Writing goals to set yourself (for the new year... or any other time)
Coming into the new year always means goals and plans. It’s an exciting time! A whole new year is about to roll in, fresh and full of opportunity. For most of us running our own businesses or writing for audiences, writing is a big part of our year.
@@Thinking of setting some writing goals for the new year? Here are some ideas!@@
So, what better time than now to set some new writing goals for yourself? In the new year (or any time of year, really), you could…
Write a book
I wrote a book this year, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I showed myself (and other people, too) that I could accomplish a huge, scary goal if I set my mind to it. My book is 111 pages, about 25 000 words, 100% created by me, and it took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. But I did it, and now I’ve written a book. It’s a source of passive income, it’s a demonstration of my expertise (both in the subject matter and in creating books), and it’s also just damn cool to hold it in my hands and know I’ve created it from nothing.
Most people have writing a book on their bucket list. Why not make this year the year you finally tick it off yours? (PS: If you want to read about exactly how I wrote and published my book, I wrote a whole blog post about it.)
Write another big thing
Books are great, but there are loads of other projects you could take on that might suit you better than writing a book.
If you want to write something big that’s not a book, here are some ideas:
- email course (I wrote one this year, and it’s worked wonders for my biz [edit: it's now a mini-course, although I definitely still recommend the email course option])
- another type of course
What’s that big thing you’ve been wanting to write for ages? Set a goal to do it this year.
Start a blog
If you haven’t already started your own blog, maybe you could start this year. What could you write about on a consistent basis that other people would find useful, interesting, or entertaining? (PS: If you're setting this goal but you've never written a blog post before, or need some help feeling more confident about writing blog posts, here's my step-by-step guide to writing a blog post.)
Publish blog posts consistently
If you’ve already started a blog or if you’re planning to start one, this is a worthy goal—it’s one I’ve already set for the upcoming year.
Writing consistently is hard, especially when life keeps getting in the way. This year, set a goal to write and publish blog posts consistently. You can decide what consistent means to you—it could be every month, or every week, or every day.
Improve your writing skills
In the various Facebook groups I'm a member of, I see a lot of people posting about how their low confidence in their own writing skills is holding them back from writing, or from publishing their writing. Is that you? Are you so worried about your writing that you just don’t do it, or you don’t show it to the world?
If so, set a goal to do something about that. First, figure out what you’re anxious about. Does your grammar need work? Does your style need help? Does your voice need developing? Then go out and find the resources that can help you (they will most certainly be out there somewhere on the internet).
Find your writing tribe
Feeling a bit isolated as a writer? Find your tribe. A few places on social media you could look:
- Twitter in general, but especially chats like #createlounge, #creativecoffeehour, #storysocial, and #storycrafter (and those are just the tip of the iceberg!)
- Facebook groups like Blogging Boost, Freelance to Freedom Project Community, Blog & Biz BFFs, Your Content Creation Mastermind, and Gena + Jordana & Your Magical Business
- Instagram (or, more appropriately, #bookstagram).
Write [insert number] words
Set a goal for the number of words you want to write in the whole year, or just in one project. For example, do you want to participate in NaNoWriMo, and write 50 000 words? Or do you want to write a total of 10 000 words this year, made up of shorter projects, like blog posts? (Hint: If your goal is to write x words, break that goal up into little bits so it’s easier to achieve. For example, if your goal is 25 000 words, you have to write just over 2000 words each month. You could break that down even further, into weeks and days.)
Collaborate with another writer
Collaborating has been one of the best things I’ve done so far in my business—it’s a great way to grow as a business owner and/or writer, and also to form friendships with people who have similar interests to you. Know someone you’d love to work with? Have a project you know you can’t achieve by yourself? Or just want to collaborate on something? Set a goal to collaborate with someone this year.
Write for clients
Writing for clients is part of what I do at Hedera House, and I love it. If you love writing, know a bit about how to do it, and want to give it a go, then give it a shot this year. My main advice would be to make sure you can actually do it before you take any paying clients on. If you’ve never written for clients before, maybe test your services out on friends and family first.
Write as a contributor
If you’re trying to get your name out into the world and grow your audience, contributing pieces to magazines or other people’s blogs is a great way to do that. Find a publication or blog you like, that fits your content and ideal reader, and get in touch with them! (Obviously you’ll want to check first for any submission guidelines.)
@@17 exciting writing goals you could set yourself (for the new year... or any time).@@
Get your writing process in order
Getting to know yourself as a writer is one of the best things you can do—and nailing down your writing process is a huge part of that. This might include:
- figuring out your document flow (e.g., for my blog posts, I save them in an ‘In progress’ folder while they’re in progress, then move them to ‘Needs editing’, and then ‘Done’)
- finding the best way for you to track your writing ideas (I use Trello! Check out my blog post about using it for writing stuff)
- figuring out what you have to look for when you’re proofreading (check out my blog posts on proofreading).
Invest in writing tools
One of the best ways to take your writing more seriously is to invest in some tools to help you write. It could be something little, like a brainstorming app for your iPad, or it could be something bigger, like a paid subscription to Grammarly, or a Scrivener licence. This year, I found that setting smaller financial goals like this was helpful in making me feel like I was succeeding—for example, one of my goals this year was to invest in Dropbox Pro. Achieving that goal was not only useful (so much space!) but also made me feel like I was moving forward.
Invest in an editor's help
Similarly, investing in help to make your writing shine as brightly as it can is a fantastic goal if you’re trying to take your writing more seriously this year. Find an editor you love and build a relationship. (And, just sayin’, if you’re looking for an editor, get in touch with me! I’d love to help you.)
Invest in writing resources
Another way you can invest in your writing is to spend money on resources—and there are so many out there that can help you to make your writing stronger. For example, you might want to check out Blog in Bloom, my writing and grammar workbook for bloggers and infopreneurs.
Revise your website copy
I think this should be on everyone’s list each year. We evolve so much in our writing and in our businesses that it’s unlikely your website copy from last year is still going to perfectly apply this year. You could:
- go through your service offerings and ensure they’re up to date and contain accurate information
- revise your ‘About’ page, adding anything new you’ve done since you last updated it
- have another look at your home page to check it’s targeting the right audience in the right way.
Write something totally out of your comfort zone
Want to step outside your comfort zone? Write something you wouldn’t normally—for me, this would be poetry! Writing something different can be a great way to get your creative juices flowing—and, you never know, you might end up with a new hobby.
Form a writing habit
This is another one of the goals I’m setting this year—to write every day, and make it a habit. Life gets so busy that we often don’t get time to write, so carving out time each day might be a good goal to set if you have specific writing goals you want to meet or if you just want to write more. This year, I’m going to be writing every morning before I check my emails or social media… wish me luck!
Are you setting writing goals for the new year (or any other time of year)? Let me know in the comments!
@@Writing goals to set yourself (for the new year... or any other time).@@