MY GOALS FOR 2018: Never too old to start dreaming


It’s that time of the year again–time to take stock of the year gone by and time to make new plans for the coming year. 2017 has been a mixed bag, both at the professional as well as personal fronts. While I had zero famine months the whole year (thank you dear clients), I suffered from ill health in the second half of the year (Jaundice, Tennis Elbow, and Cervical) which meant some missed deadlines and unhappy clients. I also failed to publish my novel which I’ve been working on since ages. Therefore, setting–and prioritizing–my goals for 2018 became all the more important. While I did set goals every year, they were in my journal where nobody could see them. This is the first time I’m posting them online, hoping that doing so will help keep me accountable. So, here we are, my goals for 2018:

Professional Editing







Here are the things I will aim for w.r.t my freelance editing career:

  • Join an international society of editors, probably the SfEP, in January. A membership of such a prestigious organization would mean I’d uphold excellent editing standards every time. My clients will know they are dealing with a professional who takes her business, and their manuscripts, seriously.
  • Acquire the necessary training credits and proof of experience needed to move on to the Intermediate level before July.
  • Offer a wider selection of editorial services. Possible services could be translation, transcription, editing graphic novels or academic editing. Explore more possibilities as and when I find them.
  • Enroll in diplomas/ refresher courses/ workshops as a part of continuing professional development.
  • Improve my editing process by doing the following:
  1. Improve editing speed. My current speed is approx. 1000 words per hour.
  2. Learn the use of macros to do time-consuming tasks quickly and efficiently.
  3. Track the time taken to complete projects so I can estimate better and meet all deadlines, every time.
  • Improve my marketing efforts by doing these things:
  1. Improve the look and functionality of my website. Have been trying to do it myself for a long time. Probably best to take the help of a professional, especially since the said professional is my husband 😉
  2. Ensure branding across all platforms, whether online or offline.
  3. Get my visiting cards printed.
  4. Start my editing newsletter. Start with a manageable frequency—perhaps once a fortnight—then increase frequency to once a week by the end of the year.
  5. Write a lead magnet to offer to my newsletter subscribers in exchange for signing up.
  6. Start blogging regularly on things related to editing/writing/reading. Aim for one blog post a week. Integrate video blogging if possible.
  7. Publish regularly on the website and Facebook page.
  8. Make a list of ideas for blog posts in advance and keep adding to the list.
  9. Write a series of booklets on editing to help authors. Publish the first two booklets in 2018, hopefully in March and September.
  10. Update my regular resume into a functional resume.
  11. Cold-email publishers for freelance editing opportunities.
  12. Create and use Messenger bots to complement my existing marketing strategies.
  • Meet CA and streamline my business process. Take advice on registering a company, paying taxes etc. Create a separate bank account for my editing business.


Professional Writing










Below are the things I plan to do for my author-self. Wish me luck, friends, because last year I failed on *all* of these. 🙁 Hope the coming year will prove to be better.

  • Improve my writing process.
  1. Write for two hours every day.
  2. Create a writing timetable and a detailed publishing schedule and stick to it.
  3. Purchase Dragon. Use dictation for writing to improve efficiency.
  • Streamline my publishing schedule.
  1. Finish writing Poison Pen, the first book in the mystery series I’ve been planning, by 15 January 2018 and send for beta-reading.
  2. Publish Poison Pen in February.
  3. Publish at least four fiction books of the same series in 2018.
  4. Publish two editing booklets in 2018. (Repeated, I know. But I *do* have to write them first 😉 )
  • Join ALLi (Alliance of Independent Authors) towards the end of 2018.
  • Improve my marketing efforts.
  1. Create Author website and Facebook page. Ensure branding among the editing website as well as these.
  2. Start my author newsletter.
  3. Write a lead magnet to offer to newsletter subscribers.
  4. Learn how to use Facebook ads to get visibility and generate sales.
  5. Learn about Messenger bots and start using one.











Of course, I had to set goals for my favorite thing to do 🙂

  • Chose the reading goal as two books a week, which means reading 100 books in 2018, discounting 4 books for emergencies. This year I aimed for 52 books but I surpassed the goal and read sixty-three books as of 19 December 2017. Hope to close at sixty-five books. Gotta challenge myself harder 🙂
  • Use Goodreads reading challenge to stay on track.
  • Read more books related to the craft of writing and editing, say 30% of the total number of books I read. So, 30 books out of the 100 should be craft-related.
  • Review all books I read on the blog, even if they are short reviews.











This one is a toughie because these require my adherence *every single day*. Not sure how many I’ll be able to follow, or for how long, but I’ll aim for the stars for sure. 🙂 Well, here I go:

  • Regularize sleeping patterns. Wake up at 5 a.m. every day and sleep by 10 p.m.
  • Write Morning Pages every day. Write in a Gratitude Journal every night.
  • Maintain a detailed planner and bullet journal.
  • Exercise daily for one hour in the morning.
  • Take regular breaks during editing and writing. Follow Pomodoro method.
  • Join a gym and get fit.
  • Eat better.
  • Practice meditation, affirmation, and visualization.
  • Volunteer for the causes I believe in–AAP SM, Apna Sapna Vidyalaya, NaNoWriMo, and ICF.


Did you make it this far? Thanks! Go on now, tell me about *your* goals for 2018 in the comments. Better still, write a blog post and post the link here and I’ll make sure to hold you accountable to your goals. Together we win, remember?





4 thoughts on “MY GOALS FOR 2018: Never too old to start dreaming

  1. Dola, i just feel like reblogging this. You’ve included every single thing I want to do in the next year. Everything except volunteering for causes. My cause this year is Dagny’s Life. 🙂

    All the best to you. May you retain your focus and drive each ďay. The gratitude journal will surely help you with that. (Y)

    1. I’m so glad you liked the post, Dagny. It means a lot, coming from an established blogger like you. Please do blog about your goals too. I’ll make sure I hold you accountable to them ( read: ping you incessantly every month and ask for progress report) 😀

  2. Commendable goals Dola! In fact an eye-opener for me since I know nothing of the editing world, except that it transforms a raw manuscript into something publishing worthy. I wish you all the success towards achieving all these goals. The reading-writing world like any other has seen a sea of change with its brush with tech. So indeed tough keeping in sync with ever evolving techniques that make editing more fast and efficient. All the best with your upcoming novel too. Cheers!

    1. What you say about the brush of technology in the reading/writing world is so true! Thanks a lot for your good wishes, Kala. Hopefully, I’ll be able to stick with most, if not all, of them.

Let me know what you think!