2019 Writing Goals – Q1 Review

Happy April! For those of you in the Northern Hemisphere who like oppressive heat, constant sunshine, and other generally depressing things, it’s about to be your favorite time of the year. That said, while I’m quite fond of early spring months, the fact that they give way to summer always makes me sad. What better time to talk about uplifting things like whether or not I’ve kept my new year goals for writing?

People say I have weird priorities. I just think I’d rather not be constantly sweating.

If you want to go back and read the original goal post, you can find it here. That said, I’ve also put something of a summary of the goals in with my progress on each of them below. This is mostly for those who are lazy and don’t want to click back to the post, but it’s also for me and ease of copying when I write posts later in the year. Because deep down, I was the lazy one all along.

Goal 1: Blog Growth?

Part of the reason I’m adding a bit of summary to the goals section is specifically because of this incredibly vague goal title I created at the beginning of the year. I ended up settling on averaging one visit an hour — 24 visits per day — over the course of the year. My hope was to get to a point where I’m regularly seeing traffic on my blog regardless of the time of the day. So how’s that going?

I mean…pretty well. Though January ended with me being a bit behind pace on this goal, both February and March made up for it in spades. If this continues, there’s a decent chance I could end 2019 with no months from previous years in my top 10 traffic months. That’d be pretty neat for my growth. I’m hoping that the direction change I mentioned a few weeks ago continues this trend, but it’s far too early to get any sort of gauge as to how well it’s going so far.

I did make a bit of a change to the table formatting I’m doing here versus previous goal posts. It’s mostly because I accidentally deleted the massive spreadsheet I used in 2018 when cleaning up my Google Drive. But considering how traffic has been consistently going up over the past year, I feel like this format works just as well.

Goal 2: Finish a Second Draft of the WIP by July

I have to admit. When I wrote this goal, I figured this was arguably the most ambitious of the goals I’d set for myself. Progress on the WIP was not going well to say the least. Even though I had made some progress early this year, I was figuring that my first draft would be done sometime in June if I was lucky, meaning the second draft would happen sometime in the fall. That said, I ended up getting the first draft done in mid-February, thanks in part to my old job giving me literally nothing to do during my last three days at work — meaning I went home without stress and just wrote at night. I’ve gone through two rounds of my own edits so far (one for grammar and one for continuity) and I have two beta readers going through now to give me feedback. One of them is giving me genuinely the best editing feedback I’ve ever received, while the other is an author whose work I aspire for my own work to be as good as, so I feel like I’m in great hands. There’s a decent chance I’ll hit this goal, though there’s still a ton of work to be done before that point.

Goal 3: Take on Four New Freelance Projects This Year

Of all of the goals I put on this list, this goal is definitely the one going the least well. That’s not to say there isn’t progress being made, as I do have a couple projects in the pipeline for later in the year. That said, there’s not a solid timeframe on either of them at this point, so I’d still like to pick up a couple of more before then — just in case they go into 2020. Granted, Q1 of this year was busy for several reasons, including my new job. That doesn’t mean I hadn’t wished I’d made more progress on this goal though.

How did you do on your 2018 goals? If you’re a blogger, podcaster, YouTuber, or other creator, I’d love to hear how you did, as well as your 2019 goals. Sound off in the comments.

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2019 Writing Goals

In 2018, at the suggestion of Optimistic Millennial writer Kaytie Zimmerman, I decided to create some goals for my blog in an attempt to grow my blog and, by extension, build the community around it. Last week, I talked about how those goals went throughout the year of 2018 (not to mention doing periodic checkins throughout the year), as well as trying to explore whether the results of each of those goals was a success or a failure.

I’m happy I went that route in 2018, however, I don’t think it’s the right way to go in 2019. That’s not because I succeeded in every goal, nor am I completely happy with the results I did achieve across the board. While things did go alright, there’s always room for growth and improvement. Instead, I’ve decided to diversify my goals a bit in 2019. This is in an effort to better reflect what I’m looking to achieve not just as a blogger, but as a writer and freelancer. I’ll be sticking with three goals, in 2019, only instead of three blog based goals, there’ll be one each for blogging, story writing, and freelancing.

Goal 1: Blog Growth?

Last year, I had three separate blog growth goals that I set for myself. Needless to say with how things went, I have zero clue how to set goals for myself for blog growth. Since I clearly have no clue what I should scale my goals to, let’s go with the one that’s at least the easiest for me to measure: raw traffic.

This year, I’d like to average one view per hour for every day of the year. That’s 8,760 views for the year, which would represent a massive amount of growth from 2018 to 2019. Then again, that’s what I thought by setting a goal for 3,000 views for 2018 when coming off of 2,369 in 2017. I was wrong. I was over 3,000 views in September and 4,000 views in November. If the first four months of the year would have had better traffic, 5,000 would have been a realistic possibility. While I’m not expecting months upon months of traffic like November 20181688 views, my single best traffic month ever on this blog, and my best traffic month on any blog since 2013., I think breaking the 8,000 visitor barrier is an attainable goal, even if it might be a bit of a reach.

Goal 2: Finish a Second Draft of the WIP by July

Let’s just say it’s, um, been a while since I’ve given you all an update on my work in progress. There’s several reasons for that, some of which are understandable, others of which are not2All of which I will not be mentioning on this blog, for now.. That said, I’m planning to do another update on the project within the first six weeks or so of 2019.

That all said, I know for sure that once I get the initial draft finished, there will be some massive rewriting that needs done to make it presentable for beta readers. My alpha reader’s feedback, plus some of my own changes to the direction of where I want the story to focus, has proven that needs to be the case. As a result, once I finish the first draft, I’ll be re-writing my story (particularly the first 3-5 chapters) heavily.

In an ideal situation, both of these drafts will be completed by the end of July. I’m not going to set an official goal deadline for completing the first draft (mostly because January is particularly insane for me), however I feel like as long as that draft is done by mid-April, I should be in good shape to get my July goal for draft number two.

Goal 3: Take on Four New Freelance Projects This Year

2018 was an up-and-down year in terms of the freelance projects I took on. I had a large project come to me early in the year, as well as a ton of smaller projects that I took on. The problem was that the only one of those projects that I got paid for was the large project — all of the small ones came about as the result of my former company closing our office, which in turn meant resume editing work I did for free. While I did pick up a second, much smaller, project near the end of the year, the year was slower than I had hoped.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I ended up needing more of my free time than I expected on several other things that came up this year, including minor things like a redesign of my blog and launching my Patreon account. Even with that in mind, I’d like to do more this year.

I’m setting a somewhat flexible goal of taking on four new freelance projects in 2019, ideally one per quarter. I say this goal is somewhat flexible, as if I were to take on a particularly large project, I’d consider revising this down to three. That said, the project would have to be major in either complexity or the amount of time I have to dedicate to it (or both) for me to make said revision.