Good goals help you gain good results
You need to have realistic and motivating goals for all areas of your life, from income generation to health to relationships.
That’s why I’ve asked 19 of my favorite successful freelance writers to share top freelance writing goal and top personal goal for 2014.
My top freelance writing goal is to pull back from online engagement so I have more time to CREATE — e-books, courses, and more.
My personal goal is to be as mindful as I can, every day.
Linda Formichelli runs the Renegade Writer blog, offers mentoring and e-courses for writers, and is the author of Write Your Way Out of the Rat Race…And Step Into a Career You Love.
In addition to writing copy, I’m going to write more quality editorial work — articles and op-eds — for myself and a handful of clients. (I’ll develop those clients if necessary.)
I’m going to spend less time at my desk and more time outdoors — and make sure my kids come with me.
A copywriter and consultant for more than 27 years, Tom lives on the flank of a stratovolcano with his wife and two daughters (5 and 3). Despite approaching “You kids get off my lawn” age, he still believes in happy endings.
My top 2 goals for 2014 are:
To dive headfirst into self-publishing. I actually have a slate of 9 books planned already, and ideas for many more. I’ve been very slow to turn my trainings, old blog posts, and my knowledge into ebook products and plan to rectify that big time next year! I keep telling writers that if they’re not taking advantage of the self-publishing options available today, they’re nuts, and in 2014 I plan to take my own advice.
To cut the timewasting in order to create more and take more time off. I’m guilty of checking email, blog comments, blog traffic stats, or Facebook more than necessary. Instead, in 2014 I want to leave the office and spend more time exercising and with family, and devote more blocks of my work time to creating — those ebooks I just mentioned, new courses, blog posts, and more. I need to remember that I better fulfill my mission of helping the most writers earn more by creating products that many people can access — such as my recent free Freelancer’s Fear-Buster podcast — rather than answering individual emails or comments.
Top freelance writing goal for 2014: I’m focusing a portion of my efforts toward establishing my poetry business and growing those blog numbers.
Top personal goal for 2014: Personally, I’m already training to take part in the local Tough Mudder competition.
Lori has over 15 years of writing/editing experience, and has built a solid trade/business career. Her focus areas include risk management and insurance topics and companies. She writes the Words on the Page blog.
Top freelance writing goal: I want to build stronger self-discipline to glue my fanny to my desk, tune out all my social media distractions and just buckle down and get as much work done as I can within a 40-hour week. If I can pull that off, having an even better year than 2013 will happen almost by default.
Top personal goal: develop interests unrelated to work. Since my freelancing business really took off in 2011, I haven’t really been interested in anything besides work, and I’d like to change that up a bit.
Tom left the copy desk of the San Jose Mercury News, and 20 years in newspapering, four years ago and never looked back. He’s now based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where the housing is cheap, the winters are pleasant and the scenery suits him fine. He writes and edits for clients in finance, education, fitness and B2B content marketing.
My primary goal for 2014 is to work on longer-form blog posts and non-fiction books. Short articles are fine, but my unbillable hours are roughly the same whether I’m writing a 500-word or a 2500-word piece, so it makes sense to aim for longer projects.
I aim to spend even more time with my family this year, and take a couple of fantastic vacations before my daughter starts her first year of school.
Sophie Lizard is the founder and editor of Be a Freelance Blogger, where she shows writers how to make real money blogging for hire. Start by taking advantage of her free Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs.
My biggest area of improvement for 2014 is time management. I’m approaching this by using browser apps to keep focused (StayFocusd for Chrome, LeechBlock for Firefox, and WasteNoTime for Safari) and the time tracking tool in Freshbooks to determine how much time I really spend writing.
As far as personal goals, I’m looking to get more physically active. I’m already going to the gym, so for 2014 I just need to keep that up!
Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and social media enthusiast.
My top freelance writing goal is to double my online portfolio by finally getting around to adding additional writing samples.
My top personal goal is to complete volunteer or foster training with our local humane society.
By day, Emily Suess writes for an in-house technical communications team in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. She works with a select number of freelance clients as time permits and is a featured contributor at Small Business Bonfire.
My top freelance writing goal of 2014 is to teach my Writing for Social Justice class through Women on Writing, and to develop other outlets for a similar seminar/talk/workshop.
My top personal goal for 2014 is to continue to develop my ability to balance work and my personal life.
