Defining Your Goals
(An Insider’s Guide to Making Freelancing Work for You)
Copyright © Rachel Carrington
- All Rights Reserved
Freelancing is working on commission. You get paid when you
sell an article, a short story, or even a tip sheet. Ever notice how hard a car salesman works to make that sale?
Commission is a big incentive.
So now that you’ve decided to venture into the world of freelance writing, let me
offer you some advice which has worked for me since I was laid-off from my job in April 2005—advice which has
managed to keep me in the comfort to which I’d become accustomed.
Now that you’re putting your tenacity and determination to the test, you’ll need
a schedule, a written list of daily activities to motivate you. Start with a day planner or simply a blank notebook
and just as you would schedule your doctor’s appointments, kids’ soccer games, etc., you’ll create a task list of
everyday activities. Since you’re freelancing, your times can be flexible, but I caution you to adhere to certain
goals each day.
You’ll divide your list into four separate sections. The first section is
writing, the second is preparing your submission, the third is submitting, and the fourth is research. You have to
set aside time each day to do all four. Here’s an example though I usually work with an Excel
article on dog-grooming.
guidelines for Parenting Today and Working Moms and prepare submissions
“How to Soothe a Colicky Baby”
Find at least
three places online to submit dog-grooming article.
Now, this looks like a full day’s schedule, but actually, this is a typical
two-hour period for me (the articles are examples as I know nothing about dog-grooming or colicky babies). If you
want to train yourself not to get too bogged down working on one task, allow yourself a certain amount of time to
complete each task and set an egg timer. As you work, highlight each completed task so at the end of the day,
you’ll see the progress you’ve made. That, in itself, is a strong motivator to get you going.
Each evening, you should create a new list so you start fresh each morning. Carry
over the activities you didn’t get done the previous day onto the new list and start with those first. Never skip
over one of your tasks as it’s too easy to forget about it altogether. It’s a lot like going to the dentist. If you
keep putting it off, a cavity will set in. If you keep putting off an item on your list, you’ve just erased a
potential income opportunity.
Along with goal-setting, you’ll want to keep track of what you’ve submitted, when
you submitted it, the pay rate, and whether or not you received an acceptance or rejection. Each acceptance will
encourage you to continue your goals. Just think logically when you set them. For example, if you’re relatively new
to freelancing, you’ll want to set your goals to fit where you are in your writing career. Don’t aim for Harpers
Magazine when you’re just beginning to write articles. That’s what this goal sheet is all about. As you see each
success you’ve made, you’ll shoot for bigger and better markets.
Let me leave you with one final thought. A schedule won’t help you if you don’t
have the motivation and determination to succeed. If you’re working as a freelance writer, you decide your
paycheck. Make sure you’re well-paid.
Author:Rachel Carrington is a multi-published author of paranormal
and fantasy romance and currently writes for Ellora's Cave, Red Sage Publishing, and Samhain Publishing.
Additionally, she is the editor-in-chief and co-owner of Vintage Romance Publishing and has written
non-fiction articles for Absolute Write, Writers Weekly, Funds for Writers, and Writing for
Dollars. Readers may visit her on the web at www.dawnrachel.com