What does it take to be a writer? - Goals for 2020

What does it take to be a writer? This is the first in a new experiment of writing every day on Medium. I am not exactly sure where I intend this experiment to go, but I guess that is the beauty of it also.

I spent countless hours over this past weekend researching Medium writers, different topics, ‘how to’ guides and every other piece of knowledge that one should arm themselves with when setting out on a task like this.

One piece of advice stood out more than all else though.

Just Write — And hit Publish as often as possible.

I have written in the past; and I have even gotten into good writing habits before too, publishing on a semi regular basis. That writing was much more focused on a specific niche within the world of technology and did not lend itself to a wide audience. The goal of my writing in the past was in an effort to monetise the reader base as soon as possible around that particular niche. It was also at a point when I was between jobs and it was a good activity to keep me occupied and my mind focused on creating something on a daily basis.

Alas, this experiment is different, or so I’d like to think. I do intend to build up an audience over time, but consistency is the thing I want to stick to most. Putting pen to paper — finger to keyboard — each day and consistently hitting that ‘Publish’ button is what I want to get in the habit of doing.

To set up the experiment properly, I want to outline a few goals that I can refer back to at various stages throughout the year. My plan is to write and update every 90 days or so and refer back to my goals here for accountability.

1. Gain 5,000 followers on Medium by the end of 2020

This will be a challenge and will definitely require me to publish quality content on a regular basis. However, based on my research, it is definitely possible. I wanted to give myself a goal that is achievable, yet will require a great degree of effort.

2. Gain 5,000 followers on Twitter

I have become increasingly interested in Twitter in the past year and how it can be used to build a niche audience. I have seen many solopreneurs and writers leverage Twitter to amass followings of people who readily engage in their content and converse on the platform.

3. Build an email list of at least 2,000 subscribers

Building an email list is one of the tried and true means of capturing an audience that will stay with you for the long run. Aside from social media followings and audiences across various other platforms, your email list if your direct line to another human who can engage with you directly. The importance of a solid email list seems to be one of the foundational pillars for many solopreneurs, especially given the ever changing nature of social platform algorithms and reach on apps and sites.

4. Have 5,000 website visitors per month

This may not seem like a huge number but it works out to about 166 people per day visiting my website. Once again, consistency is the key. To get 5,000 people consistently visiting my site each month is the goal. This will require consistently publishing content in order to keep subscribers coming back for more.

As with so many other habits in life, momentum is the key. Getting into the routine of hitting that publish button on a daily basis is what I need to get in the flow of doing.