Allena Tapia started GardenWall Publications LLC in 2006 because her best writing and editing is done after 9 pm. The agency focuses on social justice communications, but also offers translation, editorial work and author support.
Top freelance goal: Eliminate lower-paying projects and try to deliver the highest quality work to clients I enjoy, and am proud to work for.
Top personal goal: Find a traditional publisher for my new novel, or self-publish using best self-publishing practices for launch and marketing follow-up.
Tom Bentley is a business copywriter working with mostly tech clients, as well as an editor for fiction and nonfiction. He is also an essayist and journalist, writing for newspapers, magazines and online. And he writes fiction too.
Writing goal – 30 min a week on the family story.
Personal goal – Exercise 4x a week.
Meryl K. Evans
By the end of the first quarter, find two new long-term clients to support their content needs.
By the end of the first quarter, resume my workout regimen to where it was prior to surgery.
Meryl K. Evans is a content maven aka writer and content marketer with mad tech skills. The native Texan writes and manages content for B2B and B2C clients across various industries.
Top professional goal: to get published in a national paper/magazine. It’s something I’ve not tried before so thought I’d give it a go.
Top personal goal: to sing in a country/bluegrass band again (my last one disbanded last year and I miss playing!)
In addition to writing, Amy Harrison likes to rip copywriting techniques apart to see how they work. She then shares her findings through tips, templates, and free resources on her site Harrisonamy Copywriting.
My top freelance writing goal for 2014 is to query a couple of magazines that I’ve been dithering about for a while–nothing to lose!
My top personal goal for 2014 is to achieve US Sailing Certification for Celestial Navigation and Offshore Passage Making.
Jake Poinier (aka “Dr. Freelance“) has been freelancing since ’99 as the owner of Boomvang Creative Group. In 2013, he published The Science, Art and Voodoo of Freelance Pricing and Getting Paid and Help! My Freelancers Are Driving Me Crazy.
Top freelance writing goal for 2014 — launching a residual income site with products/ebooks focused on a personal passion.
Top personal goal for 2014 – increasing the number of short trips to places of interest.
Cathy Miller is a freelance business writer with over 30 years of professional writing experience from small businesses to Fortune 500 customers. Cathy started her own business in 2008, providing online and print business writing and has a specialty in the healthcare and insurance industry. Cathy shares top-notch advice for business writers at Simply Stated Business.
It’s hard to pick a top professional goal, but I think adding one more long-term paid blogging client in 2014 would be at the top of my list.
My top personal goal is a tie between finally launching a blog I’ve been working on about gluten-free living and mastering the Spanish language course that I’m currently taking.
Laura has managed her own writing business since 2002. Laura’s current writing specialties include: blogging, content creation, copywriting, editing, and web content. Laura runs the Writing Thoughts blog.
Sharon Hurley Hall
My top writing goal for 2014 is to write 10 short ebooks. I’ve had the titles on the back burner for a year; now I’d like to deliver.
My top personal goal for 2014 is to achieve the right balance between writing for others and writing for myself, which will feed into better balance in my life as a whole.
Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional writer and blogger. Her career has spanned more than 20 years, including stints as a journalist, academic writer and ghost writer.
My biggest freelance writing goal for 2014 is, strangely enough, to scale back my freelance writing work to around half of its current volume. I’m doing this as I diversify my writing business, further emphasizing Web development and indie publishing — a three-prong business model I’ve pursued for years.
My husband and I have decided to start building our family, so my biggest personal goal for 2014 is to achieve and maintain a healthy pregnancy — a bit different than a traditional goal with predictable steps to work on, but it’s personal priority number one for me.
Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and e-book author. She owns 3 Beat Media which, in addition to providing writing services, publishes numerous websites and blogs on topics including writing, publishing, small business, and social media.
My top writing goal is to become more efficient in my work so I increase my hourly rate. This will allow me to work even less and still meet my target income goals.
My top personal goal is to spend more time outside in nature. I especially love to hike, and I will make much more time for that in 2014.
John Soares has been freelance writing since 1990, primarily for higher education publishers. He is the author of Find Your Freelance Writing Niches: Make More Money for Less Work, Writing College Textbook Supplements, two outdoors guidebooks, and over 100 magazine and newspaper articles. The creator of the Productive Writers blog, he is especially interested in efficiency, time management, and getting the most from life.
What is your top freelance writing goal for 2014? Your top personal goal? Share them with us!