I hope the new year brings all my readers lots of acceptance letters, brilliant ideas, kind clients, prosperity, and joy.

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Now is about the time of year when you see those “New Year’s Resolutions” articles – the ones that point out that 98% of goal setters don’t achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Well, if you hope to buck the trend, here is another article that will help you figure out how to set – and achieve — your writing goals in 2008.

 

I have to admit that I am a big goal setter. I set daily, weekly, quarterly, and yearly goals. I have 5 and 10 year goals. So, naturally, I like New Year’s Day quite a bit. From setting my own goals and researching goal setting, my best tips for making 2008 your best writing year are:

 

1) Look back over 2007. Too many of us start the new year thinking that we didn’t achieve all our goals for the past year. That just sets us up to believe that goals don’t matter or are hard to achieve. Even if you didn’t reach all your goals, you must have had some victories. What were they? Write them down and give yourself a big pat on the back. There are probably writers right now who would love to say that they achieved that in the past year. And there are probably people out there too scared to start writing who would be very proud to have your victories list.

 

2) Decide on your longer-term goals first. Imagine what sort of writing career you will want in five and in ten years from now. Some of your writing goals for this year should be pushing you towards those larger goals. If you want to be a best-selling romance novelist in five years, for example, you will want to create at least the first draft of your first romance novel in 2008. Once you set goals for the future, your one-year goals will seem more important and you may be more inspired to follow through.

 

3) Always write goals down. But you knew that from reading all of those other goal-setting articles, right?

 

4) Divide your writing career into areas and set goals for each area. For example, as a writer, you need to submit and query, complete projects, find some writing gigs, network, market yourself, develop your skills, manage your finances, and so on. What are your financial goals? Do you want to make $100 000 this year? What are your writing job goals? Do you want to land three new clients and let your lowest-paying client go? For each area, write down a goal or two. If you improve in every area, your writing career will really start to take off. Just make sure that your goals are specific. “Improve my skills” isn’t ideal, because how will you know you have improved? Something like “read 3 books on grammar and take one online course in magazine writing” is a better goal because you will be able to see exactly when you have arrived.

 

5) After you have a list of goals for the next year, break your goals down so that you can achieve them. For example, if you want to make $100 000 a year, you will need to make about $2000 a week. That means that you either have to take projects that give you no less than $50 an hour (assuming a 40 hour work week) or you will have to work longer hours. If one of your networking goals is to attend a conference in the summer that will set you back $1500 in total, you need to start saving $10 a day starting today. Knowing what you need to do today or this week is key.

 

6) Set up a system for checking in. You should be looking over your goals every week. If you are not making progress, those goals need to be right there to remind you. A common tactic is to hide your written goals at the back of your planner where you can’t see them because you don’t like to be reminded that you aren’t working on your dreams. Refuse to do this. One very productive year, I paid a local business to make me a rubber stamp that allowed me to literally imprint my top 3 goals at the top of my planner every day. I went through my planner right at the start of the year and stamped the goals right on every day so I would see them every day. It got the job done. It was easier to just do what I needed to check those off rather than stare at that red ink every day and feel guilty about it. And being able to cross all three off every day from November onwards was a huge ego boost.

 

Here are today’s job leads:

1) http://www.eluta.ca/ — This general job search page offers lots of Canadian writing and editing jobs.

2) http://www.musemasters.com/ — This website lists jobs as well as good job-hunting resources.

3) http://www.marketingtips.com/careers/index.php — Writers with knowledge of internet marketing will find many opportunities here.

4) http://careers.foliomag.com/ — Folio magazine’s job board has editorial, writing, and related positions. Many jobs are US-based.

5) http://www.tippit.com/ — This media company owns a number of publications, mostly in the business field, so it’s a great place when looking for a home for that business piece.

6) http://www.jobrapido.co.uk/ — A general job site out in the UK. Lots and lots of writing jobs.

