3 Proven Ways You Can Reach Your Writing Goals for 2024

Missed your writing goals this year? Maybe you can still make it if you follow one of these 3 proven ways.

In April 2023, I set a goal of writing 1,000,000 words before the end of the year.

Easy peasy, I figured. After all… I had nine months. Even taking one day off per week, it's still 217 days to write.

Or 4,608 words per day.

Absolutely doable. I started out fine with more than 5K words per day. In 2010, I went for a similar challenge. Write 100 articles in 100 days.

On New Year's Even I wrote 25 articles…

This year (2023), I wouldn't commit that stupid mistake again. I wouldn't right? But reaching December 10th, I had only 365K words written.

What went wrong?

This method definitely didn't work for me. Nor for most people. The deadline is way too far out into the future.

This post is all about writing goals and how you can reach them without doing all-nighters right before deadline.

writing goals


#1: Set Realistic Goals (Yeah, Right)


My goal of writing 4,608 words per day was absolutely realistic.

I'm capable of writing a lot more words. So what happened? Two things.

  • I got lazy.
  • War broke out October 7.

At the beginning of this challenge I went out as the leader of the field.

Wrote more than 5K words a day. Just in case. Everybody else were left behind, eating my dust.

So I did what any rational writer would do: I got lazy.

Soon I was behind the field. But who cares? Nothing to worry about, right?

There was still plenty of time.

My fault was that logically, yes, this was a realistic goal. But I'd forgotten to calculate minor details like my lazyness. And life that has the tendency of happening.

Make space for the unexpected when you set a realistic goal.

You'll see more about how to do that in the next section where we talk about scheduling your writing time.

#2: Schedule Your Writing Time

If it's not scheduled, it doesn't get done.

How much time do you realistically have per day? For how long can you focus at a time? Even if you have only 15 minutes per day, you can write a lot as long as it's scheduled.

And you stay focused.

First, find out how many words you can write during a 15-minute sprint. It's best to try this several times. Remove your best and worst times.

Then find the average of the other three.

For example, if you reached the following numbers:

  • 1: 786 words
  • 2: 415 words
  • 3: 374 words
  • 4: 613 words
  • 5: 162 words

Your best and worst would then be 786 and 162.

What's left are 415, 374 and 613 words. The average of these three would be:

415 + 374 + 613 = 1402/3 = 467

That's how many words you should realistically be able to write in a 15-minute sprint. If you have one hour per day, you can expect to write 1,868 words. You're almost ready to set a realistic goal now.

You need to consider downtime though.

Ideally, you can write, maybe, six days a week. But just to be safe, let's allow one day per week to be downtime. That means your weekly realistic goal isn't 6 x 1,868 words but only 5 times that many words.

You still need to schedule your writing time.

I use a Google calendar for this. You should schedule every day you expect to be writing. Whether that's six days a week, one hour per day, or once a week for 15 minutes.

And if you can't write one of these allotted days, you can still catch up.

Given that you keep track of your word count and your goal. And that brings me to the final method.

It makes the previous two methods much more valuable and it makes almost certain that you can reach your writing goals.

#3: Use a 12 Week Year Approach

This book changed my life.

My only wish is that I've found it in March 2023. And not at the beginning of December. It's the absolute best method I've ever seen to reach the writing goals you've set yourself.


As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

In short (but do yourself and read the book), instead of having a deadline 12 months away.

You have goals 12 weeks ahead. This means that you can easily correct and get back on track when life (or laziness as in my case) happens. It also helps you not to get overwhelmed.

How Do You Choose to Reach Your Writing Goals?

Will you give "The 12 Week Year for Writers" a go?

Or do you already have a foolproof plan that does it for you? I would love to hear about what you're doing.

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