One of the best ways to ensure you progress with your writing is to set yourself daily word count targets.

We all have busy lives, don’t we? What with kids, families, responsibilities, work, pets and the usual domestic chores, the hours fly by each day.

It’s little wonder, therefore, that our writing is the first thing (sadly) to be put on the backburner when another unexpected task scuppers our daily schedule.

But if you want to make consistent progress with your writing (whether you’rewriting a book or creating content for your business) you have to set daily targets.

Here’s why they are so important…

1 Good Writing Routines Get Results

One thing I always noticed when my children were at primary school was that during school holidays (especially summer) they were unproductive. Yes, I’m a big supporter of PJ days, particularly when tired little people want to just potter and relax at home, but after a couple of days of said potter, they’d be fractious and grumpy. By day three they would lack the motivation to want to go anywhere, the lie-ins got later, and the vicious cycle was on repeat. To me, this was because they had no routine.

And the same goes for writing. If you don’t write for a few days, it plays on your mind and you get frustrated because you know you should be writing but you haven’t. Setting daily word count targets (no matter how small) – or time targets if that’s easier – will prove way more productive. If you commit to writing first thing each morning before you do anything else, this time will become special and you’ll treasure it. When I’ve worked this way before, I often don’t want to stop writing once I start. Many times, I’ve found another half hour or so later in the day to pick up what I started, because I was so engrossed in it. The same could happen to you quite easily.

2 Setting Writing Targets Gets You Focussed

Let’s say you want to write a book. If you pick up a pen and paper and just start writing you’ll eventually grind to a halt. You won’t know how to move forward, your book attempt (no matter how fab it is) will get pushed to the side and the mind monkeys will have a field day – ‘See, I knew you couldn’t write a book’ etc, etc.  The best way to get started is to break down the entire project into small steps. (I detail the steps in my book, by the way, How to Write a Brilliant Biz Book which you buy from Amazon here:

When you get clear on your word count and your deadline, you can work out how many words you need to write each day to achieve that. Having this focus gives you the impetus to write every day. Ticking off your word count target each day equates to ticking off little chunks towards the end result, instead of just picking up a pen and writing aimlessly. You’re on a journey, and you need to consistently move forward to get to thedestination. If you need extra motivation, print out the daily sheets from thisbooklet and stick them on your wall – there’s nothing quite like seeing allthose big red crosses to keep you going.

3 Daily Writing Targets Stop You Feeling Overwhelmed

The idea of writing a 30,000-word book is enough to overwhelm the most seasoned of authors. And that’s why breaking down your writing output into daily targets is such a great idea. You get in the mindset of, ‘Oh, I’ve got to write a 30,000word book by next month… I think I’ll just go and clean the over, or tackle my accounts’ and you don’t make any attempts to get started. However, if one of your to-do-list tasks is ‘Write 500 words’ then that’s all you focus on for that day. And who can’t find time to write 500 words? It’s literally two paragraphs. No one will feel justifiably overwhelmed at the thought of writing two paragraphs, surely?

Find a strategy that works for you (whether you use pen and paper or the latest word count app) and ensure you prioritise your daily writing target. You’ll be amazed at the results – even if you think you’re way too busy to write!

Over the page you’ll find your writing target sheets (31 to keep you going throughout the month). So print off your sheets, pop them in a ring binder, and get cracking!