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Setting Goals As An Aspiring Novelist, by Belinda Dorio

So, I wanted to do a post about setting goals and sticking to them – blah, blah, blah.  But who am I to write about that?

I am absolutely hopeless when it comes to hitting writing targets and getting things finished. So I guess I’ll say this instead, I really think that you should write foremost for your own enjoyment. Yes, getting published is the dream and I share that with you but don’t lose sight of why you opened that first word document and started tapping away. It wasn’t the lure of spending your days in PJs with 10 cats prowling around your living room as the royalties roll in. Well, I hope it wasn’t!

You write because you love it, because throughout your day bits of dialogue will float through your mind, or you’ll spot someone on the street who looks so much like that character you thought of last week.

You write because you think you’d go insane if you didn’t and because sometimes it feels like there are twenty stories playing out in your mind at once.

A friend told me that if you write a goal down you’re that much more likely to achieve it. But I don’t do that because if I write it down and don’t do it I’ll feel even worse about myself. But if I just leave it in my head then I can’t beat myself up about it so much. It’s definitely an unproductive way to think about things, but it’s the truth.

Maybe, just maybe, I’ll write down some goals as a type of New Years resolution if you will (even though I hate them and think they’re pointless). Perhaps I’ll humour my friend and see if he’s right after all.

Don’t stress yourself. For the lucky among us life is long and filled with plenty of time to achieve our dreams. They don’t have to happen overnight.

Remember why you write, maybe jot down a goal or two and let me know if my friend’s theory is correct.

I’ll keep you posted.


Belinda Dorio’s author website:

Belinda Dorio’s bio page


     The Indigo SkyHouse for all Seasons by Jenn J McLeodThe Fragment of Dreams

Writing Novels in Australia

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. For you who start early in life, there is probably time to do the things you want to do. For we who are well into the second half of our century, there is much less time – especially if we didn’t start writing until late. We need to set goals if we want to know where we want to go. We need to work towards those goals with heart and soul. At 64, I am only just learning this.
    Those of you who are young and just starting, write your goals and work towards them with everything you can spare from your ordinary life. If you don’t, then you will find yourselves with much less time than you thought you had.

    March 17, 2013
  2. Write first for your own enjoyment. Spot on. Those who try to write to a market, and who try to stick to a formula that their ‘genre’ demands must surely soon lose all enjoyment. And I doubt if they are any more successful than those of us whose story simply demands to be written, regardless of genre or potential demand.
    A nicely put together blog post.

    March 17, 2013
  3. Jenn J McLeod | Come home to the country... #

    Simply put and insightful. If that was your goal for this article, you achieved it!! 😉 Sorry, couldn’t resist. I never used to be good with goals until a few years ago; I was hitting a milestone (one you are decades away from right now). I decided then that I would stop writing for publication and write for enjoyment – as they are different beasts. The goal did push me – a last hoorah! One day before my 50th I signed with my agent. The rest is history.

    March 17, 2013
  4. merryblake #

    I’ve been quite terrible at writing over the last few months. I’ve been working out the story and where I want it to go (and I’ve pretty much got it all mapped out now) and I’ve been drawing and researching. It wasn’t until my boyfriend started to make me write a daily list of a few things I wanted to get done that I actually started making some headway.

    Now I’ve got a minimum word goal of 700 words, and the first day I set it, I ended up writing nearly 1500!

    I think that sometimes writing a list works, and others, it doesn’t. More often than not, though, I find I’m more productive and creative when I’ve got my list.

    As for this blog, I found it through Writing Teen Novels. I’ve got so many tabs open (I’m awful with that) of articles I want to read 🙂

    April 1, 2013

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