Freelance writers who first start out often have dreams of grandeur and of quickly replacing, and even excelling, the income they once earned from their traditional job. Unfortunately, it does not always work out that way, at least, not in the beginning. How can you set realistic goals as a freelance writer?
What Exactly Are Your Goals?
Goals can be as broad and vague or as narrow as you want them to be. In order to move ahead, everyone needs goals. The point is that every new or aspiring freelance writer needs solid goals to work towards. When you first start out as a freelance writer, one goal can include finding new clients, reaching a weekly or monthly writing quota or even improving in your writing, by editing your work more meticulously before submission.
Freelance writers who do not have clear goals are more likely to waste time surfing the internet, going out with friends when they should be working, and writing less and less over time, until freelance writing turns more into a hobby, than a serious career. If you want to move ahead as a freelance writer, you need to establish your goals from the very beginning. Ask yourself what you hope to achieve as a freelance writer. Do you plan on earning a part-time income while your children are young, or are you hoping to completely replace your full-time income that you used to earn? Once you have established your goals, regularly review those goals and see if you are reaching them.
Look at What is and isn’t Working
Working toward realistic freelance writing goals involves looking at what you are currently doing, what is working and isn’t working, and then taking steps from there to improve your current situation. If your daily schedule involves working 9-5pm Monday-Friday, with two breaks in between for lunch and a tea break, but you are not productive during these hours, then you will need to look at changing your schedule.
Try working late afternoons or evenings and see if you are able to get more done during these times. Or change up the days you work to include weekends into your freelance writing schedule. After a trial run, compare your productivity with what it was before you changed your schedule. Could your freelance writing schedule do with some more tweaking? Or does your new schedule help you in reaching your goals?
Setting realistic goals as a freelance writer involves getting to know your working style better and learning what does and does not work for you. It is important to start out with goals in mind and to continually work on make improvements, whether that means upping your weekly writing quota, to becoming a better editor of your own work. It takes time, hard work and dedication to be able to meet certain goals, but if you stick with it, you are more likely to succeed and realise your goals as a freelance writer.