Set Writing Goals

How to Set Daily Writing Goals to Boost Your Confidence

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

Goals are a great way to surpass your current skill levels by making you push boundaries. However, it’s incredibly easy to set goals that are just unrealistic. What can you do to create daily writing goals, and why is this important?

Well, first off, setting a goal that is completely outside of your capabilities only leads to frustration by setting yourself up for failure. Each time you don’t achieve your expectations, you become less likely to continue.

This is true in just about anything, really. Losing weight, dating, career choices…setting the bar too high can be your undoing.

Now, you do want to push yourself to achieve some of those milestones. Otherwise, goals would be useless. It’s how hard you try to push yourself that tends to make the biggest difference.

Nonetheless, you need to know your limitations.

7 Steps to Create Daily Writing Goals

Everyone has an idea of how to set up goals. Unfortunately, not everyone focuses on the right things. For example, I know a lot of people who aim for getting a certain number of visitors every month to their blog.

In reality, you should focus more on goals you have absolute control over. After all, you can’t force someone to read your work. This is part of building momentum for your writing.

So, how do I create daily writing goals that helped me become the success I am today?

1. Keep a Positive Mindset

First, let’s talk about your mindset. Being positive when approaching goals and projects makes a massive difference in your ability to achieve some high aspirations.

Now, being positive about writing 25,000 words in a day doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll succeed. You still need to keep those aspirations realistic.

In the beginning, I was positive about doing what I could to become a freelance writer. I didn’t get depressed when editors hated my work; I simply kept positive and learned how to fix those issues.

In addition, you need to be patient with yourself. It’s easy to get frustrated when not hitting the numbers you want. But depending on the circumstance, your progress could simply be out of your control.

2. Be Realistic with Your Daily Writing Goals

One thing I see a lot of new writers fall into is setting unrealistic expectations. For instance, I know one YouTuber who claims you can make $500 per day on Textbroker.

That’s not realistic for a plethora of reasons that I’ll go into in another blog post.

My point is that you need to understand yourself, what you can do, and where you want to go. For me, it was simply to write more today than I did yesterday. This meant I would set my daily goals to be more than I did the day before while writing.

3. Keep Track of Your Progress

Track Your Progress

One of the most prominent tools that helped me gain the success I enjoy today is my spreadsheet. In fact, I talk about it a lot both on the blog and the YouTube channel.

So, you don’t need to go to the same exuberant lengths I did by setting up an elaborate formula. Yet, keeping track of your progress in some fashion can give you an idea about the type of goals to create.

By monitoring my productivity every day, I went from writing 1,000 words to setting a goal of 10,000. Of course, it took me quite a while to get to that point. Not to mention the different things that would crop up every day that would interfere with writing.

But my progression helped drive every daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goal I’ve set for myself. Yeah, my spreadsheet is pretty damn elaborate.

4. Create “Deadlines” for Yourself

As a work-at-home writer, you’re only truly accountable to yourself. Sure, you might have clients who are eagerly awaiting some projects. However, you are your own boss and have to keep yourself motivated.

A lot of us will create deadlines whether it’s for client work, blog posts, or novel writing. And they work, when you’re positive about reaching those moments.

Just make sure your “deadlines” are realistic for your own needs. Don’t assume that setting a deadline to write your next book by this weekend is going to help you write 30,000 words per day.

Use your current level of progress as a guide to push yourself a bit further when you want certain projects done.

An example of this is how I use Asana to set up blocks of time for each project I want to complete. Because I know that the average blog post will take me two and a half hours to write, I can set that block of time up and focus on meeting my deadline for the day.

5. Use Project Management Apps to Keep On Task

Speaking of Asana, project management apps are wonderful things. I use Asana to run everything from my GreenGeeks workload to the YouTube video ideas I get from viewers.

A good project management app can help you stay on task, help you remember what you want to create, and even help streamline your deadlines. The best part is that many of them have free versions.

In any case, you can use them to plan out your day and check off the tasks as you progress.

In fact, project management apps have been greatly influential in my success over the years. And thanks to these apps, I am just about to wrap up my second book as I assign a task to myself immediately after my client’s work is done.

This way, I remember I want to spend at least an hour per day writing my book before anything else.

6. Make Sure You Have Adequate Time in the Day

Make Time to Write

Another big issue I’ve seen from other writers (and have experienced myself) is the lack of time. Some people set their daily writing goals so high that there literally isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done.

This is especially difficult when you have kids, a regular full-time job, and balancing a social life.

This is also another reason why I keep track of everything in the spreadsheet. I know just how long certain projects will take me on average based on the number of words I can write in an hour.

7. Aim to Write More Today than You Did Yesterday

As I’ve said before, I started my writing career by simply writing more today than yesterday. Even if it was by a single word, it was still an accomplishment. And it’s something that I carry with me to this day.

Though, nowadays, my spreadsheet is so advanced that I try to get my average words written per year to surpass what I actually wrote last year. I’ve added a lot to my spreadsheet since 2012.

The idea behind this is to help boost your sense of pride and accomplishment as you write. The better you feel about your abilities, the more eager and positive you’ll feel about the next day.

How Daily Writing Goals Boost Your Confidence

So, setting up goals can help you keep productive while increasing how much money you make throughout the year. But how do they affect your level of confidence?

Well, I kind of touched a bit on this earlier. It’s all about helping you realize your potential as a writer.