7) http://www.writtenroad.com/wr/market-leads/ — Travel gigs here, but you do have to sift through some non-paying or low-paying jobs to find them.

Merry Christmas to everyone out there. I wish you a new year filled with lots of writing success and plenty of productivity.

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Ghostwriting is a very lucrative type of writing, but it is also a type of writing that is often misunderstood. Ghostwriting involves writing content, articles, or books for someone else and giving up all copyright. The person who hires the copywriter gets to use the written material as they like, and they generally place their name (rather than the author’s) on the written material.

Even though you get no byline, ghostwriting can be a great gig because:

1) It often pays very well. Since you are giving up full rights and since the client will generally be profiting from your writing, you should be charging a pretty penny for this sort of work.

2) It lets you learn and grow. As a ghostwriter, I’ve worked with experts in all sorts of fields and I’ve written in a wide range of styles and voices.

3) Moneymaking opportunities. Once you ghostwrite a book or article for someone, you gain knowledge about the topic (not to mention an “in” with the client). If the topic is an interesting or relevant one, you can usually pitch magazines with related story ideas – you’ve already got the preliminary research done and you have an interview source ready to go. That way, you still get some sort of byline for your hard work.

There are many ghostwriting opportunities out there. You can hang out your own shingle as a ghostwriter or can look for businesses seeking ghostwriters. Just remember that if you are giving up “all rights” you should be handsomely rewarded for it. Stay away from clients who want to pay you very little in exchange for all rights.

Today’s job leads:

1) http://jobs.nna.org/home/index.cfm?site_id=118 – The National Newspaper Association has plenty of newspaper jobs available.

2) http://www.ingrambook.com/careers/default.asp — Ingram Book Company, one of the biggest book wholesalers, has lots of career opportunities, most in La Vergne, Tennessee.

3) http://www.reimanpub.com/Revise/Employment.asp?RefURL=&KeyCode=&tdate=&PMCode=&OrgURL= — Reiman Media Group has plenty of job openings, and copywriter jobs crop up here quite regularly.

4) http://www.knowmoremedia.com/write-for-us.html — Know More Media often has blogging opportunities open.

5) http://www.freelancebloggingjobs.com/ — Lots of blogging jobs here.

6) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3303596/ — MSNBC has lots of editing and some writing jobs available. Worth checking regularly.

7) http://www.google.com/intl/en/jobs/ — Google hires editors and technical writers.

Happy Thanksgiving to all viewers in the US. I wish you much happy feasting and lots of joy.

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I’ve been buried under a huge pile of work and am only now peeking up for air. Thank you for all the kind emails. Hopefully, the rest of this month will be a little more sane. Here are today’s job leads:

1) http://bcwriters.com/publishers.php — Here is a list of Canadian publishers. Great resource if you are looking for a publisher for your book.

2) http://www.ewa.org/desktopdefault.aspx?page_id=201 – The National Education Writers Association lists grants, resources, and potential markets.

3) http://www.nyabj.org/jobopportunities.htm — The New York Association Of Black Journalists lists job opportunities.

4) http://www.cnn.com/JOBS/ — CNN has lots of job openings, some for media types and some for writers.

5) http://www.npr.org/about/jobs/index.html — There are many editorial and some writing opportunities in public radio.

6) http://www1.recruitingcenter.net/clients/bna/publicjobs/ — The Bureau of National Affairs offers plenty of media and advertising jobs, with some writing opportunities.

7) http://www.tribjobs.com/ — Tribune has many jobs in the publishing and media fields.

I’m feeding the ghouls and goblins coming to my door now. I hope everyone has a pleasantly spooky day!

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Writers in general love their work. Why else be a writer except a deep love of the written word? Even with all that love, though, there are times when settling down to write isn’t so simple. There are days when just about everything seems more enticing than the computer or notebook.

 

If this happens to you, try taking a look at what you are avoiding. You may simply hate a current project or a current client. If so, consider letting that project go. Why create resentment if you are not having fun with something? If you can’t just give up a client or project, consider whether you can make the project a little more fun. Maybe work outside on your laptop or take your work with you to your favorite café.

