Throughout life, we are given goals and told to create goals of our own. Parents and teachers give us goals to help us succeed, and sometimes they seem silly and pointless. When we get older, however, we begin to see the importance of goals. Goals give us something to strive for, whether we want to lose ten pounds or write a novel. We see something we want, and we work towards it. As a writer, it is especially important to set goals if you wish to improve. Goals are a vital key to better writing, whether you aim to write so many words a day, write a best-selling novel, or simply to improve your writing abilities.
Setting goals for yourself goes hand-in-hand with experience. In order to better your writing and achieve your goals, you must gain experience. To gain experience, you must practice. It’s a bumpy road full of pot-holes and road-blocks, but it is one that must be travelled if you wish to improve. Sometimes, you’re going to sit back after an afternoon of writing, read over your work, and want to slam your head on the keyboard. Repeatedly. However, it is this experience that paves the way for better writing. To help them achieve their end-goal, many writers use smaller goals, like writing a certain amount of words every day. Even when these words don’t turn out they way they imagined they would, they can still say that they’ve gained some experience and completed a task on their to-do list. From this, they gain a sense of achievement from completing a smaller goal while working towards their main goal.
Other writers aim for different goals, like writing a best-selling novel. When they feel discouraged, they look for that light at the end of the tunnel, and it drives them to continue. It’s in their sights, and they will work until they achieve their goal. It can be hard to push through the grime and muck of doubt, but when they look ahead and see that glimmer in the distance, they’re motivated to keep pushing forward. Without a goal, however, it’s easy to get lost in the array of tunnels and give up hope of escape. This is why it’s important to set a goal for yourself before you start — so that you have something specific to work towards.
Regardless of how long you’ve been writing, one thing you must always strive for is to improve your writing. Whether you’re a beginner or Stephen King, there is always room for improvement. Maybe your characters are great, but your settings are too bland; or maybe your plots are outstanding but your choice of words drags them down in places. Once you recognize where you’re having difficulties, you can shift your focus to improving in that area, which means — you guessed it — more practice. This can be particularly frustrating, so remember your goal: improve your writing abilities.
Goals are important to writers; they keep us on track, they keep us motivated, and they give us something to be proud of once we accomplish them. They can give you that extra push to finish your novel, urge you to write a little bit every day, or keep you motivated to improve your writing abilities.