Tis the season. If you’ve noticed the creatives around you making plans for the year ahead, you’re not alone. It’s goal-setting season.
But, what goals should a writer have? Write more? Earn more?
Sure, those are solid desires, but today let’s dig a little deeper. Whether you write full-time, or you’re a weekend warrior writing in addition to a full-time day job, you can nurture your business by setting intentions to guide your progress and meet business goals.
19 Goals for Freelance Writers
Let’s get specific. Most of us want to see growth and expansion in our writing work, but what exactly does that look like? What steps can we take to get there? I hope these goals help you think deeper about what you want to get out of your time at the keyboard.
- Pitch a specific publication that you’ve admired for years. What’s holding you back? Someone has to write those articles!
- Reach out to a writer you respect and start a conversation. Why did you like their current piece? What can you learn from them? We all have room to improve.
- Try a new style of writing to cross-train your brain. Are you a blogger who dabbles in poetry? Are you a paperback novelist who thinks e-books are intriguing?
- Buy something to nurture your writing. This might be a grammar app, new laptop, desk lamp or book about small business. Invest in your craft.
- Go to a conference. Find an event that aligns with your writing niche and start planning for it now. The inspiration and connections will be worth it.
- Write in a journal. If you don’t already, this can be a great way to harness fleeting ideas and store them all in one place.
- Create a series. This might be for a blog, your social media readers or your website. This highlights intention, planning and execution to potential clients.
- Spring clean your online portfolios and profiles. It’s easy to let them sit and become outdated. Vow to polish them regularly from here on out.
- Try a new writing location. You might realize words flow more freely when sitting outside, at a new coffee shop, in a co-working space or the dark corner of your library.
- Get serious about self-editing. Explore online grammar and spell checkers, consider hiring a copyeditor or invest in a new AP Style Book for yourself.
- Talk with your social media audience more. Really, talk. Start discussions and learn more about what they hope to read from you.
- Write something just for yourself, that will never be published. Tuck it away and work on it on a sleepless night or snow day.
- Create art. Fuel your creative brain by making things beyond sentences. Try rock painting, playing music, pencil sketching, wood carving, flower arranging, pie baking or jewelry making.
- Vow to take a break. Yes, schedule time away from your writing to rest and rejuvenate your mind and body. Maybe a weekend in nature or a shopping trip to the big city is what you need.
- Leave a thoughtful comment. You know that writer/publication/editor/blog/website/business you admire? Tell them why you like their style on a LinkedIn testimonial or Facebook business page review.
- Crunch your numbers. Take a deep dive into your writing income stats and set a financial goal for the year ahead. Then, outline how you will reach that goal.
- Follow a new publication. Look them up on social media, see if they have an app and scope them out weekly. Learn what you can, then pitch when you feel comfortable with their brand and tone.
- Fix what needs fixing. Are you always rushing to meet deadlines? Is your calendar too full? Too empty? Figure out what can be improved and work on it with focus and intention.
- Support other writers. Retweet them. Read them. Comment on their posts. Be a community player and watch how the kindness and support comes full circle. What you give, you also receive.
Happy goal setting to you! If you’d like to share your intentions and goals for 2019, I’d love to hear what you have planned. Comment below or send me a message on social media. Me? I’m on a focused self-care streak to improve my health, which in turns makes me a better writer, wife, friend, family member and businesswoman. Have a lovely holiday season, friend!
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