Every country has holidays, and most calendars have holidays printed on them. And whether you celebrate them or not, these set-in-stone dates can be a valuable tool to help you set milestones and deadlines for your writing goals.
While it’s easy to say, “I’ll finish my first draft in three months,” what if that date was tied to a holiday on the calendar? So, if you set this goal on January 1, maybe you will have the first draft done by St. Patrick’s Day. Now, you have a target date associated with a major holiday, and you have a built-in reason to celebrate your writing win!
If using holidays isn’t for you, maybe use birthdays or anniversaries of family and friends. Now, you know that you’ll have a draft done on Aunt Trudy’s birthday or when your cousin celebrates their fifth wedding anniversary.
If you want to get crazy, find a site that shows all the unofficial holidays and use one of those dates as a goal. Maybe you National Donut Day, which is Friday, June 2, and grab yourself a donut in celebration of your creative accomplishment.
Here’s a list of unofficial holidays (it’s pretty extensive):
I’m using official calendar holidays for writing milestones this year, and it’s allowed me to focus better since I know definitively when each writing project needs to be completed. This year’s schedule is set like this:
• April 7 (Good Friday) – Revised Draft of New Novel Completed
• May 29 (Memorial Day) – Polished Draft of Screenplay #1
• July 4 (Independence Day) – Revised Draft of Book #3 in YA Series
• September 4 (Labor Day) – Polished Draft of Screenplay #2
This doesn’t mean these are 100% completed and ready to go out; by those dates, I’ll have a finished draft of each project that can be edited and worked on further. It also means that, ideally, by Labor Day, four writing projects will be done, which is exciting!
Try it! Set a holiday-based deadline for one of your writing goals this year and see if you can complete it by that date. Make sure you give yourself time to work on it, so pick a holiday later in the year. If you finish before then, great! Keep writing and set a new goal.
Happy Goal Setting, and I’ll see you next time!