By Allison VanNest of Grammarly.com
The trick to having your best and biggest year ever as a freelance writer is to think small.
Yes! When you think small you actually increase your chances for freelance writing success.
A study by the University of Scranton found that only 8% of people will follow through on their New Year’s resolutions. That’s not an encouraging statistic, but there’s a reason so many resolutions fail in the first three months of the year. Most of them are vague-yet-sweeping, all-or-nothing changes: Lose weight! Save money! Write a book!
The problem with these resolutions is that they’re too big to tackle. Instead of making a big-picture resolution, try breaking it up into micro-resolutions: smaller, more manageable and measurable tasks. As Brian McDaniel of Freelance Folder points out, you should do something today and every day to move forward. He encourages each of us to ask ourselves, “How can you be more productive today? How can you expand awareness of your brand today? Who can you connect with today amongst your peers? What new skill can you learn or improve upon today? How will you better communicate with your clients today?”
Here are seven bite-sized resolutions to get you started:
- Eric Nelson of How to Think Like Your Agent wants you to give Twitter a chance: “Join Twitter and tweet at least three times a day. If this takes more than ten minutes, you’re doing it all wrong.”
- At Grammarly, we think it’d be a great resolution to proofread all of your copy twice. Mistakes sneak past even the most careful freelance writers, so try adding a second proofreading pass to your workflow. Reading out loud can help catch those pesky errors!
- Joseph D’Agnese and Denise Kiernan, writing for Entrepreneur, recommend making your taxes a little less painful by paying quarterly. “We encounter new, young freelancers who don’t pay their estimated taxes during the year. If you save a percentage of your earnings with every check, you’ll have no problem coughing up a portion of your stash four times a year.”
- Jessica Howington of FlexJobs thinks that the new year is the perfect time to take a look at your prices. “What may have been a good price at the beginning of last year may not still be applicable. Re-evaluate your freelance prices based on current market value, as well as your previous years’ experience.”
- Writer and editor Meaghan O’Connell dreams of setting aside an hour each morning to write before she checks her email: “Nothing in my life is so pressing that it can’t wait an hour, and I know I’d do better work without thinking about all of the little admin tasks I need to get to.”
- Full-time freelancer Perry P. Perkins wants you to get serious about submissions and queries. Check out his article in Writer’s Digest on how to crunch your numbers so that you don’t continually find yourself with “more month than money.”
- Self-publishing powerhouse Joe Konrath thinks it’s time to set attainable goals: “Saying you’ll find an agent, or sell 30,000 books, isn’t attainable, because it involves things out of your control. Saying you’ll query 50 agents next month, or do signings at 20 bookstores, is within your power and fully attainable.”
What small thing will you do today to move your career forward? Share your micro-resolution in the comments!
About the Author: A self-proclaimed word nerd, Allison VanNest works with Grammarly to help perfect written English. Connect with Allie, the Grammarly team, and more than ONE MILLION Grammarly Facebook fans at www.facebook.com/grammarly.