13 SMART Goals Examples to Develop Your Writing Skills

Do you need help in your writing career? Have you hit a wall with your creative ideas and want to develop your writing skills?

Crafting SMART goals is a fantastic way to set a solid foundation to build your success. By pursuing these goals, you can measure progress and stay motivated while growing your writing skills.

From setting a word count goal to exploring new genres, this post will discuss examples of SMART goals to push yourself as a writer.

What is a SMART Goal?

The SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based) framework will enable you to establish practical goals for developing your writing skills.

Still trying to understand? Let’s dive deeper into each SMART element:

Specific

The more specific you can be about your goals, the better your likelihood of reaching them.

For example, instead of “I hope to become a better writer,” try setting precise goals such as “I will improve my grammar skills by taking an online course.” By establishing specific targets, you’ll have something concrete to work towards.

Measurable

Writers need more than hard work; they must also ensure their goals are measurable. This criterion may seem insignificant initially, but it will help you succeed in your writing journey.

Measurable goals are those that can be quantified or evaluated objectively. Instead of “writing more,” set the goal of “writing 500 words daily.” This way, you’ll know exactly how much progress you make towards achieving them.

Attainable

Many people tend to set their sights unrealistically high. They think they can become the world’s next great poet by year’s end. While aiming high is admirable, setting these goals can be counterproductive.

Not only do unrealistic expectations lead to disappointment and burnout, but they also make staying motivated more challenging.

Relevant

Creating relevant goals aligning with your values is key to unlocking a fulfilling life. When you’re clear about your core beliefs, it becomes easier to identify what matters most to you and prioritize accordingly. Knowing you’re working towards something meaningful inspires you to push forward.

Time-Based

Embarking on a journey to success can be daunting if you don’t have a specific timeline to keep you accountable. Without well-defined deadlines, getting sidetracked or losing motivation along the way would be too easy.

13 SMART Goals Examples to Develop Your Writing Skills

Here are 13 examples of SMART goals to improve your writing:

1. Read More Books

SMART Goal: To expand my writing knowledge, I’ll read one book a month on writing by the end of four months. This activity will help me gain a better understanding of writing fundamentals, as well as give me ideas on different ways to improve my skills.

  • Specific: This SMART goal is explicit because it outlines the number of books and the duration they are to be read.
  • Measurable: Make sure you select books that are relevant to writing fundamentals and have activities or other elements that allow for tracking progress.
  • Attainable: This statement is definitely achievable with careful scheduling and prioritization.
  • Relevant: Reading books on writing will help the individual to learn and understand more about the subject.
  • Time-based: The goal should be achieved by the end of four months.

2. Take a Writing Course

SMART Goal: I’ll sign up for a writing course and complete it within 5 months to learn more about the craft. The class should help me hone my writing skills and introduce me to other techniques and structures I might not be familiar with.

  • Specific: The goal is well-defined, detailing precisely what will be done.
  • Measurable: Progress can be tracked by completion of the course and any assignments associated with it.
  • Attainable: A writing class is within reach, depending on the availability and cost of courses in one’s area.
  • Relevant: The course furthers the goal of developing writing skills.
  • Time-based: Success will be accomplished in 5 months.

3. Practice Daily Writing

SMART Goal: I will set aside 15 minutes daily to practice my writing skills. By the end of 6 months, I want to be able to write cohesive and compelling pieces with accuracy and clarity.

  • Specific: This goal outlines the activity (writing) and the duration of practice (15 minutes daily).
  • Measurable: You can measure the amount and quality of your writing.
  • Attainable: Setting aside and dedicating 15 minutes daily to practice is feasible.
  • Relevant: Practicing your writing every day can help you hone your skills and increase proficiency.
  • Time-based: Goal completion is anticipated for 6 months.

4. Research Writing Techniques

SMART Goal: Within 6 months, I will dedicate time to read industry-relevant books and articles on writing techniques. To apply my knowledge to produce more impactful content, I’ll also attend a webinar on the latest writing trends and take notes.

  • Specific: This goal is learning writing techniques, not just consuming information.
  • Measurable: This project can be evaluated by reading books, attending a webinar, and taking notes.
  • Attainable: Dedicating time to reading and learning can reasonably be accomplished within 6 months.
  • Relevant: This is appropriate to the task because you can apply the newly acquired knowledge to create better content.
  • Time-based: There is a deadline of 6 months for this particular goal.

5. Join a Writing Group

SMART Goal: I’ll aim to join a writing group or online forum dedicated to improving my writing skills this month. I will participate actively in the group, take on an assignment each month, and offer support to other group members.

  • Specific: You know how to accomplish your goal—join a writing group or online forum.
  • Measurable: You can quantify the number of assignments you complete each month.
  • Attainable: This is relatively easy if you can find a suitable group or forum.
  • Relevant: The purpose of joining the group is to improve your writing skills.
  • Time-based: You have until this month to achieve the SMART goal.

6. Analyze Your Work Critically

SMART Goal: I will objectively analyze my written work every week and identify areas of improvement within two months. I hope to become more aware of my mistakes and areas where I can improve while writing.

