Building a Daily Writing Habit: Setting Achievable Goals

Mini-Episode #2 – January 30, 2024

Embark on a writer’s voyage with the latest mini-episode of Writing On Caffeine, where Jonathan Franzone guides you through crafting S.M.A.R.T goals to turn the dream of your novel into reality. Discover how to set milestones that are just as invigorating as your morning espresso, and learn to celebrate the small victories on your journey to becoming an author. Tune in, set your sights on success, and join us in laying down the words, one page at a time, towards the peak of your writing aspirations.

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All aboard for another mini-episode of Writing On Caffeine. I’m Jonathan Franzone, your fellow writer and conductor, steering us through the meandering routes of the writing life. Today, we’re pulling into our second station on the journey of “Building a Daily Writing Habit.” Each leg of our trip takes us through new landscapes and closer to our final destination: a completed novel. So grab your coffee, find your seat, and let’s chart out the map of Setting Achievable Goals.

Last time, we delved into the power of routine, setting the rhythm for our writing journey. Yet, what is a voyage without an endpoint in sight? Establishing goals is akin to plotting out key milestones on our route – they guide us, fuel our drive, and there’s no denying the rush of achievement with each one we meet.

But here’s where many of us get it twisted: We chase the marathon before we’ve jogged a mile. Ambition is great, but it’s like brewing coffee – too much too quickly and it’s just bitter. So, let’s talk about how to set goals that are more like sipping a fine espresso, strong yet satisfying.

Think S.M.A.R.T. – and no, that’s not just flattery. It’s an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Let’s break that down.

Specific. Your writing goal should be as clear as the page you’re about to fill. Not just “write more,” but “write a blog post,” or “outline my next chapter.”

Measurable. You need to know when you’ve achieved your goal. So, put a number on it – like “500 words,” or “3 pages.”

Achievable. This is where you keep it real. If you can only spare 20 minutes a day, don’t set a goal that needs an hour.

Relevant. Make sure your goal aligns with your larger writing ambitions. If you’re penning a novel, maybe now’s not the time to start an epic poem.

And Time-bound. Setting a deadline instills a sense of urgency and purpose. Consider a timeframe such as “by the end of the week” or “before our next podcast recording session.”

Now, let’s personalize it. Say you’re working on a short story. A S.M.A.R.T. goal might be, “Write the first draft of my 10-page short story in two weeks, writing one page each day.”

But here’s the kicker – what do you do when you hit or miss your target? If you hit it, celebrate! Have a mini-party. If you miss it, don’t beat yourself up. Reflect. Adjust. Was your goal realistic? Did life throw you a curveball? Learn, don’t lament.

Remember, every big novel is just a series of paragraphs stacked together. Every script, a collection of scenes. Every epic, a blend of chapters. Your goals are the steps that lead to the top of the mountain – take them one at a time.

So, what S.M.A.R.T. writing goal will you set today? I would love to hear about your goals! Email me at loading... , or drop a comment on our Writing on Caffeine Facebook page, X (formerly Twitter), or Instagram. Share your goal, and let’s cheer each other on, one page, one paragraph, one line at a time.

Thank you for joining me for this cup of Writing On Caffeine. Next time, we’ll explore “Tools and Apps for Habit Tracking” to keep our writing on track. Until then, keep your coffee strong and your narratives stronger!