Setting Realistic Writing Goals

Happy New Year 🥳💃🏾🥂

Wow, 2023—yo ass better know how to behave in post-pandemic company. Cause we are not going back to any kindda shenanigans. No Ma’m! We’re not getting our asses dragged back to big new year plans that end in break downs and lockdowns 👀🤦🏾‍♀️🤣🙈

But hear me well, writer. This is not your license to go buck wild.

Seriously. Just cause the coast looks clear and New Year 2023 looks sane, doesn’t mean it’s time to go ape shit creating unsubstantiated writing goals.

What’s an unsustainable writing goal?

Anything that smacks of your usual 9-5 project management style. Let me explain…

Years ago, I went to meet a friend of a friend at a fancy club in New York. This woman I was meeting was Mayyyd impressive. You know the ones. Elite education, global trotting life as a boss lady in charge making films and calling the shots. She wanted to connect cause she heard I’m a writer. And wanted pointers on how to get through the first draft of a rather ambitious novel.

So far, so good right?

You can picture us nibbling on fancy shmancy cocktails that cost more than housekeeping makes an hour and looking like a Sex & The City scene dripped in brown 🤪.

Anyways. I’m noshing along and listening and hearing all kinds of names dropped. And the whole time I’m pretty much thinking—this fancy ass lady with all these smarts ain’t got no chance of getting this book done.


Not one bit. And knowing me. I tried to let her in on this, and to make it land soft. Here’s the thing:

Writing is no widget.

If your writing goals lay things out as if you were building a film set by a specific date or writing a work report or any other project you’re used to managing in your 9-5—with all the usual expectations of deliverables and check-ins—you’re likely to Bomb.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Because unlike your other projects, writing needs creative space.

And project management style goals don’t understand creative space.

Writing kindda humbles your ass. Especially if you’re an overachiever, like that lady boss. Yes, you have to show up consistently. Overachievers usually have this part down pat.

You also have to surrender your lofty goals to the mysterious muse/god/spirit we call creativity.

And your god-muse-spirit does NOT speak in New Years Resolutions or spreadsheets you’ve made to track your novel progress.

I should know. I tried this once.

Years ago. When I first started out, I expected to bang out my first book draft within 6-9 months by going at it with the same dogged determination that helped me churn out my graduate degree masters thesis (on social entrepreneurship in Africa no less👀🤦🏾‍♀️🙈) in under a week!

Ten plus years later, I was still working on that book!

But I’d long given up unrealistic goals around writing and committed instead to showing up consistently and just following the thread.

“Showing up + Following the thread” sound like a loser goal?

Tell that to my sold writing book deal! 😜

Tell that to my gorgeous baby about to hit your bookshelves THIS May (pinch me pls—that’s 850 short days away)💃🏾💃🏾🥂

If you’re serious about finishing that book and selling it, Make a commitment right now to the process. Get real about showing up consistently. And doing everything you can to follow the thread instead of following a Project Management attachment to a finished widget.

Here’s to writing books that don’t smell like another widget this year!

And Also! Here’s to very big new life beginnings. 🐣🐥🐣

If you follow me on the gram you know I’m baking two babies at once. The book and a human. Which means, I’m on major maternity leave🤰🏾🤰🏾😝 Which means—Imma slide into your life on a different schedule for the next three months.

Big New You Hugs,