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✅ My writing goals for 2021 + prompts to set your own
Sharing my goals feels particularly self-indulgent and old-days bloggy, but I swear there are nuggets in here just for you :)
I know I never like anyone telling me what my goals should be, but I get plenty of inspiration from learning what the people around me are working to achieve. If you feel the same, this is for you.
4 SMART goals for my freelance writing career
Based on my strategy for goal-setting from this month’s Notes, here are the top goals I’m setting for 2021 — plus prompts to get you thinking about your 2021 New Year’s resolutions.
1. Strengthen a writing habit
My goal: Write three morning pages five days/week.
It’s easy to get focused on honing your skills and knowledge in a freelance writing niche — so much that your strength in other types of writing begin to wane. I write and edit all day, every day for work, but I need to stretch my creative muscles more.
The new-year reset is a good reminder to re-up those other skills.
Set your goal: Which writing muscles or habits do you want to strengthen this year?
P.S. I write morning pages each day after breakfast, which makes the habit easier to form. Learn more about habit stacking from James Clear.
2. Read (more) (books)
My goal: Read one novel and listen to one nonfiction audiobook per month.
OK, listen. I’m almost embarrassed to share my reading goal, because I feel like all the writers I know (including you) are way more voracious readers than I am.
But it does us no good to set goals based on what other people are doing. This is the goal that works for me, and I know sticking to it will help me gain knowledge, information, inspiration and personal growth that’ll help me personally and professionally this year.
Set your goal: What do you want to gain from reading books this year?
3. Learn new things
My goals: Complete one online course per quarter.
I’m dipping my toes into creating online courses this year (check out my SEO for Writers class coming up at The Coop Workshop!).
I’ve never been a big participant in courses — I’m a tightwad and an auto-didact. But when you want to create in a space, you have to know what’s happening in the space. Putting on my customer hat will let me see what’s out there.
Set your goal: What do you want to learn to do or understand better this year? Which courses, newsletters, podcasts, communities or people can teach you?
4. Put writing skills into practice
My goal: Run one marketing campaign for Notes each month.
I’m so happy with the response I got when I launched this newsletter last January! With almost no marketing strategy, subscribers grew by about 40% last year. The response from you all has been wonderful, and I’m excited to take it to the next level with this Field Notes subscription option this year.
Marketing ideas have been running through my head for months, and I’ve done nothing, because I’ve convinced myself there’s one right thing to try first and I’ll choose the wrong one. Committing to testing one strategy per month is my way to finally take action.
Set your goal: What’s one project you want to start, finish or grow this year? What’s one aspect of that project you can focus on to make an impact?