 

If it’s not the project you’re working on, it may be burn out. If you have been going non-stop for some time, consider taking a short break or at least switch what you are working on. If you’ve been plugging away at an article, work on some fiction or poetry. If you have been working on your book, take on one or two short assignments that can be completed fast and can give you a sense of completion. And don’t forget to step away from the keyboard. A long walk or an afternoon playing hooky at the local fall fair can make you enthusiastic about writing again. And who knows – maybe you’ll find a great idea for a new project while you are off duty.

 

1) http://www.talentzoo.com/website/content/ — This is a terrific site for marketing, advertising, and media jobs. Writing and editing jobs are often posted here.

 

2) http://www.knowthis.com/careers.htm — A good site for marketing jobs. Writing and technical writer jobs often crop up here.

 

3) http://www.georgiawriters.org/content/category/4/42/59/  The Georgia Writers Association lists opportunities for writers.

 

4) http://www.mississippiwritersguild.com/Writing_for_Publication.html — The Mississippi Writers Guild lists all sorts of markets, organized conveniently by genre.

 

5) http://members.aol.com/Raven763/Markets.html — This website lists markets for writers – both paying and non-paying markets here.

 

6) http://www.fictionfactor.com/markets.html — Fiction Factor lists markets of interest to the fiction writer.

 

7) http://www.duotrope.com/ — A search engine that lets you find markets for your work.

1) http://www.artcareer.net/search-jobs.asp — This website lists jobs for those in the visual arts. However, gigs for grant writers and course writers are also often posted here.

2) http://www.entertainmentcareers.net/ — Lots of writing jobs in the entertainment industry.

3) http://www.showbizjobs.com/ — Writing and editing jobs in the show business.

4) http://jobs.marketingpower.com/search/ — Lots of writing jobs to be found at this job search site for marketers.

5) http://www.hrjobnet.com/ — This job search site for HR professionals often has writing jobs.

6) http://www.jobs4hr.com/ — This job bank for HR pros often lists technical writer jobs.

7) http://www.marketingjobs.com/ — This job site lists some marketing writing opportunities.

One way to make a better career for yourself with writing is to put your efforts into a few channels. Rather than just writing one thing, you can be getting several checks in the mail by combining projects. For example, you could be querying magazines and sending articles on spec while also writing a book proposal, trying to get a regular column and writing for local businesses. You could even be taking on different types of writing – copywriting, fiction, and fillers, for example. Some writers find great success by even taking on writing-related tasks – such as consulting, teaching writing, and editing. Wearing lots of hats means you have to have great organizational skills, but it also means that you will be getting money from plenty of sources. Even if one income dries up, you’ll still have money headed your way. Plus, you never know when something will bite. Maybe you will have a hard time selling your short fiction at first but your article will be picked up. You won’t know until you try. And as you work towards success, at least you’ll have varied projects to keep life interesting!

Today’s job leads:

1) http://www.quintcareers.com/jobres.html — This general job site often has a number of writing jobs.

2) http://www.basejobs.com/ — This general job site lists some Canadian writing jobs.

3) http://www.bestjobsca.com/bt-jobs.htm — This is another general job site for Canada. Again, plenty of writing and editing positions here.

 

4) http://working.canada.com/atlantic/index.html — Lots of Canadian writing jobs at this general job site.

5) http://www.extremejobs.ca/ — This cool Canadian job site lists jobs in travel and related industries. It’s an overlooked job resource, but writing jobs do crop up here very regularly.

6) http://www.jobboom.com/mod-bin/prod/preferences.cgi?back_url=%2Fmod-bin%2Fprod%2Findex.pl – This general job site posts some writing jobs, all in Canada.

7) http://www.embanet.com/about_embanet/careers.asp — Embanet is an online education company. They regularly have a need for copywriters and people who can create online educational content. Check back often.