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For Authors: June 05, 2024 Issue [#12577]

 This week: Writing Goals
  Edited by: Dawn Embers
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

For Authors Newsletter by Dawn

I like to make goals and create focus on what to write but sometimes have to question where things will end. A goal is listed as having an end point, like the goal post or net in sports. Does your writing have an end point? Is it just "the end" or something else?

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Letter from the editor

Goal = the end toward which effort is directed.

Another wording for the definition is what one intends to accomplish or attain. We set goals for a number of reasons in our lives, whether it's to gain direction, have an end point or even because the teacher made it part of an assignment. Another term, or synonym, one could use is an objective. I would imagine most people have heard some of the basic rules behind setting a goal. Sorry, we're going to go over them again. But I will add a focus on the discussion to that of writing, whether it's stories, poetry or random scribbles.

1. Specific

This is another way to say, don't be generic. Sure, we all have a general goal to write, but that is way too broad in order to be able to tell when you are done. Is one sentence good enough? What about two lines of a poem? Unless it's one of those forms that only require 2 lines, those do exist, that might not be sufficient. Plus, is that just a goal for the day? Or is it an hour goal? Maybe a year goal? There are so many options when it comes to what and how we write that it will help to have some way to define the goal in order to check progress. Need to figure out some details in order to make a writing goal.

Generic Example: I want to write.
More specific: I want to write three chapters of a novel for the month of June.

The one that is more specific gives a little information as to what I would want to write, whether it's a poem, a short story or part of a novel. If I wanted to add more detail, I would put which novel. Some people might only have one in progress. I have like 10, so it's necessary to make sure I know which novel I want to work on at any given time. Sure, I could consider it a success if I work on any given novel but it can be hard to pick what to write if I don't pinpoint one over another for a specific time frame.

This can also work for other goals besides novels. Even if you're wanting to write poetry, you still want to have details in your goal for what you want to accomplish. You might choose a number, like write 5 poems in a month. Or you can try particular forms and list the form you want to try or that you will attempt a new form each week. You could even do a goal to write a blog entry every five days or to do 10 blog posts in one month. I sometimes make goals like entering one contest on WDC every week (thanks to the I Write challenge). The more detail, the better but as long as there is some detail it will be far more helpful than just wanting to write something.

2. End Date

This can be a final date or you can go with a time frame in order to get things done, which does in some way give an end date. The difference is a matter of how you word things. Like, I might want to edit 5 chapters by June 30th. Or that same goal could be listed as editing 5 chapters by the end of the month. These goals can vary in length, depending on the type of goal. You can create a long term goal that lasts for a year or even longer. Or it can be a medium length or even a short goal. It could be a goal for a single day even. The point is to make some type of timeline.

Now, if you don't make it by the end date, that doesn't make it a complete failure. It might not be the greatest success but still, if you make progress don't forget to consider what you are able to accomplish. Sometimes we just don't quite make it. Like one year, during National Novel Writing Month, I managed to write 45,000 words instead of 50,000 words. I even consider the year of only 10,000 word still some type of progress even if that wasn't the goal.

3. Keep Track and Celebrate

Okay, I'm not going to go into every step so we're going to kind of skip a couple recommendations while also combining things to make a last point. Making the goal is a good step but it also helps to share it or at least, have somewhere to put the goal in order to have access so you don't forget. Cause it's easy to not remember making something. Like when I ended up writing a detailed outline, then never looked at it while writing the novel. Sure, it is good to have written it down at least once, but helps even more to have access during the time frame of the goals. That is where blogs, the weekly goal section and groups can help.

You can post in a blog here on the site or anywhere you want. You can write it on a white board or a notebook that you view on a regular basis. I even have a group that will be linked below for those that want to join and make writing goals that have month long deadlines. There are options. Why I recommend picking a goal or using the site official goal option (also listed in the editor's picks section) is the opportunity to also celebrate any step accomplished in the chosen goal. It helps boost morale when there is the chance to check the milestones or the end result.

Which brings us back to the start and the important question:

What is your writing goal?

Editor's Picks

NaNoWriMo Plus Forum  (ASR)
The forum for nanowrimo plus group. NaNoWriMo and beyond with monthly goals.
#1606269 by Dawn Embers

Weekly Goals  (13+)
Motivate yourself to conquer your goals this week! Post on Monday; update us on Friday!
#1949474 by The StoryMistress

Tour de Ports  (13+)
Come join this month-long review raid across all port colors! Exclusive MBs & gift points!
#2298873 by Jeremy

Merit Badge Magic  (E)
A magical way to inspire your Muse! New themes to write about every month. Not a contest.
#2293943 by 🐦GeminiGem🌷

Journey Through Genres: Official Contest  (E)
Write a short story in the given genre to win big prizes!
#1803133 by Writing.Com Support

The Bard's Hall Contest  (13+)
JUNE:Annual Blog Month!
#981150 by StephBee

Write From the Heart - Story Contest  (E)
Write a story that pulls on the heartstrings based on the given prompt.
#2121278 by Purple Princess

Musicology Anthology  (13+)
An annual challenge to write a short story collection based on an album! Runs April-June.
#1377819 by Jeff

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Ask & Answer

What is the end point, goal, for your writing?

The last time that I wrote for this newsletter, the topic was that of dialogue and the things characters had to say. Here are a couple of comments sent back in relation to the newsletter:

Comment by brom21 :
I am always leery of talking heads in my work. I try to counteract that by ascribing short actions to go with my dialog. Instead of using tabs like "he said" or "John said" and say something like "John looked down, frowning." Also with dialog, sometimes it is appropriate to not use tags or actions. This is usually good when the dialog exchange is brief like-"Are you Okay?" then the other character just say-"Yes." It's good to know things can always be fixed by editing and proofreading. Great NL!

Comment by Osirantinous :
My stories are pretty heavy on the dialogue too, and in recent times I've been editing some of the dialogue out into reported speech rather than active speech. I can't say that I decide on the topics for conversation. I may start a thread related to what is currently going on in the plot but my characters carry it on and occasionally, in a re-read, I'm like 'what the heck is this about?' or 'how did we get here when we started "miles away"?' I guess I've got some who are just gossipers!!


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