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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Freelance Writing: 2007 Career Goals

Whether you're freelance writing or in any other career, it's important to have goals. They keep you focused and, in the tough times, remind you why you're churning out articles at 1 cent a word. I have a lot of goals for my career - and not all of them involve writing. In talking to a friend recently (more on that another time), I realised one important thing: I was working hard so I didn't have to work so hard."

Setting Career Goals

What I mean by that is that my short term career goal is to make enough money to pay my bills. That's also my medium term goal, with the addition of enough money for holidays and other small extravagances. I also want to improve the pay rate, so I get more money for less writing (who wouldn't?) But the reason I am doing this - and the reason I work at home - is to be able to spend more time with my family and to have a better quality of life. Those are things that I think most people want. (And don't think life is perfect, because there are some family members I can DEFINITELY do without!)

So this was what I had in mind when setting my goals for 2007. My perfect day would involve about four hours of writing for others, about two hours of teaching and about one hour of dealing with the other writers I work with. I would do this Monday to Friday and on weekends I would spend a couple hours a day working on my own stuff. I would be able to spend every evening playing with my daughter, and I wouldn't get stressed.

Living The Perfect Writing Day

Someone suggested that I try living (and writing) that way now instead of thinking about all the things that get in the way. So I tried it yesterday - and guess what? Yesterday I did as much writing in four and a half hours as I had done the previous day. I spent two hours on a new course, spent an hour on some admin - and took the rest of the day off to spend with my daughter. And I didn't get stressed even once. I'm going to try this for a couple of weeks and see if it works. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, I'm curious - how do you plan to change your writing life this year?

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