When you start consistently breaking personal records and finding ways to streamline your writing career, you begin to develop a strong sense of confidence. This can carry into a variety of situations in your life outside of writing.

Case in point, publishing my first book filled me with an incredible sense of confidence as a creator. It also helped me realize just how much I bring to the table in both my personal and professional life.

And from a freelancing perspective, hitting 10,000 words in a day for the first time made me aware of just how good I really am.

Now, I’m not trying to boast or gloat. On the contrary, I’m merely demonstrating just how immensely beneficial it is to set goals and continuously surpass your own expectations.

Examples of Daily Writing Goals

The steps above sound great on paper. But what if you’re not sure where to start? I suppose that really depends on your aspirations as a writer.

As I cover freelancing, blogging, and self-publishing content, a lot of example goals might be vastly different depending on your needs.

Here are some examples of writing goals you can set that are close to universal:

  • Write X Amount of Words in 30 Days
    I say “30 days” because a lot can happen on a day-to-day basis, especially if you’re working with content mills.
  • Write X Amount of Words Per Day
    Writing a certain number of words per day is better for bloggers or novelists as it is something you can control.
  • Hours Spent Writing Per Month
    One of my most prominent goals is the time I spend working on projects on any given day. This gives me a total for the month that I can focus on surpassing.
  • Read X Blog Posts About Writing Per Day
    Not all goals need to center around production values. In fact, I spend a lot of time researching how to perfect my skills.
  • Watch X Videos on Writing Per Week
    I’m always hesitant about making goals centering around video content. It’s very easy to get sucked into the weird areas of YouTube.

Anything that affects your abilities as a writer is time well-spent. This includes watching YouTube videos and taking notes, bookmarking your favorite writing blogs for future reference, or even writing fake articles for yourself.

Once in a while, I’ll even take to TypingTest.com just to keep my fingers nimble. Not to mention I love the layout of that site and enjoy seeing my stats as a typist.

How Do I Create My Daily Writing Goals?

Currently, I am poised to break a personal record of the number of words written in a month. This was set back in April 2019 at 79,360. As I write Monday through Friday, this means on an average month, I would need 3,968 words per day to break that record.

Then, I plan out blocks of time in Asana to include as many projects as I would need to hit that daily number. In this case, it would be a client article, two blog posts, and an hour of writing on my next book.

I would then focus on those blocks of time to make sure I am meeting my daily writing goals.

What If You Don’t Have a Personal Writing Record to Beat?

If you’re new to writing or have no idea what your personal bests are for word counts, start today. Write as much as you can and keep track of the word count.

Then tomorrow, see if you can beat that number. If you can, then you just set a new personal best. If you can’t, then that gives you something to aim for when setting your goals each day.

It’s this exact process that made me a success on sites like Textbroker and WriterAccess. I would constantly work on improving how much content I could produce on any given day.

What If You Don’t Have a Blog or Clients?

The Internet is full of sites where you can write without owning your own blog or having clients as a freelancer. In fact, I am currently building a list of writing sites I’ve used and their purposes.

For instance, you can use Vocal.media, Hubpages, Medium, and more that will pay you for writing. Of course, these sites also depend heavily on how many people you can get to read your content.

Still, you’re able to write almost whatever you want as long as you adhere to site policies.

But if you want to be more creative, you can use sites like Wattpad, Inkitt, Reedsy’s Writing Prompts, and many more. These let you test the waters of being an author, and many will have contests you can enter to win cash prizes.

You could also write for various content mills to get in a few extra bucks while learning how to deal with a plethora of client types. If it wasn’t for sites like Textbroker, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

As you can see, it really depends on what you want to get out of being a writer.

What Do I Count When Creating My Goals?

When I keep track of the words I write, I don’t include everything. That would just make for a long and very mundane day. For example, I’m not going to count every word that I put on Twitter or in an email.

That would just be a bit obsessive.

Instead, I only count words and time that are relevant to me as a freelancer, blogger, and novelist. This post, for example, will net me well over 2400 words for the day. Then, I’ll keep track of any work I do on my next book.

Or, maybe I’ll take to Vocal Media and crank out a blog post there, which counts for both writing time and words.

I’ll also include any “research” time that is necessary for me to grow as a creator. This means keeping track of the time I spend reading blog posts, watching videos, or setting up schedules for the projects I manage.

This is mostly why I’ve shifted my writing goals to keep track of time rather than words. A lot of what I do today for clients doesn’t require a lot of writing. In one case, I’m merely an editor, manager, and content planner.

So, I now focus on the time I spend working on my own projects as well as that of my clients. Don’t get me wrong, I still aim to write a million words this year. But my primary focus is time management nowadays. But this usually means I’ll get more words written throughout the day.

Need help writing your book? Knowing how to structure your manuscript can go a long way to providing a better exeperience for your readers. Take a look at the Reedsy Masterclass for How to Write a Novel. It was perhaps the most influential three months I’ve spent for crafting my books.

What Kind of Daily Goals Are You Creating for Writing?

Goals can be as simple as you want. Just keep in mind that the idea of creating goals is to push yourself to greatness. As long as you make logical and reasonable objectives for yourself, you can take your writing career pretty far.

Even if you plan on just maintaining a blog.

Create a plan of action and become the best version of yourself. It can lead you to opportunities beyond your wildest dreams.

At least, it did in my case.

Michael Brockbank
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