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You’ve done some great work so far in narrowing down what you are going to write and getting equipped to do the writing. The next step in the Writing Project Planning Phase is to make a writing goal & schedule.

The two most common writing goals I’ve read and used:

  • Word count per day
  • Time spent writing per day

The first thing you may notice is the “per day” part. Nearly every book or article on this topic, all advise to write: Daily.

Word count per day

I’ve read multiple articles that say, a good goal is to shoot for 1,000 words a day.

To put it into perspective, if you can type 40wpm (fairly average speed) then 1,000 words should take you approximately 25 minutes. Just keep typing and don’t let the internal editor stop you from getting your words written!

Time spent writing per day

For others, like myself, I try and spend a certain amount of time writing per day. I personally use my lunch break at work to write one(1) hour a day. A long time ago, I read an article on a romance writer (name escapes me) who spent 30 minutes each night after family dinner writing her novel on paper, long-hand.

Once you decide on your writing goals, then you need to figure out when you are going to do it. Setting a schedule has the following benefits:

  • Makes it a habit
  • Sets the expectation for others that during that time of the day you’ll not be available to them
  • A set time helps overcome writer’s block (topic for a future blog)

As I already mentioned, I currently write during my lunch break. If memory serves, a personal friend Robin Jones Gunn, started her very prolific writing career by getting up early each morning — before the rooster or family — in order to squeeze in time for writing.

Years ago, I spent my two, 10-minute work breaks a day writing in my journal.  Within weeks that 20-minute a day effort produced pages and pages of writing.

Writing is a like an exercise/weight management program:

Do it daily, at a set time.

If you do this, you’ll get fantastic results, even if you start out small but stay consistent.

Exercise: Set a writing goal and pick a time of day that works best for you.

Whatever you come up with, make the time to write daily!!

Next Post: Consider the costs of your writing project

Set the timer for 10-minutes and try this writing prompt.

Writing prompt #0009


Write about one of your earliest childhood memories.