Writing it forward and setting goals

writing it forward

Hello all! Welcome back to this blog… Let’s talk about writing and goals for 2024.

Does anyone knows how to set proper writing goals? I, sure as hell, never feel like I do.

To make it just numbers-as-achievements doesn’t work for me, because I’m a too slow writer for it. There’s no way I can find my flow in the constant run of writing whatever to accomplish a quota.

To make it project-related, always feel like I’m letting things fly away from me. Again, as I am a slow writer, I get myself into struggling with stuff, and then I pause the project until I figure it out.

So about my writing goals… I just know that I have these projects that I have been working on, and I need to get back to them.

Moving forward is always so hard, specially when I know I need to have some sense of a finish line. But I don’t know how to make that commitment. I’m certain it will come to me whenever it’s time.

Also, for me at this point, to plan some writing routine seems quite impossible. Life is happening here and it’s not warm and fuzzy. So, I know I’ll be writing. I know in which projects I’ll be writing. But I don’t know how I’ll manage the time to do it.

Still, pushing forward it is.

First, I know I need some new habits. Or, at least a return to my most productive habits. Things have been getting complicated on the domestic front, and my writing time has been absorbed by a lack of sleep discipline and tantrums. Not mine, though… Not that I don’t feel like throwing some… at this point.

I’m hoping 2024 will bring some new habits and, with them, nights made for actual sleep. And, with more sleep, I’ll finally be able to insert my morning writing routine on a proper hour… right around 6AM. But maybe this is just some wishful thinking.

So, about setting writing goals…


SPECIFIC: What do I want to achieve?

There are three Writing Projects, on different stages of production and I want to get each to its next step.

MEASURABLE: How do I know I have achieved it?

To get to the end of the current stage of production on each project: To write the zero draft. To finalize the final read. To edit the 40 poems.

ACHIEVABLE: How to make it true?

There are no impossibles to achieve on my three ongoing writing projects. Everything’s achievable about these.

RELEVANT: Is it worth it? Is it relevant?

To write, in a writing life, is relevant. To get these ready to be read is very worth it.

TIME BOUND: When will I achieve it?

In 2024?! No. Being more specific about this. I’m setting the first trimestre of 2024 to have the #2 project zero draft done. Then, I’ll reread the final version of the #1 project. On the first six months #3 project will come to the forefront in specific times. Second half-of 2024, will see the needed update on these goals.


These three projects have been in the oven for a while now. Each have their particularities and personal involvement issues. 2024 will see them tackled and accomplished.

Still, I’ll be scarce on the actual numbers. After all, I’m not too good in keeping numbers running smooth, and I don’t want to discourage myself.

On the other(s) writing projects…

In the writing forward departmentbecause they are the most immediate way to reach out to readers — I’m keeping focused on the blogs.

Writing forward is important to me just because I feel more connected to the people that visit my blogs.

These are the virtual places where I might make more difference. Where I get to motivate, and try to inspire others, to see their life as pure creativity, and to pursue their arts and crafts, specially the writing craft. This has become a big part of my efforts on the writing it forward front.

When I struggle, I’ll take you with me to learn from my mistakes… like I’m doing now, with the setting up goals from which I’m scared of. And when I accomplish some milestone, you are right there with me.

So you can watch the view and jump in your own pursues as soon as you are ready… or just, jump in now. Subscribe to this blog and never miss a beat on this Writing Life Log: WLOG?! 😀 I know! Enough with the weird acronyms.

Focusing on…

This has been what I have been focusing on: to write about things I love.

Might it be in my fiction, in my writerly blogs, and even in my poetry, and in my Vlook YouTube videos.

I just want to write about things I love. Books, trips, stories, challenges, love… things that speak closely to my heart.

New endeavours…

In 2024, and you are reading this here first!, I would like to come back to the short story format, but I do not have a settled plan for it. Still, I have been entertaining the idea for a while. We will see if it goes somewhere.

Above all, I plan to find some satisfaction in the ongoing projects. Because this is more important than to bound myself to some metrics in a plan.

Not that I don’t find numbers important, because I do. But, sometimes I get a weird feeling that, if I put up too many boundaries, to myself and to the completion of my work, I end up unable to create anything.

It’s like I get bound by the lack of willpower to comply to the set numbers on the goal page. I get overwhelmed by all of it and shut down.

So, I don’t do that anymore. No strict numbers for me. Not in this.

I am no child, I can carry my own projects to good term. — and this is my Emma Woodhouse talking.

I need to feel that I’m open to change and magical creation, not under a whip, pressed into forced labor. Which, not being the most desirable discipline, it’s the one I need, to keep myself working on my creative plans and goals.

I hope you’ve been working on your creative projects. Hope the first days of this new year have been kind to you. Hope you are positive into the upcoming year and your creative contribution to the world.

See you next week! And, meanwhile you may checkout my social media and subscribe to this blog.

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Bye and Keep Writing! ✍🏼


December, here I go!… with new writing goals

writing goals

Hello all! Welcome back to my blog. 

