Freelance Blog + writing

Open Thread: What's Your Resolution?

I’m of two minds about freelance writers setting New Year’s resolutions. I’m all for setting goals and writing them down to reinforce that message. And I agree that it’s good to make those goals measurable so you’ll know when you’ve achieved them.

But at the same time, freelancing requires flexibility, so sometimes the goals you set at the beginning of the year just don’t make sense a few months in. And you could have a totally kick-ass year without meeting any of your goals if you discovered some other project or path that fulfilled you creativity (and hopefully also filled up your wallet to some extent). I didn’t follow through on my first goal for 2009 (“spend at least two days per month on creative projects”), but I still had a great year overall.

Also, writing is a subjective, creative discipline, so setting measurable goal like the ones I would have made a few years prior (for instance, “I will send out XX queries per week” or “I will earn XXX this year”) don’t tell the whole story. They don’t speak to the quality of those queries or whether the income came from clients who treated you with respect or whether your sanity suffered as a result of meeting those numerical goals.

Then there are goals like “get published in the New York Times” or “sign an agent for my book,” which are laudable goals but completely out of one’s control.

So, for 2010, I’m setting a few loose goals and will figure out the rest as it comes. This year, I will …

  • Say no to low-paying, high-maintenance clients
  • Complete my certificate in Writing for Professional Communication (I’m already halfway through and the plan is to be done by March)
  • Finish that ebook I’ve been neglecting and get it ready to distribute
  • Retake driver’s ed so I will feel comfortable driving on the highway when I need to (it’s been awhile for this city girl)

And if other awesome projects get in the way, I’m sure 2010 will still be an awesome year.

What are your resolutions? Do you have any other thoughts on resolutions?

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Open Thread: What's Your Resolution? + writing