How to Set and Create Writing Goals in Reedsy and Why

Getting yourself motivated as a self-published author can take a bit of effort some days. That’s why a lot of us will set up and strive to meet writing goals. And the Reedsy writing app lets you set up those goals quite easily. In fact, I find the app to have all kinds of great qualities.

Today, I’ll show you how to set up your manuscript and short-term goals to help you stay motivated. It’s perhaps one of my favorite features of Reedsy.

That’s because I am a bit of a dork when it comes to numbers and gamifying my workload.

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Setting Goals in the Reedsy Book Writing App

Just about everything in Reedsy is easy to manage. That’s the making of a good writing app, really. As opposed to some others out there that have a severe learning curve, this one is quite simple to manage.

The last thing you want to do is spend too much time trying to figure out how to just write your book.

I’m going to assume that you’ve created a free account on Reedsy and are looking at your profile editing screen.

Step 1: Create Your Book’s File

On the left of your screen, click the “My Books” option.

My Reedsy Books

This will bring up all of the books you have stored on Reedsy.

Step 2: Enter the Reedsy Writing App

Enter the title of your book and click “Create.” Now, this doesn’t have to be the finished title. I often use project names until I come up with a title that is just right for what I’m writing.

Create a New Book

NOTE: You can also click the “Write” button on an existing work in your library. Or, you can “Import” your book from .docx or .odt files.

Once the book has been created, click the “Write” button under your title.

Write Your Book

This will open the Reedsy book writing app.

Step 3: Open the Goals & Insights Feature in Reedsy

On the top right corner of the writing app, click the target icon. This is the Goals & Insights feature for the Reedsy writing app.

Target Icon

Step 4: Set Your Manuscript Target Goals in Reedsy

First, we’re going to set up our goals for the manuscript itself. This is roughly how long you want your book in terms of word count. If you’re not sure about a good length, you can go by the average word count for your specific genre.

Though, keep in mind that this is more of a rough estimation. Your book may be shorter or longer depending on the story you write.

Click the “Set target” link in the Manuscript goal section.

Set Target Word Count Goals

Add the number of words you wish to write for this particular book. As I am using this to write a sci-fi novel, I’m going to aim for 80,000.

Words of the Reedsy Book

Using the drop-down box, select what day you want to finish writing your book. Just for fun, I’m going to aim for Halloween. Perhaps I’ll write a Christmas-themed book and have it published by December.

Deadline Goal for Writing

Click the “Create Goal” button once you’re ready.

Create Manuscript Goal

NOTE: You can also configure the days you want to actively write so Reedsy can provide a more accurate estimation about how many words you need to write in a day to meet your goal. For instance, you can set the configuration to write three days per week.

As you can see, since I entered a deadline of October 31st of this year, I would need to write 479 words per day in order to reach my goal. I can also see the total percentage of the book written.

Words Per Day Needed

Step 5: Create Additional Writing Goals

Now that our manuscript goal is finished, it’s time to dive into a bit of the nitty-gritty. These are short-term, productivity goals that you can use daily, weekly, monthly, or even according to specific dates.

Under the Manuscript goal section, click the “Add writing goal” option.

Add a New Writing Goal

Now, this section works similarly to the manuscript goal above. Just enter the following information:

  • Enter a goal name…
    You don’t need a goal name, but it can help you keep track if you make more than one.
  • I want to write…
    Enter the number of words for this specific goal.
  • By the end of…
    Choose from Today, Tomorrow, This week, This month, or use the Custom option to select a specific day.
Short Term Goals

Once you’re done setting up the goal, click the “Create Goal” button on the bottom right.

Now, you’ll have both the Manuscript and your short-term goals available in Reedsy. You can see these at any point while writing by clicking the target icon at the top right. Close this screen by clicking the target icon again.

View Your Writing Goals in Reedsy

NOTE: The Reedsy writing app will record your goals and insights in real-time as you type. So, you can leave the screen open if you want to see the numbers go up and know when you can stop.

Real Time Goal Monitoring

That’s all there is to it. You can create as many goals as you like to suit your specific needs. And since the Goals & Insights window isn’t overly intrusive, it’s not all that distracting to leave it open while having enough room to write your book.

Though, this is more personal preference than anything. Reedsy will still automatically save the manuscript as you write while recording the word count for your goals even if you close the Goals window.

NOTE: The number of words per day that you need to write will change every day depending on how much you have written previously. This means the words per day will not change in real-time.


Why Do Goals in Reedsy Matter for Publishing?

Anything that can give you an edge as a writer is beneficial. Dedicated blocks of time, various writing apps and tools, and a good personal support structure are ideal. However, these things can only go so far when it comes to keeping you focused on writing.

So, why are setting goals helpful when publishing your book?

Keeping You Motivated

Goals are often used to keep people motivated to accomplish a task. Being able to see the word count increase while writing can be quite effective. Especially since it’s something that has an instantaneous display.

People are more likely to continue an activity if they observe immediate results.

Gamifying the Writing

I am a big fan of gamification in all forms. It’s when you take a seemingly mundane chore and turn it into something fun and engaging. With that said, keeping track of goals in Reedsy is kind of like running up a score in a game.

Can you break your “high score” today by aiming to write more words in your book?

Estimations to Keep Fans Aware of Progress

If you have a blog or are otherwise marketing yourself as an author on social media, keeping fans apprised of when your next book comes out can be an effective marketing strategy.

Using the goals platform in Reedsy gives you an estimation of when you’ll complete your book. In turn, you can keep your fan updated, especially if you use a WIP plugin on your website.


Make Sure Your Goals Are Realistic in Reedsy

Like everything else in life, you need to keep your goals realistic. This will help you build momentum while inspiring you to take things a bit further.

If you set goals and aspirations too high, you could inadvertently set yourself up for failure. This can lead to frustration, which often drives writers to give up.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with setting your sights a bit high in terms of writing goals. That’s how you figure out where your line is in the sand. But trying to do too much all at once can easily burn you out.

One of the best ways I set up goals is by going off of past performance. How many words did I write last week? Let’s set a goal to write a few more.

This is actually one of the most influential methods behind how I became a successful freelance writer. It’s all about surpassing my previous bests, even if it’s just by a single word for the week.

Any victory is still a victory.

What Kind of Goals Do You Have in Reedsy?

For my next book, I’m sure the Reedsy goals are going to help me get the most out of my time. As I said earlier, I’m a big fan of gamifying and numbers. At a glance, I can see where the book stands in terms of productivity for the day.

Because I am often quite busy, I’ll probably stick to weekly and monthly goals rather than daily. My life is quite chaotic, so, a daily objective isn’t always the most ideal.

What kind of goals are you setting and do they work to keep you inspired to write?

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Michael Brockbank

Michael has been a freelance writer since January of 2012. He has completed more than 8,000 jobs for a variety of clients ranging from animals to travel. Currently, he is the Content Marketing Team Lead of GreenGeeks Web Hosting.

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