For the Love of Writing: Making your goals realistic
Now you are sitting comfortably and have an idea where you will be working, you will be eager to start writing. If you are a hobby writer, then fitting it in around other commitments is not a problem. However, if you are trying to make a profession from it, then here are some practical tips. Having your own workspace is a luxury but, if it is not possible, then have one where you can ‘hot desk’ for set times. For a change of scene I sometimes use a large coffee shop or a library.
Once you know where you will write and when, set realistic deadlines to train yourself to work in a professional way for the day when those deadlines have to be contractually met. This can be fun as it is like setting a personal challenge.
You might write only 500 or 1500 words a day. That does not matter. Whatever your output is you can easily work out a schedule as a guide for your project to be completed.
For example, if you are setting out to write a 50,000 word manuscript and produce (on average) 1,000 words per day, then you will need 50 days to complete a first draft.
If you work 5 days a week, then you will have your finished first draft in 10 weeks.
Add a couple of weeks for editing and polishing it. So your realistic target would be a 50,000 word novella in 3 months!
These figures are a simple guide to illustrate how easy it is to set a credible target for whatever your project is. Be committed to your work, revising the schedule as you go along. Keep the goals achievable and be determined to succeed, and you will!