2013 New Year's Resolutions for Writers

Update: During my first quarter check-in I updated the list below. Anything in green is currently in progress, and anything with a strike-through has been completed.

Last week I shared my 2012 year-end evaluation with you, where I looked over my goals for this year and whether or not I've accomplished what I set out to do. Honestly, 2012 was not a great year for me. And my hope is that 2013 will be much better -- without health and other issues getting in the way of my plans.

Speaking of plans, I mentioned in that post that I'd share my 2013 goals and resolutions with you this week. That's what I'd like to do today.

The following goals are broken down into categories including freelance writing, Web publishing, books & e-books (based on my 3-year publishing plan), and general business goals. As always, I know I won't reach every goal, and I'll take a fresh look at them each quarter to make adjustments where necessary. Some of these are actually goals from previous years that were pushed off, and I'm planning to work on them again.

Freelance Writing

I've been planning to scale back the client side of my business for quite a while now to focus more on Web development and publishing books and e-books. So the goals on this end will be lighter than other areas.

  • Finish overhauling my service website to add new service pages and adjust rates as necessary for the New Year.
  • Replace at least half of the $40k or so per year I walked away from when I left a major client (and spend the rest of that time on other areas of the business).
  • Publish at least one white paper or report targeting prospective clients.
  • Get published in at least one magazine with my byline (as opposed to ghostwriting for clients in trades as I've done in the past).

Web Publishing and Development

A lot of the content for these new sites is being handled by my assistant and a few other contributors I'm working with. So the time commitment for these is largely pre-launch and marketing-related as opposed to requiring a large amount of time for writing.

  • Overhaul the job board at All Freelance Writing
  • Launch self-paced e-courses at All Freelance Writing
  • Officially launch WritingForBloggers.com
  • Launch the new e-marketing blog
  • Launch LiveWorkOrganize.com
  • Start promoting the new Online Learning Hub brand
  • Launch GardenAndFood.com
  • Launch DIYProjectIdeas.com
  • Launch last author website
  • Finish blog content audit for All Freelance Writing
  • Finish blog content audit for BizAmmo.com
  • Release at least 5 new exclusive freebies at All Freelance Writing
  • Release at least 5 exclusive freebies at BizAmmo.com
  • Re-launch All Indie Publishing.
  • Work with hubby (developer) on backend of new author resource site (probably won't launch until 2014 though)
  • New design for the genealogy blog (new customization on old theme)
  • Get the genealogy blog on a regular posting schedule, and revamp the content strategy
  • Migrate all old AudioXposure.com content to IndieLounge.com in anticipation of its launch / rebranding.

Books & E-books

There's a lot in this section, based on a publishing plan I came up with and have been pretty good about sticking to. This will probably be the part of my business getting the most of my time in the New Year.

  • Finish rewrites and new interviews for The Query-Free Freelancer (needs a new chapter written, a couple of others overhauled, and new interviews for sidebars before my final self-edit)
  • Finish drafting the second novel in the Murder Script mystery series (I'm hoping to finish the first by the end of December).
  • Finish drafting the third novel in the Murder Script mystery series.
  • Finish drafting the first horror novel.
  • Create and release the first Murder Script game (ancillary product)
  • Create the second Murder Script game (likely won't be released in 2013 -- at the earliest I'd release it near the year-end holidays).
  • Draft the manuscripts for four short children's books.
  • Choose an illustrator for the children's books.
  • Release at least three Query-Free Freelancer e-books at All Freelance Writing.
  • Choose the editor for The Query-Free Freelancer. 
  • Draft at least the first shorter story (either a short story or novella-length) for a later collection.
  • Re-brand / re-release the 30 Day Marketing Boot Camp e-book under the QFF / 3 Beat Books branding.

General Business Goals

This is the "everything else" set of goals for the New Year.

