At the end of every year, I look back over the year that I had and see how it went. Then I move forward and set my goals. With my writing goals intact, planning as a freelance writer is the next step.
Over the years, I’ve learnt a lot about planning. I really wish that I’d known these lessons when I first started planning. I know that you could do with learning them now rather than along your freelance writing journey. So, here are the five things I really wish I’d known about planning as a freelance writer.
The Plan Should Be to Reach the Goal
When it comes to planning, the aim should be to reach a set goal. I know this sounds obvious but when I first started planning, I didn’t really have set writing goals in mind.
I planned month to month with blog post ideas and no aims in mind. How did I really know if I accomplished anything?
My plans weren’t even that on point. They did nothing to grow my blogging audience and they didn’t really help me as a writer. I just wrote for the sake of adding content and had no other journey in mind.
In short, my original planning was pointless. It was a waste of time.
Now I set my writing goals and work forward from there. The plan focuses on the writing goals and gives me the steps needed to reach those goals.
Magnetic Fridge Calendar White Board And Organizer 16×12 Inch With Markers, Smiley Face Erasers and Photo Corners by MagnetElite
Planning Short Bursts Is Easier Than Longer Ones
Once I moved onto setting aims, I started looking at the aims for the whole year. I set out 12 month blogging goals and created plans to meet those blogging goals.
Guess what that did for me? Very little.
Sure, I actually had the aims this time and the plan was put in place to meet those aims, but I was thinking way too far in advance. By the time the first two or three months past, my aims had changed slightly. Either I wasn’t on my way to meet my goals or I something had happened that meant the goals weren’t that important to me anymore.
The plans had to completely change.
So, I started to change the way that I planned. Rather than doing the full year, I worked on small stints. Now I only plan and even set goals for three months at a time. I’ll have a rough idea for the whole year but the detailed plans are only for the whole quarter.
Planning as a Freelance Writer Isn’t Fully Set in Stone
When I found that I couldn’t stick to my plans, I wasn’t happy. I felt like a failure as a freelance writer. If I couldn’t stick to my plans, how could I help my clients? How could I grow my business?
It took some time and some stern words from my mentor to give me the kick up the butt that I needed. Plans don’t need to be set in stone. While it’s good to have them, they can be adapted and changed.
While I don’t make a habit of changing my plans, I will listen to what my heart tells me. I’ll work with the events that are going on in my life. After all, nine months ago we made the decision to move internationally. That certainly wasn’t on the cards 12 months ago! 12 months ago I thought I’d still be working part time with Weight Watchers and working on just growing my blogs.
Planning Doesn’t Have to Be Done in One Certain Way
There are many journals, planners, and diaries out there. We hear from various bloggers and writers about how they plan.
Some will give us tips on how to use paper planners and other writers prefer to work with the online options. There isn’t a wrong or a right way to plan.
Of course, I thought that I’d have to stay with the times. I believed that I had to move with the digital age if I wanted to make it as a freelance writer.
Now I stick to the good ole fashioned ways of using a paper planner. In fact, I have two for the different sides to my business. I do use online tools now and then but nothing beats the paper planners for me.
2016 Mom’s Plan-It Weekly Engagement Planner
There Isn’t a Perfect Time to Plan
I thought that the only time to plan was at the start of the year. When I moved onto the monthly plans, I started to think that only the start of the month was the time I could plan.
This certainly isn’t the case. There really isn’t a right time or perfect time to plan. It’s about what works for you and what happens within your business. Your goals can change mid month, which means your plan will need to, too.
Now I start to plan whenever I want. There still part of me that feels like the start of the month is the better time but that’s just more personal to me. Planning as a freelance writer doesn’t have to be done at a certain time of the month or year.
If you want to make your writing work, it’s important to have writing goals and create some sort of plan. This is how you will get from A to Z with all the stages in between.
Have you started planning for 2017 yet? When will you start planning as a freelance writer and how will you do it? Feel free to share in the comments below.