Monday, June 24, 2013

S.M.A.R.T. goals for Summer Writing

After a very busy last month of school, summer vacation has finally arrived, and my attention can refocus on writing (and my children, of course).

At the end of each school year, the teachers at TCA Middle School are asked to set S.M.A.R.T. goals for the next school year.  S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Bound.

They can be taxing to create, but do give teachers focused objectives and specific plans to follow, and to be honest, they are much more effective than the D.U.M.B. (Disorganized, Unfocused, Minimal Effort, Baseless) goals we used several years ago.

With summer vacation beginning today and my attention turning to writing, I decided to create some Writing S.M.A.R.T. goals for the summer. Below I have listed my first goal, which revolves around my manuscript FINDING OBENO.

Writing SMART Goals for Summer 2013

GOAL #1 – Complete revisions on FINDING OBENO manuscript

 Specific –

           a. Occupy children with the following activities: sleep (only works for nighttime writing sessions), camps, mandatory reading time, LEGOS or X-box to assure uninterrupted block of time.


           b. Pick 5 days a week to write/revise FINDING OBENO : Monday-Friday, using weekend days for make-ups

          c.  Write for minimum of 2 hours each day: Set timer to 2 hours or select repeat on Illuminations: Reflections of Earth track and listen to song 8 times



         d.      Complete a minimum of 10 pages a week: 2 pages a day

         e.      Read, Read, Read : every day


Measurable –

                a. Record word count at beginning and end of each session with a goal of a 500-word minimum increase each writing session


               b. Assess progress at end of two weeks and readjust targets to assure goal is being met

              c. Weekly Calendar to set writing schedule

              d. Track time spent writing - chart

              e. Sweet Rewards: CHOCOLATE: Buy 5 chocolate bars. Reward self with 1 each week if goal is met. If all 5 chocolate bars are gone by the end of week 5, I have succeeded. If they’re gone by end of week 1, insert gym time into schedule, pronto.

Attainable –

                         a.  At 10 pages a week, goal should be attained by week 5.

                        b.  Repeat cycle with SIGH manuscript after that date

Relevant –

                        a. Review revision notes and story outline prior to each writing session to maintain focus for that writing session

                       b. Begin each session by spending 15-30 minutes re-focusing by reading & revising prior session’s writing

                       c. Remainder of time is to be spent focusing on new writing and revisions and making a brief objective/plan for the next session’s goals.

                      d. While writing, jot down notes & questions to send Ricky for clarification

                      e. At end of 5 weeks, submit revised manuscript to Ricky. Repeat process while awaiting Ricky’s response

Time Bound –

                      a. June 24, 2013- July 29, 2013


Do you have a writing S.M.A.R.T. goal for summer? I would love to hear your ideas!

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