The Complete Guide to Setting & Attaining Your Writing Goals

2019 will be here soon folks. 2018 has passed so fast most of us can hardly believe it. A lot of us end up writing down goals or resolutions right before the New Year hits. But have you ever thought about setting writing goals? Well, how about setting them for 2019?

Goals are a great way of getting us closer to where we want to be in our lives and careers. Today we’ll be covering goal ideas, setting goals, attaining them and also some motivation tips. There’s also an awesome freebie to help you with this as well!

Note: this guide can be used at any time, not just New Years.

The Complete Guide to Setting and Attaining Your Writing Goals | #Writing #WritingGoals #AuthorLife #NewYears #Resolutuions

Goal Ideas

  • Write x amount of books
  • Write a different genre than you usually do
  • Write a script
  • Participate and win NaNoWriMo
  • Make $x amount of money by x date
  • Join a writer’s group
  • Start your own writer’s group
  • Start a genre mastermind
  • Start a blog on writing
  • Start documenting your writing journey via Youtube
  • Attend a writer’s conference
  • Start freelance writing
  • Query x amount of agents
  • Begin your self-publishing process
  • Attend a writer’s retreat
  • Finally revise that book
  • Submit your short stories to magazines
  • Finally tell friends and family that you write
  • Debut a new pen name
  • Speak at schools
  • Have a book signing
  • Hit a bestselling list
  • Enroll in a creative writing course
  • Redo your writing office
  • Save up $x amount to self-publish
  • Write a video game script
  • Read 50 books on writing
  • Spend a day with your favorite author and learn from them
  • Go to a country to do book research
  • Interview people for your book
  • Write a play
  • Brainstorm x amount of book ideas
  • Gain x amount of subscribers on your email list
  • Score some promotional deals for your book
  • Get your book translated
  • Get your book turned into an audiobook
  • Create a professional book trailer
  • Gain x amount of social media followers
  • Create x amount of author blog post content
  • Save up $x amount for a new computer/laptop
  • Try writing in a different point-of-view and/or gender than you usually do
  • Finish that book you put off for a long time
  • Write a newspaper column
  • Try putting your book on sale for free
  • Put your book on Wattpad
  • Master book formatting
  • Master book cover design
  • Master proofreading
  • Write a autobiography
  • Have an adventure worth writing about
  • Gain x amount of monthly blog reading traffic
  • Set up your blog for income
  • Try spoken word
  • Let a family member or friend read your work for the first time
  • Get a writing BFF

The Complete Guide to Setting and Attaining Your Writing Goals | #Writing #WritingGoals #AuthorLife #NewYears #Resolutions

How to Set Goals

First, decide on what exactly the outcome is you want. Imagine where you want to be at the end of your life, then 50 years, then 20, and so on. Really get those creative juices pumping by visualizing everything you desire in your writing career. 

Second, write a maximum of 3-4 goals down just so you don’t forget them. We’ll cut them into smaller chunks later, but right now we don’t want to forget what they are.

The Complete Guide to Setting and Attaining Your Writing Goals | #Writing #WritingGoals #AuthorLife #NewYears #Resolutuions

Third, is the most important step. Define your why. Why do you want to accomplish these goals? Let the reasons be something you’ll get excited about pretty much all year. Let it make you almost want to jump out in the bed in the morning. Make sure it’s true to your creative little heart. If you don’t have any goals that are like this then go back to the drawing board with brainstorming some goals. 

Fourth, use our Writing Goals Worksheet Set. And yes, it’s F-R-E-E. It’ll help you really dig deep and then dice those goals into manageable steps. You can download it by clicking here or clicking the image below. It can be typed digitally or just simply printed on 8.5 x 11 inch paper. 

The Complete Guide to Setting and Attaining Your Writing Goals | #Writing #WritingGoals #AuthorLife #NewYears #Resolutions


This website and app is perfect for writing detailed checklists and seeing your progress for your writing goals. Personally for me I use both Asana and Trello to do both of these, each have their own advantages (even when Asana came out with Kaban boards).

The Complete Guide to Setting and Attaining Your Writing Goals | #Writing #WritingGoals #AuthorLife #NewYears #Resolutuions


Trello was one of the first project management apps I ever signed up for and I was honestly hooked. I use it for checklists and getting a bird’s eye for things and even keep text templates in there. It keeps me on my toes and also has a due date capability which is perfect for goals. 

The Complete Guide to Setting and Attaining Your Writing Goals | #Writing #WritingGoals #AuthorLife #NewYears #Resolutuions

Evernote can also be used for tracking goals, to do’s lists, and due dates. It’s what I use for writing blog posts, flash fiction, and basically just having it as a digital filing cabinet. 

The Complete Guide to Setting and Attaining Your Writing Goals | #Writing #WritingGoals #AuthorLife #NewYears #Resolutuions

No, not Scrapple. Ever wanted to mind map something out? Sure, there are plenty of mind mapping softwares, apps, and websites out there for free but I totally recommend Scapple. It’s from the peeps who made Scrivener, the writing app (which it can import Scapple projects into Scrivener projects). It’s a one time fee and super sleek and easy to use. Use it to brainstorm your goals but also use it for your writing projects as well.

