by Karin Beery

I love the start of a new year because of all the possibilities that lie ahead! If you’re anything like me, making the most of those possibilities often requires planning (otherwise I’m likely to daydream about what could happen instead of making it happen).

In the past I’ve set very specific goals for myself: write this many pages, edit this many books, make this much money. I’m not completely opposed to those types of goals, but some of them are outside of my control (I can’t make people hire me or people publish my books). When I’m not meeting goals, I get discouraged, which can lead to ignoring the rest of the goals for the year.

Not a good way to make the most of the new year!

Instead, I’ve found five simple goals that will keep me moving forward as an editor and business owner without overwhelming me. These are the types of goals I want to encourage others to set for themselves this year:

  1. Read at least one editing resource. Even if you’ve been in the business for 30 years, there are rules that you don’t use on a regular basis. Re-read your favorite editing resource or pick up a new one. Whether you’re refreshing your memory or learning something new, you’re growing your skill set.
  2. Read at least one writing Do you edit memoirs? Read a book on how to write memoirs. Are you a fiction editor? Pick up a how-to-write-a-novel book. It doesn’t have to be the most popular how-to book, but it will give you an idea of what writers are reading, which will help you address their questions/concerns.
  3. Read at least one business Like it or not, you’re a business owner. Lots of freelance workers master their craft without thinking about the business side of things. I’ve known people who’ve had to find other jobs because they didn’t know how to run a business. Don’t let that happen to you! Devote some time to learning how to run a business.
  4. Attend at least one networking event. The only way to grow your business is to introduce more people to your business, so look for ways to meet potential clients! Attend a business-after-hours, writing conference, or library event – anywhere you’ll find your client base.
  5. Improve in one area. If you’re like me, there are probably a dozen things you can do differently to improve your editing business, but trying to tackle all of them (while still running an editing business!) isn’t always feasible. Instead, pick one thing and work on it this year. It will help build confidence and excitement for tackling the next area on your list.

This list may seem small, but it can be mighty. Finishing it (in July or December) will help give you the confidence you need to keep setting (and meeting!) future goals.

Owner of Write Now Editing and Copywriting Services, Karin Beery specializes in fiction and professional business copy. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the American Christian Writers Association. A Christian Proofreaders and Editors Network member, she is the Substantive Editing for Fiction instructor for the PEN Institute. Karin is represented by literary agent Steve Hutson at Word Wise Media. You can connect with her on FacebookTwitter, or at her website,