books about writing.
My ebook is about the time I wrote a story in high school and it got me in trouble.