Writing Goal Tracking

A hand reaching towards the light shining through the trees

Writing is a long journey. We love it, that’s why we’re here, and the WordFam is dedicated in helping you make your story happen.

There are lots of tools to help us write. One of those is to set writing goals and track our progress against them.

So we’ve built a writing goal tracker to help you do that!

The WordFam Tracker

A bar graph tracking daily writing amount, with trend lines for the average words per day

The WordFam writing goal tracker is a toolset aimed to help you set monthly goals, track them, and get feedback on how you’re doing. It’s open to anyone in the WordFam, just create your goal and get started! You can log and track your progress easily and quickly.

For support and daily reminders to log your progress, pick up the Write On Squad role on our Discord server.

A donut graph showing that today's goal is about 75% complete

Our goal tracker supports:

  • Set any goal you want, from 50,000 words to 17 chapters to 30 hours’ effort. Whatever you want to achieve in a month, whether you’re planning, writing, editing, or anything else.
  • Log progress for any day. Don’t worry if you forget to log on the day, you can catch up if you need to.
  • Daily progress feedback. We have graphs and statistical feedback so you can track trends, see if you’re on track to achieve your goal, and when you might get there.
  • You can set separate goals for each project you’re working on, or a general goal across all your projects.
  • You can also change your goal at any point in the month. If life gets in the way, or if you’re overachieving and want to push for more, that’s fine! Update what you’re aiming for and keep going!

Here’s how the WordFam as a whole is going this month:

Why Do We Like Goals?

There are many reasons why writers find this helpful. They are all valid, and they vary from person to person. Do any of these apply to you?

Writing a long story, whether it’s a novella, a novel, a series, or an endless rolling epic you just can’t get enough of, can be daunting and monotonous at times. Breaking the process of writing even a single draft down into stages and digestible chunks helps to keep the journey feeling achievable and engaging. It helps you track progress when it can be otherwise impossible to see or feel whether you’re making any progress at all.

For those who experience difficulty starting big projects, such as executive dysfunction, breaking it down into smaller, more manageable goals can be a handy tactic to break the seal on the story and get going.

For those who like those little rewarding boosts of feedback, like those with ADHD, goal setting and tracking can give you that!

For those who are working on their writing habits, using goals and statistical feedback can help you to spot your personal trends, recognise when and how you tend to be most productive, and build tactics and tools to help you maintain a healthy, sustainable writing life.

When a whole group is tracking their goals together, it can help you feel like you have company on your writing journey, too. Body doubling is a great way to help you stay engaged and motivated.

Those are just a few reasons. I’m sure you have some other ones, too!

Tips for Goals

Different people react to goals in different ways, so here are some tips to help you make them work for you:

  • Figure out what motivates you! This can take some experimenting, but remember that this is not one size fits all.
  • Start with small goals. Some people work best with small goals they can achieve, to avoid the stress of feeling like they have to stretch all the time. You can always increase (or decrease) them as you wish to find that sweet spot that motivates you without becoming counter-productive.
  • It doesn’t have to be a competition. Not everyone enjoys feeling like they’re competing. The goal is a tool to help you, so focus on you! If competing works for you, that’s great too! Find likeminded peeps and roll with what you like.
  • Be realistic. Aiming high is fantastic, but recognise that every writer is different. For the same writer, every project can be wildly different. Some flow quickly, some do not. And that’s all fine! Don’t be afraid to stretch and push yourself, but make sure you’re being realistic too.
  • Resetting your goal is fine. Sometimes life gets in the way. Things happen at work or home. We get sick. We need to look after ourselves or someone else. Unexpected stress or events drain our creative batteries. Sometimes we’re just too busy! It’s all fine. Adjust your expectations (and your goals) and move forward. Remember: doing something is always better than nothing, and resetting your expectations doesn’t mean you’ve failed at anything. You’re just a human with a life in progress.

Got other tips for making the goals work for you? Let us know!

This tracker is constantly being refined and expanded to support more types of writers and their needs. If you have any requests for things you’d like our goal tracker to support, contact a WordFam Leader. We’d love to hear from you!