Bordering on December, and I’m taking these last days of November for a kind of a pause from fiction writing. I needed a brake.

It’s been a pretty intensive November, with NaNoWriMo (finished at 77 420 words), and doubling my daily word count for the current writing project, on top of everything else I (we) always have going on…

Obviously that, as soon as I took a brake, a big migraine made herself noticed. Four days later, I’m still reeling from some minor symptoms but I’m counting myself as being almost fully okay.

So, this week I have been rereading my NaNo project, slowly, and enjoying it as much as I can. And that’s the goal for the brake days. Nothing more and nothing less.

December will bring a lot more demands on my time so I’ve been thinking about what I want to focus on this month.

Back to the drawing board

I need to get back to the drawing board, again… like I’ve shared here before, on the post Another writing update on ‘The Shapeshifters’ and NaNoWriMo. And even if I feel that I’m stalling a bit (because I do feel that), I had been back to the plans and started working a few things out.

But getting back to the drawing board gave me a sense that I need to advance on the second, and maybe third, volumes of this story, at least in the main views of the whole project, before I am able to finish the first volume properly.

So, this is my number one goal for December: Get back to the drawing board and do more sketches of what I want to compose a bit further down the line (of life).

In September I wrote:

Usually I get a bit overwhelmed with changing rhythms. [And this is the understatement of the year!] But after a few days, I tend to focus on what I can do instead of what I should be doing, and get on with my creative life. And this summer wasn’t any different. – Back to September. Setting goals. Back to Writing.

This is truly a thing for me.

That’s why I usually prefer to do the minimum of transitions from one project phase to another, because I get overwhelmed with the thoughts of all that I wish I could put in, and do better, and work more on…

Sometimes, I forget to rest in between, just to try and avoid this syndrome.

So, my second goal for December is: Stick to the plan. Grab my planning tools and define unmovable deadlines and stick to them.

I already had plans… and plans for plans. It’s just a situation that I have to put them right in front of my eyes, just so I see them everyday.

And how, I wonder, will I manage this?

I’m getting a few ideas…

And these are my writing goals for December.

Hope you’re doing well and participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo. If so, how’s your project going?

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Bye and Keep writing! ✍🏼

October’s Plans and Writing Goals


I was rereading the blog post of September’s kick-off, reliving a bit of the post-summer-vacations feelings, and figuring out if I had sticked to my plans.

I did eased myself back into writing, but not to all of my writing projects. Now I feel it’s time to prioritise my fiction writing.

But, first let’s look at September.

September’s Writing Efforts

I’ve started September with a dread. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with ‘The Shapeshifters’ project.

Why? I have two drafts in Portuguese and, suddenly, as I’m starting a third draft, I caught myself writing a new opening scene in English. Was it wise? I don’t think so. But it felt natural, so I went with it.

Sometimes I feel I keep putting stones in my way, just to see if I can destroy or go around them. But there I was, attempting to write my first full fiction book in English.

Quick reminder that I am Portuguese and even though I have been learning English since I was a kid, and have taught English to adults, and write quite a bit in this other language, I wasn’t prepared to make a full change to this project.

But I did. And here we are: a bit overwhelmed with the process…

September also brought me a few difficult days. I suffer from migraines since I was a teenager and they are back with vengeance. To make things worse, now my daughter has them too. She’s still a child, fresh out of pre-school… I am still torn apart with this. Talking about family painful inheritances!

September’s Goals

1. Get back to writing

I did. With happiness even if not effortlessly.

2. Find a new work rhythm

Also something that I manage to do, after a few different approaches.

3. Jumpstart my creative practices

Writing requires calmness and inspiration. I had to search for both using strategies that I try to keep at hand… like meditation, music, reading, series, walks and other activities.

4. Tending to my blogs

I have been putting in the work to get this done. I have changed the quantity of articles I expected to publish each week. And I feel it’s better to manage my expectations with some reality instead of wishful thinking.

5. Managing my YouTube Channel

Yes, I mentioned it in the article but I purposely left this one out of September’s Goals. I wasn’t feeling at ease with it… but VLook has made a big part of my efforts, and I hope you go and take a look at my videos. I know! I have a lot to learn.

6. Other goals

I have mentioned other goals on September’s post. Goals like Reading and productivity measurements. I failed to set a proper goal to Reading efforts but managed to read 9 books, and got 2 ongoing.

My Goodreads Challenge is looking good. Read 53 books of the 60 I planned to read in 2022(88%).

I found out that I mainly read in three categories: Classics, Chic Lit (I hate this designation) and Non Fiction. I like it!

As for the Book Club I kind of have fallen behind and am a bit unmotivated to keep going. Also, the book list released for next year envolves 12 books that aren’t a priority right now and that require a great investment… in books that won’t serve my bigger purposes.

I am kind of contemplating reverting back to my own book list… or find another Book Club more in sync with my wants and needs.

October’s Goals

They will not differ much from September’s, I guess. I will shift my attention a bit from writing poetry and revising short-stories to constructing “The Shapeshifters”. I have a list of scenes to work on and am, reluctantly, taking it seriously.