The Complete Guide to Setting and Attaining Your Writing Goals | #Writing #WritingGoals #AuthorLife #NewYears #Resolutuions

A Habit Tracker

A great way to look how far you’ve come (and see patterns) is a habit tracker. This can be as simple as an app, a checklist on Evernote, or a printable habit tracker.

An online software designed to help you succeed in your goal planning and find supportive community. You can track your goals, share, and sync it with their mobile app. It has a very sleek interface.

The Complete Guide to Setting and Attaining Your Writing Goals | #Writing #WritingGoals #AuthorLife #NewYears #Resolutuions

How to Attain Your Goals

So there’s on how to set them but a must-have step is to know how to attain them. You can set goals all day long, but it’s actually doing them that is the hard part, but also the part needed to get to the end of your goal. Below I’ll be discussing tips and things you need to actually finish your goals.

The Complete Guide to Setting and Attaining Your Writing Goals | #Writing #WritingGoals #AuthorLife #NewYears #Resolutions #Infographic


You need to have the ability to see things through, but don’t worry, you don’t have to be born with it. This is why setting goals you love is so important, because then persistence becomes easier to obtain. Want to learn more on how to have persistence? Click here to watch a video on it or just click below.


This is a habit in and of itself. No one said big goals are going to be easy. But you need to discipline yourself if you actually want to reach the end of your goals and be able to say that you did it. A way to gain more self-discipline is to tackle a tiny portion of your goal every single day. If your goal is to write a 100,000 word book in a year then you only have to write a little under 300 words a day, which to be frank is peasy easy (especially if you plot). Want to learn more on self-discipline? Read this blog post by clicking here. 

The Complete Guide to Setting and Attaining Your Writing Goals | #Writing #WritingGoals #AuthorLife #NewYears #Resolutions

Reward Yourself

This is a technique I learned as an amateur during NaNoWriMo. After meeting certain word count goals I would eat a tiny piece of candy (probably shouldn’t have done that though) or would go on social media (and that too, LOL). At the end of a large project I would buy myself a brand new book or something I’d been eyeing for a while but couldn’t find a good enough excuse to purchase it.

Beside spending money or delving into unhealthy habits, here are a few good ones: stretching, eating some fruit, calling a friend, going for a scenic drive, reading 50 pages, the list can go on and on. But just let it be something you’d personally enjoy doing. 

Get An Accountability Partner

Call up your grandma or someone you know who writes. Make sure they’ll be semi-hard on you if you don’t meet your goals. Don’t have anyone you can trust? Sign a contract with yourself that if you don’t meet your goals you have to do something silly or donate to a charity you despise. There’s also online accountability partners in various groups and social media and also sites like 750 words or NaNoWriMo where sharing your word count can semi-act like one. Also posting your goals in public can help your followers keep you accountable. If you have a writing mentor or coach tell them your goals if you haven’t already.

The Complete Guide to Setting and Attaining Your Writing Goals | #Writing #WritingGoals #AuthorLife #NewYears #Resolutions

Staying Motivated

So, what if you slow down or *gasp* get stuck in your goals? Hey, don’t fret. It happens to everyone. Someone gets sick, you get depressed, stress from school or work follows you home, etc. Below are some tips on how to combat this and pick yourself back up. Remember, falling down is an accident, but getting up is a choice. 

The Complete Guide to Setting and Attaining Your Writing Goals | #Writing #WritingGoals #AuthorLife #NewYears #Resolutions

Imagine Yourself Accomplished

Visualize that you already have it. Call it manifesting or something like that but I don’t really want to go all woo woo nor do I really believe most of that. But imagine what it feels like, dream about it before going to bed. But a word of caution, imagining it all you want won’t get you closer to your goals (it’ll just help you stay motivated)

Create an Inspiration Board

Cut out pieces of a magazine or print up aesthetically pleasing pictures of people writing on Pinterest. Then trim and paste to either a corkboard or a wall. Make sure you have it so you can look at it every single day whenever you’re writing, let it be a visual reminder of your end goal. So think of images of typewriters, your dream writing office, book covers you’ve made for your book that’s just for you, etc.

Journal All Your Fears

Every writer has fear, I think that’s why most writers freeze up at the blank screen and call it “writer’s block” or they just haven’t plotted enough. A fear could be something such as not thinking you’re good enough, or someone really trashed your writing in the past, etc. So whenever you feel that rise of doubt or are stuck in your writing whip out that journal and pen and get to writing out your heart instead of your current project.

What Are My Goals?

Well, I’m glad you asked. I have a blog post on that on my author blog. Click here to check it out if you want to.

That’s a wrap folks! What are your 2019 writing goals? ✏️ Let us know your answer in the comment section below so we can chat about it! 💬

The Complete Guide to Setting and Attaining Your Writing Goals | #Writing #WritingGoals #AuthorLife #NewYears #Resolutions

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