In my ideal writing world, I'd be one of those people who writes a couple thousand words a day on a neat little schedule, with breaks during sacred untouchable writing time for refilling my coffee mug only. In this picture there are also cats and a large picture window in the room, if that helps at all. Unfortunately, I'm not yet one of those people. I don't have a set time to write, and I don't see that changing anytime soon between work, volunteer, and family responsibilities. Besides, I thrive on a little variety.
So instead of scheduling time to write and setting short-term goals (I tried that last year, and it lasted about a fortnight before divebombing into failure), I'm trying something different. I'm recording what I accomplish every day in an otherwise unused day planner, reserving goals for the long-term (one benchmark to work towards noted every couple months) My mother gives me day planners every year for Christmas, and while I found these helpful in college, my life doesn't revolve around those kinds of deadlines and timetables anymore. The little lines will now be filled (hopefully) with notations like "1000 words this afternoon" and "edited 20 pages" and "posted blog entry." My hope is that looking back at those small steps while looking ahead to bigger goals will keep me motivated and moving forward.
And at least I'll have a use for that silly day planner!
I wonder what other sorts of systems folks employ to organize their goals and time pursuing those goals. Sharing welcome :)