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Setting Goals & Staying Motivated 

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This vidcast talks about how to set goals and how to maintain motivation for long writing tasks. When setting goals for a writing project, it is important to think about goals for the entire project and also goals for specific writing times. These latter goals should be specific, measurable, and manageable within the time allotted for writing. The section on motivation shares ideas for boosting motivation over the course of a long writing project. The handouts on goal-setting and staying productive, as well as the scholarly writing inventory, complement the material in this vidcast and should be used in conjunction with it. 

Note: Closed-captioning and a full transcript are available for this vidcast. 


Goal-Setting for your Personal Intensive Writing Experience (IWE) | [PDF]

This handout guides writers through the important process of goal-setting for the personal Intensive Writing Experience. Specifically, it talks about how to (1) formulate specific, measurable, and reasonable writing goals, (2) set an overall IWE goal, (3) break up the overall goal into smaller, daily goals, and (4) break up daily goals into smaller goals for individual writing sessions. Writers are prompted to clear their head of distracting thoughts before each writing session and, after each session, to debrief on their progress and recalibrate goals as needed. 

Scholarly Writing Inventory (PDF) 

This questionnaire helps writers identify and inventory their personal strengths and weaknesses as scholarly writers. Specifically, writers are prompted to answer questions pertaining to (1) the emotional/psychological aspects of writing, (2) writing routines, (3) research, (4) organization, (5) citation, (6) mechanics, (7) social support, and (8) access to help. By completing this questionnaire, scholarly writers will find themselves in a better position to build upon their strengths and address their weaknesses. 

Staying Productive for Long Writing Tasks (PDF)

This resource offers some practical tips and tools to assist writers in staying productive for extended periods of time in the face of common challenges like procrastination. It discusses how the process of writing is more than putting words on a page and offers suggestions for addressing negative emotions towards writing, such as anxiety. The handout also lays out helpful methods for staying productive for long writing tasks: (1) time-based methods, (2) social-based methods, (3) output-based methods, (4) reward-based methods, and (5) mixed methods.