Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

Milestones and Goals

468230_30211180 Every writer or blogger has goals. But on the road to achieving those goals we pass something else by: milestones.

I like to think of milestones as micro-goals. They're not bona fide goals unto themselves, but they are accomplishments of a sort.

Make no mistake: milestones are a good thing. Sometimes, trying to achieve a full-fledged goal can be overwhelming. Take writing a novel, for example. How many people never start (let alone finish) such a thing simply because of the daunting nature of it?

I'll tell you what helps: milestones.

Merriam-Webster defines a milestone as "a significant point in development". Reaching a milestone is not the end, but it's a significant step in that direction.

For me, a milestone is a chapter written. The chapter by itself is kind of meaningless—you can't sell it, and it probably doesn't tell a whole story. But rack up enough of those milestones and the next thing you know, you've got a complete manuscript.

There's something else about setting goals or working towards a milestone: they have to be realistic or attainable.

Overshooting, or setting unrealistic goals, is a recipe for failure. Not reaching your goals can be discouraging. Hit on too many disappointments, next thing you know you're out of the game before you even had a chance.

The lesson in all of this: baby steps. Keep it simple. Reach for the attainable, knowing that each smaller step is a signpost on the longer road to completion.



Comments (2) -

  • Adrian

    11/12/2008 11:44:42 AM | Reply

    Scott, terrific posting with such an important reminder.  This is the key to keeping the work manageable!  Thanks for sharing these thoughts with your readers.

    Congratulations on completing your first edit of your WIP, and good luck with the second edit!  It must feel good to be making tangible progress.

  • scottmarlowe

    11/14/2008 7:13:12 AM | Reply

    Thanks!

    Yes, and the second edit is going faster than the first (as it should, right?), so it's been a more gratifying experience thus far.

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