This is the number one thing that I keep learning and re-learning as a writer.
I'm the kind of person who gets so excited and enthusiastic that I create ridiculous writing goals. Of course, they don't feel ridiculous at the time, but after a few days of not reaching them, I start to get anxious or down. It's almost as if I feel like I failed instead of thinking at how much work I actually did. And sometimes, I become so overwhelmed that I end up not writing at all! The insanity of a writer!
So I decided to make goals that I KNOW I can attain. Quotas that I can reach even if I'm having a busy day, or I'm exhausted from work. Because the one thing I've learned is that even though I know what I'm capable of writing a day, it just isn't realistic for long term.
For example: on a good day I usually write about 2 -3 thousand words. This takes me anywhere between 3 to 4 hours, sometimes longer depending on whether or not I've worked out everything in my head. So in the past my goal would be that I would write 2,000 words a day. This seems fine, but it's just unrealistic for me. Sure, I can do it. Sure, I've done it, it's how I wrote Alexis Tappendorf in a month. But long term, it doesn't work for me.
1,000 words is doable. It's something I know I can do. And by reaching this goal every day, it makes me feel accomplished. It relieves my neurotic stress of feeling like I'm not doing enough. And the funny part is: I usually end up writing the 2,000 words a day anyway!
So, make goals you can meet. Even if it's 200 words a day! It may not seem like a lot, but if you do it every day, you'll have a book in a year. A year is a long time, but think of how many people work on their book for years and never finish. 200 words a day and you're guaranteed to have a rough draft in a year.
It seems simple, but it works!
I'm a writer of YA fiction, fiction, comics, television and movies. I try to make all my stories full of jumbly goodness :-)