Thursday Writing Prompt No. 92


I decided not to do NaNo this year because I have a novel from 2011 to revise and one from 2012 to complete, plus I’m working on various freelance articles and a research paper. This is my year for finishing some projects instead of starting new ones and leaving them half-baked and cluttering my hard drive and desk.

I am drawing on the incredible power of NaNo to fuel my writing for those other projects, however. One thing I’ve learned from doing two years of NaNo is that setting word-count goals is very, very helpful. (And it’s very, very helpful when I reach them, too!) So setting word goals has become part and parcel of all my writing these days, and I find that it powers me through the rocky patches when I really don’t feel like writing. If I can get started I can generally keep working on a project and make progress, and that’s what counts.

Do you use goal setting for your writing, or do you just jump in and start working? This isn’t the same thing as pantsers versus outliners. Take the short poll below and let the world know what motivates you to get those words written. Your Thursday Writing Prompt this week is to set yourself some goals and meet them. And if you’re doing NaNo, you already know that 1,667 is the magic number of words per day you need to write to meet that 50K mark!

But other writing projects can benefit from this approach, too. Just be sure to set realistic goals or otherwise you won’t meet them and that leads to frustration instead of inspiration. I’m finding that about 700 words for nonfiction writing that requires research is about right for me. Anything more and I just burn out, although sometimes switching to a second project I can get in another 100-200 words before I totally frazzle.