Can you believe it's July already? I know we say the same thing every year, but time really does seem to fly by. As of today, we kick off the second half of the year. And that is a perfect time for a mid-year check-in on our writing careers.
What does a mid-year check-in involve?
The idea is to review the blogging, publishing, or other writing goals you set at the beginning of the year. You want to see where you've made good progress and where you might have fallen behind.
The next step is to re-think those goals you aren't making much progress towards. Does it make sense to keep going? Or would your writing business be better served by making some changes? That might involve revising existing goals or scrapping them altogether. It's also the perfect time to add new goals to your list as new opportunities might have come up in the past few months.
If you haven't set goals for 2014 yet, no worries. Now is the perfect time to do it.
To give you an example, here's my own mid-year check-in for 2014.
Jenn's 2014 Mid-Year Writing Goals Progress Check
If you've followed my goal lists and check-ins here over the past seven years or so, you know my strategy is to always aim high, even if it means I won't reach every goal I initially set. It's how I push myself to do more than I realistically think I can, and it works well for me. But that strategy doesn't work well for everyone.
If you're building a new goals list right now, please don't think it has to be this long. Focus on what you want to achieve most and make your list as detailed or as general as you want as long as the goals are measurable in some way. You have to find the system that works best for you. Here's a post that might help: Five-Step Plan for Setting and Achieving Goals for Your Freelance Writing Career
Here are my freelance writing, blogging, and publishing goals for 2014 and how they're shaping up so far:
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I've been a bit hit-or-miss on my blogging goals so far this year. But that's not for lack of hard work. I ended up re-prioritizing some things and spending more time on sites like All Freelance Writing and less time on some of my secondary blogs.[table “” not found /]
These goals are the ones that will have to be overhauled the most. My plan was to spend most of my working time on these projects, but it didn't work out that way. I ended up cutting back on freelance writing clients only to take on more projects from some of my regulars and repeat clients, which didn't free up the time it was supposed to.
And I've spent far more time than expected on this site, in large part dealing with technical issues, resource creation, and a seemingly never ending clean-up job due to some mistakes made when I re-branded this site and set up the three-site merger to create it. I simply haven't had the time I expected to have for these projects, though that should improve in the second half of the year.[table “” not found /]
So, yikes! While I've made a lot of progress, there is plenty of room for improvement. Overall though, I'm pretty happy with how things are going. My biggest problem was in not leaving as much time as I should have for publishing projects. While I won't be cutting back on time spent on All Freelance Writing any time soon, I do need to continue to trim my freelance workload.
I made a lot of changes to my five-year publishing plan just a few weeks ago, but going through this update I can see I might need to give it another look and make some further adjustments. If nothing else, this was an eye-opener for me and I can see where I need to spend more time and I'm working on ideas for where I can pull that extra time from. And in the end, that's exactly what a mid-year check-in is all about. After I find some time to review my publishing plan again, I'll consider putting together a revised goal list for the second half of this year. If I do that, I'll share it in the forum.
Have you done a mid-2014 evaluation yet? Are you making good progress toward your writing goals? Where do you still have room for improvement? Share your problem areas and successes in the comments, or join the free All Freelance Writing community to chat about your goals in more depth in the writing forums.
Jenn has 18 years experience writing for others, around 13 years experience in blogging, and over 10 years experience in indie e-book publishing. She is also an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.
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