  • Change the business structure of 3 Beat Media to an LLC.
  • Set up and start using new accounting system / software.
  • Earn at least 20% more in total over what I earned in 2012 (this wasn't a good year, so barring any other flops, this should be fairly easy).
  • Make better use of my assistant by giving her more responsibilities and more writing work to do in 2013.
  • Focus more on email marketing for primary sites and the main business.
  • Work on increasing the new brand's recognition and reputation (adding branding to owned sites, releasing freebies under the new company name, focusing on social media marketing, etc.).

As usual, I know it looks like a lot here. But I find that I get the most done when I push myself hard as opposed to taking a more relaxed approach with just a few primary goals. Breaking it down on a site-by-site basis and such simply works for me.

What about you? Have you set any goals or resolutions for your writing business in 2013 yet? What are you focusing on, and what do you hope to accomplish? Tell us in the comments.

Profile image for Jennifer Mattern

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

Subscribe to the All Freelance Writing newsletter to get freelance writing updates from Jenn in your inbox.

8 thoughts on “2013 New Year's Resolutions for Writers”

    • There’s still plenty of time for that. 🙂 As I mentioned on the forum to you, I only do my yearly planning early because December tends to be pretty hectic right before I take my yearly vacation time (just about 2 weeks this year). So if I didn’t have it together yet, it probably wouldn’t get done.

  1. I’ve been fiddling with some marketing goals… not ready to publish them yet.

    I’ll bet you get most of this done or if you don’t it will be because you or the situation changed.

    • That always happens. It’s amazing how much things can change in just a few months. I always sideline projects because much better ideas come up during the following year for example (like IndieLounge.com being on the perpetual backburner because I want to put my attention toward more lucrative projects first). The good thing about having the goals is that when those new ideas come up, I don’t just try to cram them in. I know it means I’ll have to make some tough decisions to re-prioritize what I’m going to spend time on.

  2. This list astounded me! I sat down in October and reviewed my nebulous 2012 goals and constructed a much more concrete set for 2013. And I thought I had put too much on the 2013 list…until I saw your list!! I’m just blown away. I thought I was productive but if you tackle half of this list in the next year I will pass you the crown! 😉

    • You can always add more mid-year Elizabeth. 😉

      I’ve learned to be very productive most of the time. And a big part of that is that I never treat goals as something set in stone. They guide me along and give me something to strive for, but I know plans can change and I try to be adaptable. I may even adapt in January. I’m trying to finish two e-books and the first mystery novel draft by the end of December. Due to a family emergency at home affecting things lately, I haven’t had as much time as I’d hoped. So if that has to be pushed to the New Year, those projects might bump a few other things off the list.

      That said, I doubt I’d remove anything right away. I’ll always be an overachiever. I’d rather strive to do a lot and accomplish some of those things than strive to accomplish very little and be proud when I do just that. We all have different goals and different ways of reaching them. For me it involves a big yearly list, quarterly updates, and even bigger weekly work lists (which I post for accountability’s sake at Anne Wayman’s forums). For others, it will make more sense to work with smaller (or even bigger) lists and make adjustments on a schedule that better suits them. As long as we all grow as writers and business owners, I say do whatever works. 🙂

  3. What I like is that your list is aggressive and very specific. I suspect the bylined article will come first. 🙂

    Knowing you, this WILL be done by March, as you said, and you’ll be itching for more. Go get ’em!

    • The byline isn’t a huge deal for me. I’m not one of those folks who assumes print credits are more valuable than Web ones. If anything, I’ll probably continue to get paid more for Web work because I won’t be working under antiquated magazine industry payment terms. And you know my feelings on querying. That’ll be the challenge. I’m not going to start querying magazines while I’m trying to polish a book called The Query-Free Freelancer. 😉 Just not a fan of hypocrisy. It’s more an “it would be nice if it happens” kind of thing. That said, I do have a strategy. It might just take more time than 3 months. Depends on the niche I opt to go for. I have some big projects I’m hoping to clear up by the end of March. Just not sure if the print byline is going to be one of those. Then again, never say never, right? 🙂


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