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! ✍🏼


Using writing challenges to achieve my goals


Why is it easier to do something like NaNoWriMo in order to define my writing goals?

It might seem stupid, or not too professional to use these kinds of challenges to get one motivated to write. But the truth is, we lack structure for this dream we have, and that we want to see accomplished.

And the writing craft isn’t just throwing things on a page. 

Using someone else’s structure for our writing time, which is what these challenges provide us with, help us discover our own way of doing things. And pushes us to show up, every day, for the work we want to see done.

Let’s be honest, if you are anything like me, you’re mostly alone in the pursue of this dream.

Talking from personal experience, I have been doing regular writing efforts for more than fifteen years and the truth is, I can count from the fingers of one hand how many people were truly there, even if just to talk about all of this writing business… Maybe having someone to talk to about writing is the hardest part.

They keep looking at me as if I’m delusional…

And doing stuff all alone is hard, specially if we don’t know what we are doing, and need to find our own bearings first. I had had a messy direction in life, and only started to listen to my heart’s calling not so long ago. And I’m still trying to figure things out.

How to understand our Goals?

To know in our hearts what we want to do, and to put in the work we need to put in, when we don’t know how to do it, and where to turn to, and how to shut up all those little inside voices… and not just the inside one’s… It’s confusing.

And this is how I started to search the web looking for knowledge, and buying books that could serve as my mentors, and writing about this journey, and how all of these resources can help others like myself.

Finding my working processes, and defining my goals, are things in constant appreciation.

Hey! I have just started this blog for my english writing output, and I know I had been stalling for years.

I always had the goal of writing in English, but it took me too much time to show up for it. Why? I guess I was young and dumb… and scared shitless.

How can NaNoWriMo help?

First, it helps because it’s a fast drafting mode that doesn’t allow us to spend too much time doubting ourselves.

Second, because the goal is already set for us. We have a daily word count and to succeed at achieving it we have to produce the 1667 daily words. And no way we will able to skip a few days and accumulate. No. We have to show up everyday or it will go the wrong way.

Third, because it involves one of two things:

  • or you have already prepared your materials, you have a plan, a story, characters and scenes, and whatever more you need to plan this story, and you just show up to write it (which has been my case this current year);
  • or you have an idea and want to produce a fast draft for it, allowing it to contain all the usual mistakes that a first draft requires. Kind of like a very long session of brainstorming, where you have to produce 50K in order to be successful.

Everything else, is setting us up to fail.

Having an outward challenge can gives us commitment and serve as an accountability strategy. 

We know we have to schedule our time in order to fit our two, three, four hours of writing. Without that commitment we just keep pushing it forward until our days run out of that space to write.

Not just NaNoWriMo…

A few years ago I came across a challenge called The 100 Day Project. It was a version of a teaching strategy used by Michael Bierut in his Graphic Design classes on the Yale School of Art.

When a student, Bierut challenged himself to draw one image per day, every day, during 100 days, based on a photograph from the New York Times. This was his own particular strategy to show up everyday to his creative work… and just draw.

When he started teaching, he brought that particular strategy to his classes with major success. 


You can read more about this on the article Five Years of 100 Days on the Design Observer.

Then Elle Luna brought this exercise to the web and it got huge.

I have been aware of this challenge for almost six years and had entered it on three of those years.

First, I started testing it for my arts and crafts projects. On my first try, it didn’t go so well and I didn’t manage to do more than a few days of it. Second time around, I still was trying it out for arts and crafts, and this time I managed to do 100 tag adaptations.

On the third go (started on January of 2021) I decided to do a writing challenge. It went beyond the 100 days and I managed to write everyday, one hour a day, based on a quote that served as a writing prompt. 

This got me my first rough draft of my currently work in progress, which I called ‘The Shapeshifters’.

On the following months, it got me working on all the characters, and plot, and subplots, and twists, and turns. Getting to November, I had a rough draft ready for a second draft.

And now I’m working on the third draft, on 2022 NaNoWriMo. I find that these challenges give me structure for my writing efforts.

And now?

In November, I now know I’ll be writing, which means that the months before I am plotting and structuring. Which means that at the beginning of each year I plan to be creating and imagining some new story… if all goes according to plan.

Is it easier?

It is easier to do something like NaNoWriMo, or The 100 Day Project, in order to define my writing goals. We are powered by a sense of community, while doing our work. And even if we stand alone in all of this writing business, we can lean on a well tested strategy to get us working on our goals.

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

Please leave a comment and subscribe for more content.

Bye and Keep writing! ✍🏼


References ✍🏼