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  • Writer's pictureNatashia Larkin

10 freelance writing New Year's resolutions

Do you believe in setting New Year’s resolutions? 

As a general rule, I avoid them because I believe that you should never wait to make a positive change in your life. 

That said, I do love the feeling of hope and the fresh start of a new year. 

So, as it is officially 2024, I have decided to set some ‘resolutions’ for my freelance writing career. 

Perhaps it’s better to call them goals. 

Do you have any similar resolutions this year? 

Maybe some of these could benefit you too. 

1. No more working at midnight 

I am going to set some new boundaries for myself that mean I am not still working late into the evening as I have been recently. 

I say this as I’m sitting on the sofa, writing this blog at 22:51 on a Wednesday night. 

But do you know what? I’m doing this for my own enjoyment and because ultimately, I love writing and sometimes I just can’t stop myself. 

I don’t sleep very well and sometimes I prefer to sit and work late into the night rather than lying in bed, waiting to drift off and instead overthinking every little thing that’s happened that day.  

The irony being this probably makes my sleeping problems worse. 

Anyway, this year I am going to try and set a time in the evening when the laptop goes off. I’ll use that time instead to read more books, walk the dog when it’s lighter, move my body and spend time with my husband. 

2. Write for myself at least once a week 

I have started and failed at blogging so many times because I never make enough time for my own writing. 

If I’ve got a moment to be writing I feel like it should be for work and not for myself. 

But if I want to continue enjoying my job, I need to take a break and allow myself time to write something a little more fun and relaxed. 

So, I have set myself the task of writing for myself once a week. 

Let’s see how it goes. 

3. Read more in the evenings

The best writers are those who read just as much as they write. 

I love it when I get into a really good book, and yet I so often tell myself I don’t have time. 

I do have time. 

But I’m usually so exhausted from looking at my computer screen all day that the thought of reading a book is the last thing on my mind. 

By that point, my eyes need a rest.

Now I recognise that to improve my writing I need to read more, so that is my plan! 

4. Move more with my walking pad 

At the end of the year, I bought myself a walking pad to use while I work. 

I’ll admit, it’s tough to write full articles while I’m on it, but it’s great for conducting research, answering emails, some light reading, etc. 

And this year, health and moving my body more are going to be huge goals for me. 

Other than walking the dog it can be quite a sedentary job sitting at a computer, so I need to break this up somehow. 

We’ve also been a lot less active the last six months because Danny is waiting for a hip replacement.

But that is neither here nor there. 

Armed with my new walking back, I can now begin to move more even when it’s cold and wet outside. 

5. Send more outreach messages that scare you 

Cold pitching and outreach can be a little scary, especially if you get rejected or just don’t hear back. After a while, it can start to knock your confidence. 

But this year, I’m on a mission to snag some great new clients and exciting new projects, which is going to mean some dedication and yes, cold pitching. 

So my next goal is to send those outreach emails and messages, even if it makes me nervous. 

What’s the worst that could happen, ey?

6. Engage with more freelance communities online 

There are loads of great freelance communities online, especially for writers, and this year I want to make the most of these to help secure new work and to grow my network.  

I have already (sort of) begun to tackle this one as I have joined various social media groups over the years.

I also plan to liven up my People Per Hour account and join Upwork, just in case any good jobs come up there. Though I’m aware the payment on those sites can be shocking. 

I also recently joined Medium. 

My plan is to get some of my own content on Medium as well as check out other’s work. I’m hoping this will open me up to new opportunities and keep strengthening my writing. 

7. Build my personal brand as a freelance writer

I have a website, sure I do. 

I’ve had one for several years now but I just don’t like the old outdated design. I think it looks very tacky and robotic. 

So this year, I plan to update my website and start working on my professional branding.

I also want to update my LinkedIn profile, set up a Facebook page and grow my following, blog consistently and just really start getting my name out there.

I’m aware this is going to be a lot of work. 

8. Try to structure my working day 

Like I’ve said, I work all hours, pretty much as and when it suits. 

But this year, I want to try and have a bit more structure to my day! By this I mean I don’t want to spend more than eight hours looking at the screen if I can help it. 

Unless an occasional big project calls for it, of course. 

I also want to make sure that I take an hour lunch break each day, which I usually do to walk the dog. But I am no longer going to work - check emails, make notes, write content, etc. - while I’m out on said walk. 

I want to take back my free time! 

9. Work from my local cafe every now and then 

I LOVE working from home. I love working for myself and managing my days as I wish. 

Want to work in my pyjamas from bed? No problem! 

But I’ll be the first to admit, some weeks it can get a little repetitive being in these four walls and having no one to talk to except the dog. 

Sometimes I do miss an office environment. 

So although it’s not quite the same, this year I want to take the odd day to go and work from my local cafe. 

It’ll get me (and the dog) out of the house for a few hours and give us a nice change of scenery. 

It might even make me more productive. 

10. Know my worth (and raise my rates) 

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, this year I am determined to recognise my value and charge accordingly. 

I am very aware that for far too long I have undercharged my skills and this is not only damaging to my own career but also to others in my industry.

The problem is, money is always an uncomfortable topic and frankly, I feel bad charging what some might deem to be ‘too much’, while others deem to be the going rate.  

But no more! 

I am grabbing 2024 by my beautifully crisp new notepad, setting myself some new goals and ensuring that I know my value. And that my rates reflect this from now on.

Wish me luck! 

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