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Quick and Dirty Advice on Setting Writing Goals

Let’s get down to business. We’ve got books to write, so let’s go! Here’s some quick and dirty advice on setting writing goals:

  • There’s a pandemic and an election and systemic racism and institutional stupidity and all of that makes everything harder, including writing. Go easy on yourself.
  • Learn from missed deadlines. Why did you miss it? What did you not factor into your schedule when you started? How can you compensate for that next time, or when you reset the deadline on this project?
  • Leave room to learn during the process. That means time for research, but also time to reflect on what you’re written, think about where you’re going, and reading for pleasure.
  • Everything counts. A sentence a day, 1600 words, six pages, all of it moves things forward. My worst-selling book has sold more copies that the person who never started writing theirs.
  • There is no substitute for doing the work. Outlining can be important. Creating an outline is not writing. Doing research might be vital to the project. Research is not writing. Having coffee may be an important part of your process. Making coffee is not writing.
  • Remember that writing is hard. Writing well is harder. The fact that you’re doing this, and keeping at it, is commendable. Just continuing to show up makes you a frickin’ superhero.

Quick and Dirty Advice on Setting Writing Goals

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About Berin Kinsman

Berin Kinsman is a writer, game designer, and owner/publisher at Dancing Lights Press. An American by accident of birth, he currently lives in Finland with his wife, artist Katie Kinsman.

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