Enter any motivational conference or business office and you’ll hear over and over again that goal setting is what sets successful people apart from those who only try. Freelance writers need to heed this more than anyone else, because unlike many other workers, they are their own bosses. If they don’t crack their own proverbial whips, they won’t find their project carts going anywhere.
Writing is by nature a creative craft, but the goals within the art still can be quantifiable. In fact, they must be quantifiable, because otherwise you have no way to know whether you’ve progressed. Quantifiable goals in writing can include:
- writing a particular number of pages, words or articles a day
- completing a writing task within a specific amount of time
- using specific numbers of words per sentence, sentences per paragraph, etc.
- including keywords from a list a minimum number of times
- having a certain number of projects open at a given time
- pulling in at least x dollars a day, week or month from writing projects
Once you have set these types of measurable goals, you can come up with a plan to reach them. For instance, if you want to increase the number of projects you have open, you might engage in more networking, go to more job posting sites or contact former clients to remind them of your services. The only plan you can’t act on is the one you never make.