Sunday, March 13, 2011

Setting Writing Goals

We all know how important it is to set writing goals, but do we know how or what type, especially as a new or beginning writers?

Goal setting can be done in many different ways and each writer/author has their who style and technique. I’ve shared some of my thoughts along with others here on the Utah Writer’s Blog, but today I asked co-authors Tom Listul and Heather Listul Hewitt to share a bit about their goals as they worked on their recently published children’s book, Monkey Made Dreams.

Setting Writing Goals with Tom Listul and Heather Listul Hewitt

Write Every Day
A simple goal to have is to write something everyday. Even if it does not seem like you are accomplishing much, write a couple of lines or a couple of pages. Some days ideas will flow freely and other days not so much.

Keep a List of Ideas or Lines/Scenes
If you have written down ideas or lines, you can go back through your ideas, on those off days, to help you move forward or spark a new thought.

Draft Ideas or Scenes Out
Another goal that might be helpful is to draft out ideas you may have. You can write down a topic sentence or main line and list multiple ideas after that about different directions a story can go.

Keep Your Personal Goals Small (Baby Steps to the Bigger Goal)
It is always good to set goals for yourself about what you want to accomplish, but it is important to start small. You do not want to get discouraged or frustrated if you are not reaching the goal you set. Think about other ways you can break your project down into parts, such as having a goal to write one paragraph or one page in a certain amount of time. It really depends on how you work as a writer and what inspires you.

Look for Inspiration and Take a Break
Some days you might not be able to sit and write, and you might need to find inspiration. While keeping your goals in mind is important, you should also feel free to take a break and find that inspiration when needed.

Do not put too much pressure on yourself, because writing should be therapeutic and fun. You should try to enjoy the process as much as possible. 

Tom Listul wrote Monkey Made Dream with his daughter, Heather Listul Hewitt, when she was eight years old. A farmer from southwest Minnesota, he is also a singer/songwriter. Listul made Monkey Made Dream into a children’s song and has sang it at numerous coffee houses and children’s classrooms. Hewitt is now a speech-language pathologist, who works for a school district with students of all ages. She enjoys helping children develop literacy skills and a love for reading.
You can learn more about Tom Listul and Heather Listul Hewitt at their World of Ink Tour page or Facebook Fan and Event pages.

1 comment:

Scott said...

One thing I find helpful, especially early in a project is to not think in terms of a "book" or "novel" because those are too big and intimidating. I think of a "project" or "story," or even "that thing I'm writing." Those don't sound so scary.