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Goals And The Freelance Writer

goal targetI’ve been thinking about goals again. Several years ago I wrote, on the old site, an article called Setting Goals for Your Writing Business with a subtitle of Plan To Prosper. There is statement that there are two kinds of writing goals – one for your writing business and one for your writing. Nothing wrong with that approach but it’s limited.

I’m not even sure the term goals is a good one; I’m still using it, but I’m really working to broaden my definitions. I’ve gone back to an underlying Vision that I work at using to inform all my decisions. In my case its: To Be Of Service And Have Fun.

It’s actually a statement that’s been in my life for years one way or another and my life works better when I sort of keep it in mind. My hunch is we all have a Vision or statement that’s short and easy to remember, and if you aren’t aware of yours I suggest you find it.

What’s working for me these days is to set goals in three categories. I call them:

  1. Income
  2. Living well
  3. Spirit

Income Goals

Income goals includes any source of income – I have a subsection for clients and another for my blogs. Every client has their own subsection so I can spell out what needs to be done step-by-step. The same thing is true for my blogs.
My writing goals show up when their tied to income. Which is why clients and blogging gets scheduled here. Other writing I mean to earn money also goes here. The truth is almost all my writing these days is generated to create income. I’ve also set an annual amount as a goal and divided that by 12 to give me my monthly income goal amounts.

Living Well

In my life living well includes everything from making sure I celebrate birthdays to exercise.  Some of the entries are stand-alones like exercise three times a week – they goal is to do it. Others, like weight loss, are measurable in a more concrete source. This is also where I set goals for vacations and other self-care items, including time not writing. My pottery goes here and will unless it becomes a money maker for me – it could, but that’s not why I do it.


Here is where I set up times to meditate and keep track of my income and expense. For me that’s become a spiritual practice.Certain kinds of community service go here, although other kinds show up under living well.

Spiritual stuff is important to me which is why it has its own category. If it’s not important to you, substitute something else of stick with two.

I’ve found that my goals make more sense when I include my whole life, not just the writing part of it. Three major categories is what works for me. More and I get confused; fewer and not everything gets covered.

I’m now noodling last year’s goals and thinking how I want to frame next year’s. Many will be the same, but there are going to be some changes – there always are.

How do you set goals for a new year?


Photo by Jamie Woods found at http://www.sxc.hu/profile/digitalemu

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Goals are absolutely vital for ANY business. While I’ve never made millions, my father has, and one thing he taught me early on was the importance of goals.

    When I was 16 years old I wanted a vehicle. He told me to get out there and earn it. We lived on a dairy farm. He had me draft out a business plan on paper, which I then took to his banker and sat down and had a 2 hour meeting with the president of the bank. They loaned me four thousand dollars, which I used to buy the equipment necessary to haul hay for the summer (a horrible job that I would not wish on anyone, but the moral of the story is coming!). At the end of the summer I not only paid the loan back but I also had an excess 6 thousand dollars which I used to buy my first vehicle…from my father.

    Business plans and goals are a great way to motivate. They teach you discipline. If you walk into something without a plan you are doomed to failure, because you have no guidance, no structure. I personally like to use 2 year plans, with milestones every 6 months.

    At the end of the day writing is still a business, just like any other. A proper business plan ensures that you will be successful, rather than writing “just to say you are a writer.” Do you think people like Sir Richard Branson became billionaires by simply getting lucky? Absolutely not! They achieve great success because they have keen minds for business, and they set goals to motivate themselves to continually achieve above and beyond.

    Personally, I love wine, food, and I love to travel to places around the world. I work hard so I can afford to take 5-6 trips a year with my wife to various places that most people only dream about seeing. That is my motivation. Sure, it’s nice to see my name in print, but the main reason I work is to ENJOY life to its fullest, and the only way to do that is by taking control of your life with a solid plan to keep you moving forward, rather than standing still or moving backwards.
    .-= T.W. Anderson´s last blog ..Driving a Porsche…from your eHow earnings. =-.

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