I made a mistake again, and it shouldn’t surprise me because I do this kind of thing all the time. I assumed every writer I know wanted to reach the same goals as I did on Medium. I assumed everybody had the same idea of professional success. I assumed everyone had as much time as I did to write.
Do you know why they say you shouldn’t assume? Because it makes an ASS out of U and ME.
I always try to add insight from my personal experience in all my Medium stories. But as I was reading a few of my pieces last night, I realized that I hadn’t added much real value to people who didn’t share my vision of greatness.
So, take my apology and follow along as I ask some questions about your writing and drop some value bombs.
What Are Your Goals?
My goals are easy. I got rid of all my freelance clients and freed up my schedule so I could focus on Medium, my newsletters, and my travel blog. My only job is writing, promoting my work, and maintaining and building my corresponding mailing list. There is a lot associated with the process. There is research, writing, revising, and editing. Add in proofreading, formatting, publishing, engaging, commenting, and promoting. Then I have to think about keeping up with reading and connecting with other writers.
For me, the goal is simple. I am going to be the best possible writer I can so I can make enough money to be comfortable and fulfilled. I am not leaving it to Medium to do all the work. I’m creating a brand around my name and my questionable face, and I’m planning to create other streams of income.
I don’t want to be an influencer in the Instagram flavor of the word, but an advocate and voice for those who deal in some way with mental health issues. I want to connect and build a tribe of like-minded people who want to help instead of sitting and waiting for someone else to do it.
I’m a writer. I’m an advocate. I’m the voice of the people who are beautifully broken.
What do you want to do? Let’s find out!
1. What do you want to accomplish?
Maybe you have a full-time job outside of writing. Maybe you are a parent, which is much more than a full-time job. Maybe you can only devote a few hours a day to your side-hustle.
At the end of all this work, what do you want to happen?
Do you want to make writing your focus, so you don’t have to work for someone else? Do you want to make enough with your writing to pay your rent? Do you want to publish a book? Are you going to be a blogger? How much money do you want to make on Medium?
What will it take to change your life?
It’s a great idea to figure out where you want to be in 1, 6, and 12 months. It will make it much easier to address the next step. Don’t spend to much time on this — the important steps come later. Just get a good idea of where you want to be so you can gauge your speed as you go along.
2. How Are You Going to Get There?
How motivated are you? Yes, this is a serious question.
Are you willing to give up a few things to get where you need to be? Can you give up binge-watching Friends on Netflix to devote more time to writing and promotion? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to get where you want to be?
Don’t despair if you aren’t willing. Most people can’t or won’t disrupt their lives to get what they want. If you can’t give things up to get where you want to be, change your goals accordingly.
3. How Much Time Do You Really Have?
Let’s say you sleep 6 hours a day. Then you work another 8 hours. You still have 10 hours in the day left. What if you are writing and promoting 4 hours a day right now? You still have 6 hours.
What are you going to do with that 6 hours besides eating, shitting, and arguing with your significant other? What can you do to ensure that you’re meeting your goals?
Too many questions!
We’ve asked a whole lot of questions, but don’t go any further until you answer them. Get serious about your goals and be ready to take action to crush them!
What you do next will be a combination of your goals, your motivation, how much time you have, and your plan to get there.
You have to decide how important writing, promotion, your brand, and your mailing list are to you. I can’t make that decision for you. My goals are going to be much different from your own.
Are you going to write and promote every day? If so, how many pieces are you going to publish? How many links will you post on social media? How much time can you devote to connect with others and your mailing list?
I realize I added more questions, but this is how this works.
If you aren’t ready to overturn your life and do whatever it takes to win, you should shoot for smaller goals. Please, don’t think I’m asking you to add so much to your plate that you burn out and die at an early age.
Life is short. You have to take care of you.
But, you may never get an opportunity like this again.
It’s your decision.
What are you going to do?