Targets are things you aim at. In shooting, you want to improve your accuracy. In writing, a target is a word count. You want x number of words by the end of your session. That said, there are two targets each writer keeps in mind when they sit down to write. One is the total word count for the piece. The second is the least number of words they want from the day. Some break it down to sessions, which serves as well.
I use Scrivener to write my novels, journal and blog. It has a too, that, when activated, pulls up a separate window which displays targets. These are word counts you set yourself. First is the project or manuscript target. For example, during NaNoWriMo, the project target would be set to fifty thousand. There’s a progress bar that shows where you are at a glance. It changes color as you progress, from red to orange to yellow to green. It also lists how many words are in the manuscript section of your project. It’s quite handy to know where you are.
The second part of the box is the session target. That’s where you set yourself a word count for the day or session, if you choose. For NaNoWriMo you would put the smallest amount of words that would give you the win in thirty days. That would be sixteen hundred sixty-seven words. It, too, has a progress bar that changes color the closer you come to your stated target.
Having these targets helps in two areas. One it’s good to know where you are in relation to your project. Which makes it easy for you to can watch your progress when you know what you are trying to achieve. The other is more subtle. The project target dictates the session target. During NaNoWriMo, no one expects to sit down and write fifty thousand words in a single day. Using fifty thousand as a target gives us something to aim at over time. You can break it down to the daily target of sixteen hundred sixty-seven words. You can reach that target in a single day. It makes the project target seem more attainable to break it into pieces.
Sixteen hundred word target often intimate some people. You can break that down as well, divide the target. Suppose you don’t think you can get sixteen hundred sixty-seven or eight words in one session. You should decide how many sessions you can do. Then divide the daily target to a session target. Say you have time to write before work and at lunch. That’s two sessions. Divide the daily goal by two. That gives you a session target of eight hundred thirty-eight words per session.
It doesn’t matter what targets you choose. They are only things to aim at after all. We can use them to measure our progress. Don’t use them to stress yourself out. That’s a possibility. Use them as something to aim at and you will be fine.
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