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Well, as you’ve probably read about in my December 2018 writer’s life, last year did not go as wonderfully as I hoped. I did not make my financial goals for the year and I felt extremely burnt-out at the end of the month, which I am still kind of dealing with. However, I also had a lot of personal stuff happening (new marriage! shoulder surgery! bought a house!) so I think it’s okay. I’m ready to tackle 2019… But first, I wanted to do the math on how much I actually wrote last year.
How many stories I wrote in 2018: 299
That’s 18 in December, 20 in November, 31 in October, 12 in September, 5 in August, 22 in July, 30 in June, 13 in May, 21 in April, 28 in March, 37 in February, 27 in January… plus another 5 for 21Ninety that I didn’t promote, 28 for Oxygen that I didn’t promote and 2 for FIERCE by mitú that haven’t been published. Yes, basically, that’s a fuck ton! Honestly, it’s no wonder that I felt burnt-out at the end of 2018…
Here’s my commitment for 2019: I want to focus on quality, not quantity. Although it’s fun to see all the awesome writing I did in 2018, the truth is that a lot of it wasn’t really the kind of work I can be proud to put on my resume years later. I would say that probably half of it was news stories and things that don’t seriously matter to me and another quarter or more were fluff pieces. When it comes down to it, that stuff sometimes pays the bills and I am grateful for that… but I want to do better this year. And so, here are my 2019 writing goals.
- Earn $5,800 per month: Okay, I know it might sound silly to start off the year by focusing on a bigger number than last year when last year I didn’t even make that number… but that’s my goal, damnit! It’s what I want, so I am going to go after it. A big reason for this goal is that I want to continue to increase my revenue and, to be honest, I have a fuckton of credit card debt that I’d like to pay off by the end of the year (or sooner!) that we incurred during the house buying/moving process. And so… this is my goal. I’m also trying to save more money for some personal goals for 2019, so earning more will simply come in handy (and will hopefully be achievable).
- Start a new part-time editor gig: This is something that I have been thinking a lot about at the end of the year and especially over the holidays, when I took some time off. And, well, here’s the thing: I love writing. I really, truly do… But I am also one of those people that can’t write 24/7. I need to balance it with something and, really, I need to go back to my editor roots since that’s what I truly love. Is it fair to say that I love editing more than writing? I don’t know. But what I do know is that I would love to find a part-time editor job to call my own this year. That’s really a HUGE goal for me, period.
- Get #100rejections2019: This is a bit of a silly goal but hear me out: I plan to get rejected at least 100 times this year. That’s right, I am AIMING for a rejections. For lots of rejections! There are many reasons why I am doing this but, long story short, it’s a way to get myself to do more. To apply to more jobs, to reach out to more people, to send more pitches, etc. If your goal is to get a rejection, then the fear of perfectionism fades away… And, as such, I am tracking all of this and even made a *color* template that others can use to track their rejection goals for 2019, too.
- Pitch 1 personal essay per week: This is a hefty goal but it has to do with the quality writing for 2019, versus the quantity writing that I achieved in 2018. I love writing personal essays and I haven’t done that many of them in the latter half of the year. So, I’d like to start 2019 off strong by sending at least one personal essay pitch per week. Maybe some weeks I might send more, and some less. But for now, that seems like something doable… Plus it basically gets me halfway to my rejection goal!
- 19 (new) bylines for 2019: This is something that I have been doing for the past two years to great success. I wanted 17 different bylines in 2017 and 18 different ones in 2018. The problem is, that seems to be too easy of a goal for me since both years I achieved it in the first six months. I know that’s a huge win, and it is, but the reality is that it makes me lazier about pursuing new opportunities in the latter half of the year… So this year, the goal is 19 *new* bylines for 2019, which means that I cannot count places that I have already been published in. It’ll be tough!
- Big newspaper bylines: Part of the goal above is also a goal that I have been kind of terrified to pursue… and that is to be published in some of the bigger newspapers out there. Or, really, in any newspaper. My editing and writing experience has basically been pursuing women’s lifestyle publications, which I do not regret since that is where my heart truly lies. That being said, I would like to be able to say on my resume/portfolio site that I have been published in, say, The New York Times. Sure, it’s a stretch and a big goal… but if I don’t put it down, I won’t pursue it, so here it is!
- Launch #yearofselfcare newsletter: I’ve been talking about launching a newsletter for years now and I have also been talking about self-care for writers for a while, so I finally got the idea to combine the two. And so, my Self-Care For Writers newsletter is born! Or, at least, WILL be born soon. This is definitely an idea that is near and dear to my heart but I really hope you will sign up.
- Figure out passive income: What is passive income? Well, it’s basically income that you earn without having to do much on the day-to-day… Yes, it takes a lot to set up and yes, you’ll have to maintain it and do marketing for it and stuff but, in general, the hard part is done. That’s why it is called “passive”. For a writer, that might mean a book… but books do not make that much money, which is why I am going to be thinking outside of the box. I don’t really know what exactly I want here but I do know that I’d like to pursue some kind of passive income for writers. Wish me luck!
- Become a writing coach: Last but not least, I have been thinking on/off about becoming a writing coach. Many years ago, I got a degree from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to become a health coach. I still have a lot of that knowledge with me and I really love helping people… It’s why I am launching the Self- Care For Writers newsletter, too. So why not do it on a bigger scale? I’m not yet sure what I will do as a writing coach or what my focus will be but I’d like to mull it over for the next year and hopefully launch something by the end of 2019. Stay tuned…
Well, there they are! I have nine total writing goals for 2019 and, coincidentally, nine peronal goals for 2019. I’m not going to share those here (except maybe in blog posts) because they’re, well, personal… But just know that big things are coming this year!