But, above all, I have a goal to keep working on my writings. Whatever the form or genre.

Keep writing! ✍🏼

Share with us your goals for October. Please comment in the section below.

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Bye and see you soon.

Back to September. Setting goals. Back to Writing.

back to september

Hello, September! We meet again.

My big break, also known as summer vacations, have ended. After a few bumps on the road… like recovering from surgery, failing miserably my Camp NaNo goal, and general discouragement… I’m back to my writing work and…

I like it!

A few days ago, I wrote this on my notebook:

Do my thing. Use my system. Do what works for me. Coming back after disruption is a bi***! – sf

This was set as a reminder for myself, meaning that I should take it easy, avoid being too much focused on what I didn’t achieve, or on what I couldn’t work out like I wanted, and just accept that it’s okay to have downtimes.

I can work with downtimes. [Look at me convincing myself!]

I can work not just ON downtimes but WITH downtimes. [am I whining enough?]

Usually I get a bit overwhelmed with changing rhythms. [And this is the understatement of the year!] But after a few days, I tend to focus on what I can do instead of what I should be doing, and get on with my creative life. And this summer wasn’t any different.

I didn’t wrote as much as I would have liked to, but I read a lot… for my standards at least. And used my time to do some sightseeing, be in nature, and in the water (salty and otherwise), and be with family. Filling the creative well as it is known in my creative dictionary.

This reminded me: Have you read “The Artist’s Way”, by Julia Cameron? I recommend it vividly.

Setting Goals

quote easy job

I also needed this reminder.

This means that there’s no other option than to pursue the work we want to do in this life. When we are working on something, it never get’s easy, whatever the work is.

I had other jobs that showed me (one time after the other) that I may devote myself to other occupations, but none of them were easy, or done without sacrificing something.

Creative work isn’t easy, but neither is working in whatever it is that we choose to do for society.

And, at the end of the day, choosing other work made me pretty angry with myself for not pursuing my desired occupations. Resources are finite. Personal resources are as finite and as (more) precious as all the others.

Work-Life balance is something I still struggle with and I guess will always be a thing. Family comes first. Sorry… not really! And writing comes as a close second.

So, after the unsolicited ramble…

Goals for the upcoming months:

smart goals

1. Reestablish Creative Practices

Quite vague, isn’t it? No, it isn’t. I’ll explain. 

I have a few things I need to do to get me on my creative zone. These practices, that keep changing over time, started with the above mentioned “The Artist’s Way”.

The Morning Pages and Artist Date’s (see the book for more info) are tools that helped me get out from a writing slump and understand myself better as an author and a creative person.

Periodically, I set some specifics on the needed resources to get a certain project done. Not all goes as planned but, usually, setting the constraints of a creative project help me get focused and achieve results.

For example, to write a book I need to put in the hours to discover all the details. This means I need to have a project, with daily hours set, an output format predefined, and clear motivational aids, culminating in a space (mental and physical) where I sit myself down and let my brain work things out.

Another example is to get ideas for an article. I need to have a constant influx of material, reading books, taking notes, surfing the w.w.w., watching movies and documentaries, going places… and other experiences, that need to be maintained no matter what. Usually I have some routines that get me this information, like listening to audiobooks when cooking dinner or reading material that I had subscribed through email. 

Back to work means back to creative practices.

And because in the last two months, I was forced to choose and adapt (read more about this on this article here…), I have not been able to maintain all my creative practices and forced to adhere to other one’s… like going to bed and getting up later than usual. Now it’s time to set my clock right and shift the creative hours for morning’s instead of after dinner.

This goal divides itself into small tasks and has a bigger impact than I care to admit even to myself. 

Please, let me know in the comments if you would like to know more about Goal Setting, Tasks and Project Management for Writing Projects. I’ll be happy to oblige.

2. Get back to writing

July was a b****! Movement was painful and a sitting position almost inexistent. The few typing periods I got were used on note taking, journaling and very few blog posts.

August brought noticeable improvements, but I had spent too much time in the dark, laying down, and in pains. All of this combined and my mental space got a bit clouded.

And then I had my daughter with me full time. And it was time to give her a proper summer time. Not forgetting that we have been cooped up in a small apartment for two years, in her infancy! Children missed a lot, in their formative years, with this pandemic.

One of my main goals/tasks for this Autumn is to finish my third-or-first draft of ‘The Shapeshifters’. Third draft because it’s the third time I’m rewriting this story. Or-First because it suddenly got rewritten in English.

I have a few other projects on hold as well, that I intent to get back to. Including the maintenance of this blog and my Portuguese one…

Hello, September! Are you well rested?!

3. Other Goals

I have a few other goals, concerning Reading, a new Book Club I joined recently, productivity measurements, the YouTube channel VLook (come with me to a visit of the Lisbon Book Fair 2022), and a few other stuff. But I’ll not get into them for now.

Each goal requires different times, and complementary resources, and I’ll be talking about them when applicable.

Let us know how was your summer writing efforts and if a middle of the year goal revision applies to your writing efforts. Please comment in the section below.


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Bye and see you soon.