"Master Dayton" might be humorous, (I mean if Ph.Ds are called "Doctors," shouldn't MFAs be called "Masters?") but in all seriousness I have made a living freelance writing and after several years I have tons of information I want to share to help out my fellow writers, regardless of age, experience, goals, situation, or background. This blog isn't pretty-but it will help if real freelance writing information is what you want.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March Writing Goals Update #1

Update for March Freelance Writing Goals

Well this post is definitely going to be brief, or at least semi-brief by my standards. This is the first update all about the ridiculously difficult writing goals I set for myself a couple blog posts ago. Although it hasn't even been a week yet (it's 4:08 a.m. Sunday morning on the 7th, so until I go to sleep and wake up it's still 6 days by my count), but already I've seen some really interesting results, patterns, developments, whatever you want to call it, and some transparency is never a bad thing.

If you haven't read the original post, that would probably be a good idea. You can click on "writing goals" up above to go right to it. Because those weren't any ordinary goals I set. Not by a long shot. In fact, some of the individual writing goals would have made great one month goals for me in and of themselves. I've never come close to writing 100 HubPages or 100 InfoBarrel articles in one month, for example. But they're both there.

And I just kept adding on and adding on and adding on some more. As I stated in my other blog post, I wanted to shoot for the moon, so even if I fell woefully short I would still land on Everest.

So how am I doing so far? Here's a breakdown of the first 6 days, with minimal commentary:

Freelance Writing Goals
  1. $5,000 in one month: right on target. Might even be slightly ahead right now, and I'm going by the $162/day accounting. That's right what I'm averaging...and I get paid big time once a month for reports I do on the 15th so I have a LOT more breathing room than it looks.
  2. Double my eHow income: a little behind, but wrote more articles for them already this month than I had in any of the last 4.
  3. AdSense: I'm not checking the #'s, so I don't know. I'm too easily addicted by number checking to trust myself not to whittle away precious hours doing just that. But traffic is up 29% already this month, so that's a good sign.
Creative Writing Goals
  1. I'm half way through 1 zombie story, and have a new outline for another. The one I'm half way through will be the longest, so page wise I'm ahead in my goal of 3 zombie short stories. This amazes me considering all the freelance work I've been doing.
  2. 2 new pages on the novel "Broken."
  3. 1 page on book for my sister - so behind on this goal.
  4. Haven't touched the novella yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's one I knock out 20 pages in one day towards the end of the month.
  5. 2 pages on the screen play, so just about right on target.
  6. Additional short stories: I have 2 pages of outlines. So progress, but probably behind.
Passive Income Writing Goals
  1. 100 InfoBarrel Articles: I should have 19-20 done to be on pace, I have 6, so I'm behind on this one.
  2. 100 HubPages: I have 7 of this done, so I'm a little behind. But Sundays tend to be my passive income days this month, so I'm looking at my first one tomorrow.
  3. 15 Squidoo Lenses: I have 8 in development. Now I just need to flesh them out and I'll be way ahead of schedule.
  4. 30 Xomba Articles: I have 6, so right in line.
Other Writing Goals
  1. 8 Master Dayton blog posts this month. Well this is #3, so I'm ahead.
  2. 12 blog posts at my "Fixing my Life" blog. I have 4 typed out, I just need to go post them.
  3. 100 KWA articles for backlinks. I have 12 so far, so I am behind, but in fairness, I didn't even list Ezinearticles or article directory articles for backlinks, and I've shot out about 50 of those this month already.
  4. 30 UAW articles. 4 so far, so 2 behind.
  5. Haven't touched the poetry yet, but did start a couple new ones based on lines I thought of the past few days.
  6. 10 Hand written letters - 3 ready to go Monday. So ahead.
So I don't know what the perception is at this point, but it might be important to note that for $162 a day in online freelance articles, I'm writing most of those for Demand Studios, which means 11-17 a day just for that one goal.

So what's this all mean?

Well I've already noticed a habit change in my writing. It used to be very difficult and mind numbing for me to sit down and do even $60 in Demand Studios freelancing. Now, I feel lazy if I haven't knocked out $100 by early afternoon. The habit of getting up and just going all out working has already paid huge dividends after one week. $60 a day used to be hard for me to concentrate on, now $100 a day is easily twice as easy for me to do as $60 was, and I am POSITIVE that this is because my goal was to shoot way ABOVE $100 a day.

It's like some forms of athletic training. If you want to consistently work out at a rate of 7, but you can't bust through 6, spend a few days training for less time at 8 or 9. Then go back to 7. Suddenly it seems easier and you can do it.

This is the same thing that I find happening to me right now. Your economic situation definitely changes when $60 a day turns into $100 and you have even more time free afterwords.

Another major thing I've noticed already is that by forcing myself into an insane month's worth of goals (because honestly, I'm not even sure it's possible to do everything I've set out to do in one month by myself, and starting out I didn't even expect to hit half of them by month's end) I've cut out all the little time consumers like checking e-mail 30 times a day or checking AdSense every 50 minutes. Those little things really add up to consume FAR MORE time than you think. Seeing what I'm able to do when on focus makes me kick myself for taking two years to try an experiment like this :)

The 3rd thing I've noticed is my excitement at freelance writing. It's beginning to match my excitement of creative writing for the first time, because having these incredible goals really is acting like a shot of adrenaline right into my system. It's the kind of month where if I get even remotely close to the goals, the impact could very well change my life.

This freelance writing blog has covered a lot of themes and issues over the past couple years, but in many ways these past few posts have been exciting for me. I'm not only hitting a new level on being able to concentrate, work, and make good money freelancing while still building passive income and working on creative projects - but I am absolutely SHATTERING every glass ceiling that was in place before I tried this.

So that's the update for now. I don't know how close I'll make it to all my final goals, but I can say this much: I'm a whole lot more confident that I'll blow that "realistic" 50% mark completely out of the water by month's end. Keep at it, and there will be some website reviews coming up in the near future.


  1. Sounds good! As someone with plans to generate a substantial chunk of my income from Demand Studios this month, it's good to read about someone who has become proficient at pounding out article after article for them. Honestly, describing the menus of Italian restaurants in Sandy Springs, Georgia gets tiring after awhile. Tunnel vision! Tunnel vision!

  2. Adam,

    LOL - I hear that. The formats can get repetitive, and once in a while you get that one editor who doesn't know what they're doing and causes undue frustration (yesterday for me), but yes, I'm finding that once I've hit my groove, it's very easy to hammer out over $100 once I keep motivated, and right now I'm actually averaging about $150+ a day from Demand Studios, so I'm really happy with how the ambitious experiment is going so far :) Thanks for the comment and just stick with it - get a little passive income going on the side for the long term and you'll pull it out.


    Shane "Master" Dayton

  3. Isn’t it amazing what the mind can do when you force it out of its comfort zone? Just like you said, it’s similar to a form of athletic training.

    What an inspiring post.

  4. Hi Felicia,

    Thanks for the comments and encouragement! I agree about the comfort zone - my biggest jumps and successes not only in the freelance writing business, but often in life, as well, seem to come when I put myself out there and make the leap. Love the blog, by the way, so thank you for the encouragement and keep up the good work!