Whether you're an experienced writer looking to boost your career or a complete novice desperate to break into the world of freelance writing, there's a good chance that you'll be using the New Year as the excuse you need to start a whole new writing regime.
New year is a good time for freelance writers. It's a time of chance, when staff writers start looking for new jobs (leaving editors desperate for freelance contributions), and editors start thinking about new directions for their publications (and hence need new freelance writers to help them out).
If you're determined to make this year the year that your writing career really takes off, here are some of the resolutions you should be making.
1. I will write every day
Freelance writing is a job, just like any other, and that means you have to do it every day (weekends and holidays excepted). Make writing a habit by sitting down at your keyboard at the same time every day, and don't allow yourself to leave until you've got some words down on paper. Start taking your writing seriously, and other people will take it seriously too.
2. I will set goals for my writing
It doesn't really matter what your goals are. Maybe you want to finish that novel you've been "working on" for the past three years, or perhaps you want to get a feature published in a national newspaper or magazine. It's important to have goals to give yourself something to work towards, to motivate yourself, and to measure your success. Make goals for each week, each month or each year – just make them.
3. I will get a website to showcase my writing
If you're really serious about your freelance writing career, you need a website, it's as simple as that. A writer's website allows you to find new clients, display your portfolio, and present a more professional image to the world. Who wouldn't want that?
4. I will try different types of writing
Sometimes when you're good at something, it's hard to move away from it and try something else. If you're used to writing articles for the web, for example, you may not even consider trying to write and sell a short story. You should. By trying out new types of writing, you'll not only have fun, you could also discover something else that you're good at. If you're a novelist, then, try writing some non-fiction: if you're a business writer, try a short story. You might even like it.
5. I will find new markets for my writing
If you've kept resolutions one to four, you should by now have a whole lot of new writing just waiting to find markets. Now you have to try and sell it. Make a resolution to spend a part of each day or week finding and querying new markets for your writing. Let this become as much of a habit as writing every day, and sooner or later you'll start to see results.
6. I will make new contacts
In the world of freelance writing, contacts are everything. Make the effort to write down the names and contact details of all of the editors, employers and other useful contacts you come across in the course of your writing. These people are your ticket to freelance writing success: keep in touch with them and the next time they need a freelance writer, they'll be the ones getting in touch with you.