I structure most of my longform pieces around the idea that they will take me 52 weeks to complete them. The novels – which are short novels – with a 1000 words to each week would be a good length, and the novellas, at about 500 a week, would obviously also be a pretty good length.
Poetry books I write in 30, 45, and 50 poem bursts at the moment – though I am stretching and playing with those numbers all the time.
I like structure because the constraints push back against the freedom I have given myself to write anything. If I don’t set myself steep targets I wouldn’t get anything done. So,I say – I am going to read 350 books this year, and if I only read 170 I do not consider myself to have failed.
No targets,and nothing will get done. I am always aiming for something.