Welcome to the blog of author Tricia Goyer!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mommying and Writing: The Nitty Gritty - Goals

For the next two weeks I'll be running a 'Mommying and Writing' series. Just a few things I've learned along the way as both a Mommy and a Writer!

Set monthly, weekly, and daily goals.

I learned the value of goal setting with small deadlines, which has helped with larger ones. For example, when I was mainly writing parenting articles I’d make a goal like: “Write one article and three query letters this month.” Then I’d break it into small segments. My weekly goal may have been, “Write rough draft of article” or “Look through market guide to find five new markets to write for.” Daily goals might be, “Write five hundred words” or “Interview a parenting expert.”

Sometimes I’d write my goals, and other times I’d just make note of them in my mind. Some days I had an hour to write, and other days thirty minutes, yet since I was firm in not changing my goals, I’d just sit down and write fast. The more I did this, the easier it was. I also strove to write well. I’d write as if I was writing the finished piece. I made it as close to “the real thing” as possible. This led to less editing later.

I set small goals throughout the day, and I discovered a timer was a friend. Even on days when I didn’t feel like writing (especially if I was staring at a blank page), I’d tell myself, “Turn on the timer for thirty minutes, write, and see how far you get.” Most of the time I surprised myself by how much I could do during a thirty minute stretch. Other times I discovered that after thirty minutes I was in the mood to write, and I kept going. I’d then reward myself for a job well down with a nice cup of coffee or a few minutes to relax with a magazine while the kids watched a movie. Bigger goals reached were rewarded with dinner out with my husband or a girls’ day out with my friends.


Elizabeth M Thompson said...

This is a great series! Thanks for sharing your journey. I am learning to balance Mommying and writing and it is quite a challenge at times. I appreciate your virtual mentoring.

LaShaunda said...

Good tips Tricia,

I've been trying to come up with a new way to organize my day without trying to do everything and getting burned out.

Name: Holly Bowne said...

Yeah! I'm SO grateful you are writing these tips/advice. This is really helpful. Thanks for your willingness to share your knowledge. :)

Susan Stitch said...

I'm really enjoying this series. Your tips are tangible and immediately actionable. I noticed that todays post was written very early. Do you typically get up before 4:00 in the morning?

Susan Stitch said...

Ha -- I just noticed that my comment posted at 5:11 am, however it's actually 7:11 here in the midwest.

Valerie said...

Thanks for sharing these tips Tricia. Although I'm not a parent, I can soo relate to balancing my writing time with all of my other demands. I soo appreciate you sharing your experience and knowledge with us!