Set Writing Goals: even small ones

Blogs like this are full of great writing advice.

Writing for practice is hard. Not only is coming up with subject matter difficult, at least for me, but so is sticking to daily goals. Loosely defined my goal is 1000 words 4 days per week. Mostly I get there but I also get lazy like most people. Not being FORCED to keep to a schedule means that a lot of people won’t bother to do it, me also. But my writing progress is moving upward in a long slow arc.

The much smaller group that does stick to personal goals is likely to achieve success quicker. At least that’s my story and I’m going with it. It’s a math problem really. If 100 people set out to achieve the same lofty goal, lets say climbing Mount Everest, How many will actually complete the process? I am not talking about climbers, only amateurs who hope to become professionals.

Many will drop out because of fitness or medical reasons. Climbing mountains is dangerous to one’s health after all. Once the smaller peaks and easier cliffs are attempted, many will decide climbing just isn’t for them for a host of reasons. The costs start to build and not everyone can get time off work for ‘vain’ pursuits. How many can be expected to attempt the arduous journey into Nepal and even tougher, climb the final summit? Maybe a dozen?

I don’t know anything about climbing or extreme sports but I imagine it follows the same trajectory as other challenging careers. Only a few get to the top. Writing is no different. Well OK, no one ever lost fingers from frostbite typing too long on their patio in the winter. Bloggers are not a fit bunch generally, thankfully there isn’t a physical test. We are smart though and cold weather drives us indoors, same as scary strangers and small talk.

If we follow the Malcom Gladwell 10,000 hour rule it means just sitting down and thumping away the keyboard is a great start. I can’t think of a better way to hold myself accountable than setting a target (an achievable one) and sticking to it. Who knows where it can lead.

We don’t have to get to top of the mountain to be successful but a few of us may want to try. We have to start somewhere though and this 500 words a day idea is a perfect jumping off point. Think of it like training but without the heavy gear and thin air. I know I do.





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