Achieve your writing goals in 2021

A new year means you get a fresh start with that manuscript you have been meaning to write. Yet with a week of January already behind us, it can be difficult to feel like you will achieve your writing goals in 2021. Some writers might be on track, while others are struggling in the new year. And if you lose motivation for your story, your readers will be able to tell. But remember that your writing is not measured by your productivity today. There is plenty of time left in 2021 to achieve your writing goals.

Tips for staying motivated in 2021

  • Feed the story that you want to write. If you would rather work on your dark fantasy than your romantic contemporary, give your manuscript magic, fantastical beasts, and epic battles. Don’t hold back.
  • You only have so much creative energy, and it’s counterproductive to keep writing if you’ve exhausted yourself.
  • Write down every idea. Don’t discount anything. You never know when you’ll need it to achieve your 2021 writing goals.
  • Take breaks to recharge your creative batteries. Read a book you really enjoy, listen to fun music, watch movies with unique plots, look at inspirational art, and eat healthy foods.
  • Remind yourself why you started writing. Make a list of why you love your story. Pin the list up where you can see it everyday. Add to it. This is especially beneficial for long-term projects.
  • Consider finding a writing community. Although many assume creative writing is a solitary activity, sharing and talking about your writing with others is paramount as it provides critical feedback, keeps you accountable for your creativity, and provides support throughout the writing process.
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Set tiny, reasonable writing goals

Setting goals is one of the best ways to achieve the things you want to do. It can also be incredibly discouraging if you don’t meet them. Often, we set goals that are too vague, we don’t know how to follow through, and we lose motivation and confidence. Think of common goals you might have made in the past: eat healthier, write more, read more, pay off debt. These are great goals, but they lack a concrete plan. How are you going to write more? What will you do to read more?

The Harvard Business Review found that setting tiny, quantifiable, and realistic goals is much more effective and makes people happier. Instead of saying, “I’m going to work on my novel in 2021,” try setting a goal of writing 500 words a day. A large goal can feel overwhelming, and people often don’t know how to handle the obstacles that accompany it or where to even start. By breaking a goal down into smaller parts, it becomes less intimidating and more attainable.

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Reward yourself

When we accomplish a task or get something we really want, a surge of dopamine is released in our brains, which makes us feel good. Many people with writing goals use a reward system to incentivize their writing. For instance, if you finish writing this chapter, you can print it! If you write 1,000 words today, you can read a book for 30 minutes! You can go bigger too. An idea from author Veronica Rossi is to create a spiral-bound copy when you finish the first draft or rewrite of a manuscript. How cool would that be?

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