Monday, February 7, 2011

Are You Sabotaging Your Writing Career Goals? by Sharon Hurley Hall

It's often easier to state your planned goals for your freelance writing career than to actually achieve them. Sometimes we spend so much time worrying about results that we forget to actually do something. You may have set yourself the goal of earning more money from freelance writing this year, but how many of the things you do with your time actually help you achieve those goals? Are you bogged down in the day to day activities you need to earn a living, while the activities that will help you meet longer term goals go undone?

Many people look for balance in their lives and what that means may be different for everyone. For writers, it may mean having time for themselves, their children and their family, having well paid writing work and having enough spare time to work on those pet writing projects that don't actually pay the bills - not yet, anyway. So how do you get to a point where you achieve what you want and stop sabotaging yourself?

First of all, be clear about what those goals are. You're the only one who knows what balance looks like for you and what your dream future will be. Dream big - and who knows what you will achieve?

Next, think about how to make these goals a reality. For many writers, it might mean carving out some time once a week to work on those pet projects. For others, it might be a question of having time to think and plan - time when you are not working on something else. For still others, it might mean setting aside time to chase higher paying work. Only you will know what you can do.

Once you make your decision, break each of these goals into little steps that you can achieve and set aside some time to do them. For example, you might commit to sending an extra query every day for a job that pays double your standard rate. You don't have to go for all the goals at once. It's probably less stressful to try to achieve balance gradually.

Finally, be positive about what you can achieve. Think back to when you started your writing career. Haven't you come a long way since then? We all progress, though sometimes we forget to take note of it, so in another year, you'll have achieved some of your goals and will be working on the next ones.

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