  • Specific: The statement is to analyze written work and identify mistakes.
  • Measurable: Ensure that the person objectively analyzes and identifies areas for improvement weekly.
  • Attainable: This goal is feasible as it allows two months to review and make changes.
  • Relevant: It’s crucial to understand and identify the areas for improvement in one’s writing.
  • Time-based: The goal has a two-month end date for completion.
effective writing

7. Network With Other Writers

SMART Goal: To learn from and stay current on the latest writing trends, I’ll expand my network by attending two writing events each month. I’ll also take active steps to engage with writers and other industry professionals on social media, such as liking, commenting, and retweeting their posts.

  • Specific: The statement is easy to understand: network with other writers.
  • Measurable: Measure your networking success by the number of events you attend and your engagement with other writers on social media.
  • Attainable: It’s realistic to believe that attending two events every month is absolutely possible.
  • Relevant: Networking with other writers and industry professionals can help you stay informed about the latest trends in writing.
  • Time-based: This goal has a time frame of two months.

8. Participate in Contests

SMART Goal: I want to enter and submit entries for at least 5 writing contests within the next year. I’ll keep track of my entries and carefully review every submission to ensure it meets all requirements for each contest.

  • Specific: The goal is clear. You will enter at least 5 writing contests this year.
  • Measurable: The writer will keep track of entries and review each submission to ensure it meets all requirements.
  • Attainable: This is possible if you have the commitment and dedication to complete the necessary steps.
  • Relevant: The goal is appropriate for the individual’s desire to develop writing skills.
  • Time-based: Goal attainment will be met within a year.

9. Improve Grammar and Punctuation

SMART Goal: I will enhance my grammar and punctuation by taking a grammar course or using an online program like Grammarly. I’ll aim to correctly use grammar and punctuation in my writing over the three months ahead.

  • Specific: The goal states the objective, what will be done to achieve it, and the deadline.
  • Measurable: You could assess your writing for correct grammar and punctuation.
  • Attainable: This is realistic because there are online tools to improve your grammar and punctuation.
  • Relevant: Grammar and punctuation are essential for effective communication.
  • Time-based: There is a three-month timeline for completing this goal.

10. Learn Different Genres of Writing

SMART Goal: I want to learn the types of writing genres for 6 months. I’ll spend time researching the different genres, such as creative writing, journalistic writing, and technical writing. That will give me an idea of the varying writing styles and guide me when tackling a new project.

  • Specific: This is specific as it has a timeline, aims to explore different writing genres, and provides guidance on tackling a project.
  • Measurable: Check your progress by using a checklist or calendar to see what genres you have explored.
  • Attainable: This goal is possible due to its specific timeline and required research activity.
  • Relevant: Genre-based writing can be useful for various projects, making this an applicable goal.
  • Time-based: Six whole months are needed to achieve success.

11. Ask for Feedback From Others

SMART Goal: I’ll contact three or more peers for feedback on my writing within 6 months. I want to use this feedback to improve my writing, so I’ll take constructive criticism and apply it to my writing process.

  • Specific: The specific action is to reach out to three or more peers for feedback.
  • Measurable: The number of peers a person should reach out to is stated.
  • Attainable: Asking for feedback from peers is an achievable goal.
  • Relevant: The SMART statement applies to enhancing one’s writing.
  • Time-based: The goal should be completed within 6 months.

12. Create Your Style of Writing

SMART Goal: I will strive to develop a style of writing that reflects my voice within four weeks. I aim to bring out my unique personality in my writing and create a clear, cohesive style that I can be proud of.

  • Specific: The individual aims to develop a writing style that reflects their voice.
  • Measurable: You will strive to create a clear, cohesive writing style in four weeks.
  • Attainable: This is achievable by taking time to practice and refine their writing abilities.
  • Relevant: The goal is appropriate because it allows the person to create a voice in their writing.
  • Time-based: There is a four-week window for achieving this certain goal.

13. Follow Style Guides

SMART Goal: I’ll use a specific style guide to help ensure consistency in my writing. I’ll read the guide before using it and reference it when writing for projects. By the end of two months, I plan to have a foundational understanding of the style guide and its key features.

  • Specific: The goal is to use a style guide and become familiar with its key features.
  • Measurable: Make sure you read the guide before using it and reference it when writing.
  • Attainable: This is attainable because the individual has two months to become familiar with the style guide.
  • Relevant: Following style guides will help ensure consistency in writing.
  • Time-based: The goal is time-bound since it has a specific end date of two months.

Final Thoughts

Developing SMART goals allows you to improve your overall writing skills. It promotes focus and discipline, encouraging you to break down each step of the process into smaller tasks.

It’s also a great way to track progress and celebrate victories. Put this practice into action today by reflecting on what you want to accomplish with your writing and creating achievable goals.

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Rei Shen

Rei is the founder of Success in Depth. Based in Washington, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. He brings years of experience in goal setting to empower readers to reach their aspirations.