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New Year, New Writing Goals – Part 2

Buried in the Slushpile

Last time we thought about what we wanted to achieve with our goals. This week we’re going to ask ourselves the next question in our goal setting:

Question 2: How will I do it?

We made goals that are actionable, but how exactly are we going to do them?

We’re going to make an action plan. We want to figure out the step by step things we’ll be doing to achieve our goal. Here’s my example for a goal to write a chapter book series:

Bullet journal to do list that says:
Action Plan
Chapter Book Series
Writing
Series One Line
Series Characters
Book 1
Summary
Outline--Chap Summary
1st Draft
Editorial Analysis/Line Edits
Final Draft
Proofread
Book 2
Summary
Outline--Chap Summary
1st Draft
Editorial Analysis/Line Edits
Final Draft
Proofread

Now, let’s be honest, my action plan looks like a glorified to do list. That’s just how my brain works.

But you don’t have to do it this way. You can do whatever works for you.

You can chunk your book into parts or chapters or by word count or whatever. If you’re a pantser, then maybe your steps are brainstorming, drafting, and revising. These can be as broad or as specific as you need. If you find something like this overwhelming, do a simpler list. If you need even more detail so you don’t forget something, then do that too.

And once we actually have our plan, we’re going to hold ourselves accountable to it. And we’re going to do that by keeping track of our goals.

You can keep track any number of ways. You can measure how much of your book you’ve written in words in a bar chart like this.

Bullet journal style with bar charts colored in to show completion of each project.
Title: Tracking
Middle Grade Mystery Project
3/4 of bar filled in on 40k project
Chapter Book Series
#1 9/10 of bar filled in 
#2, #3, #4, #5 are empty

You can pull inspiration from the bullet journal people by having a day in pixels page like this to track pages or words written. Mine here tracks words. Good thing my goal isn’t to write every day. But if it was, this would be a good tracker. You could track hours spent writing, words written like mine, or pages written.

Bullet journal pixel a date chart
Title: Daily Writing Pixel
12 by 31 grid with months across top and dates down the side. Only January 3 (blue) and January 5 (orange) are colored in.
Key: Blue 1-500 words
Lavender 501-1000 words
Pink 1000-2000 words
Orange 2000-3000 words
Green 3000+ words
Purple Revising

Or if you like your spreadsheets, you can track your word count in one like this. This shows the amount of words written each day (most unimpressive for the beginning of the year. I also have a bar chart showing progress on my specific project.

Screen shot of Excel spreadsheet with columns with date, daily word count, Overall word count, and project. Almost all are empty. 1/3/24 has 40 words. There is a dot chart of the daily words, but it too is almost blank. On the right side is a project tracker. The columns are Project (Disappearing Diamond), Goal (40000), Current (34000), Left (6000), % (85%) 
Under that is a bar chart showing 85% done in blue and 15% remaining in orange.

So, now take that goal you wrote down before and spend a couple of seconds thinking about how to turn it into a bunch of bite-sized steps you can accomplish. Remember, we picked goals that are doable, so this is going to be a bunch of doable steps too. Then determine how you’re going to track. Is it a to do list you check off? A chart or picture you fill in? Whatever works best for your brain is what you should do.

Let’s make these goals happen!

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