New Year Resolutions for Freelancers

So the new year is off the starting blocks, and next week we will be welcoming Blue Monday. More than just a New Order song or the day to dig out your favourite pornos, it’s the Most Miserable Day of the Year – Official!

But the good thing is that once you’ve got Day of Doom out of the way, it’s all uphill from there.

So how can a good freelancer make the most of the coming year? Whilst I’m not keen on resolutions (‘cos they have a habit of not happening), intentions are a whole other box of frogs. Saying you intend to do something immediately makes it more focused and likely to happen.

Here are some possible New Year Intentions the freelancers amongst you might want to try on for size:

  • More pitching
    Be specific about this if you’re really intending to do it – how much more? When will you do it?
  • Pitch to at least one new market/publication every month
    This will need to be preceeded by identifying and researching said new market before you pitch. Again, get clear on the hows, whens and wherefores if you’re intending to do this.
  • Identify at least one new subject area you can write about
    It’s good to specialise but not to stand still. What’s related to your current subjects and could be a possible marketplace for you?
  • Pimp Your Workstation
    If you work from home, you only have yourself to blame if the place you work from isn’t how you’d like it to be. Take half an hour to lovelyfy it. Or at least dump the dusty junk – very satisfying.
  • Make a plan for the downtimes
    Freelancing never goes in a straight line, so some weeks will be busier than others. This is normal and not because you are crap at what you do. Make a list in the back of your diary of at least 10 things you’d do, if you only had the time. So the next time there’s tumbleweed blowing across your desk, you know where to go for inspiration.
  • Get out more
    Take up at least one interest that’s not work related. Give your mind the shock of the new. You’ll be glad you did.

I’m not sure what my new year intentions are going to be. Over all, it’s be Be Zen in 2010. But the only practical way I can think of to approach that is to expand out the gym challenge and ramp up the cultural element. Many, many people have asked if I will pass the gym challenge on to them, but I have beaten them off with a big stick and a snarl like Gollum’s. So I’m toying with: Seeing 50 movies, reading 20 books and doing 150 gym sessions. That’ll do for starters.


What are you intending to do this year? If it’s Leave More Comments, you’ve come to the right place:


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  • Oooh, Thank you. I love your resolutions and I’ll have a bash at them. What about 2010 challenge for freelancers? 20 pitches to places you’ve never tried before?

  • Oh that is a good one Ellen. Are you going to do it?

  • Karen Hodkinson

    Thanks very much for pointers, Joanne! I’ve just gone freelance and your resolutions has given me something to think about.

  • My resolution is get out of debt in 2010, so that I can have ‘f**k you’ money in the bank and therefore tell nasty editors where to shove their impossible contracts that protect only them and never me. 🙂

  • Right:
    -Pitch one new market a month
    -Make my office wonderful
    -Get out more – well, I’m not going to say no to that!
    As for the gym challenge…I know I should…

  • Thanks for all your comments. Many people have said they’re going to take up the challenge, so do check back in and let us know how you’re doing as the year progresses.