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16 Questions Every Writer Should Ask Themselves Part Three:As a Goal Setter

Updated on March 15, 2017

Goal Setting: Question Thirteen

How many words to write?

--In a Day?

--In a Week?

--In a Month?

--other ___________

Reasoning: This really should be determined by how fast you can write and how much is allotted to actually writing. I am a fairly slow writer. It takes me a long time in order to write. I can usually write a chapter a day. Meaning I usually write around 1000-2000 words on the days I’m off. Per week I set a goal of 5000 words. I usually never meet that goal, but I get close. It is something I am working up to. Somewhere I want to be as a write. Set the goal to be realistic and something to work up too. I track my progress and word count by week with a calendar. If something works differently for you that’s great. Experiment with timing yourself and how many words you can write in one sitting. Make your goal realistically after that it should help decide the number.

Goal Setting: Question Fourteen

How many pages to read?

--In a Day?

--In a Week?

--In a Month?

--other ___________

Reasoning: My suggestion here to start with 20 pages a day and build to either reading a book per week or two weeks. Most people can read 20 pages in thirty minutes. Setting thirty busy minutes out of your day is durable for a goal per day. Because the more you read, the more you learn. The more lives you live.

Goal Setting: Question Fifteen

How much time should be devoted to writing and reading per?




--other ___________

Reasoning: This is purely up to you. However, keep in mind the only way to improve writing is by writing. The only way to improve reading is by reading. Every famous writer has a set schedule, you don’t have to aspire to one, but it also might help too.

I have a schedule where I read during my bus ride to work which is 30 minutes. 15 minutes there and 15 back to my car. I go home to decompress for a few hours (admittedly in front of the TV), and then I spare 20 minutes to an hour for writing time before bed. This is something doable with my schedule, so find a schedule that works with you.

Henry Miller has a very set schedule:

This list was published in the book, Henry Miller on Writing (Kindle).

1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.

2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to “Black Spring.”

3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.

4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!

5. When you can’t create, you can work.

6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.

7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.

8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.

9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.

10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.

11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.[1]


Goal Setting: Question Sixteen

How much time should be given to Creative Time (time for Inspiration) per week?

--10 minutes

--20 minutes

--30 minutes

--45 minutes

-60 minutes

--other ___________

Reasoning: This is very important as well. A lot of writers forget this important step. Everything should be inspiring to us writers, but not everything does. I will admit it and say I love Pinterest. I also love writing prompts in short bursts. The one sentence story lines are both intriguing and inspiring to me. I know another colleague who takes pictures of the outside world to inspire her stories.

Inspiration can even be reading your favorite author—being inspired by their craft like Joan Didion "I always say Hemingway, because he taught me how sentences worked. When I was fifteen or sixteen I would type out his stories to learn how the sentences worked. I taught myself to type at the same time. A few years ago when I was teaching a course at Berkeley I reread A Farewell to Arms and fell right back into those sentences. I mean they're perfect sentences. Very direct sentences, smooth rivers, clear water over granite, no sinkholes." [1]


How are you Inspired?

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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Reading and writing are very interconnected. It is like input-process-output. What we read influences our thinking and ultimately our writing.


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