My New Year's Resolutions (Not Really)

OK, here's the last of the posts on my 2005 writing goals (promise). They're based on the questions in this article by freelance writer Devon Ellington. The other questions were designed to help formulate the writing goals. Question 6 (I answered them out of order) asks what steps you can take to achieve them.

Just to sum up, over the past week I've come up with the following goals:

  • Only take jobs that I want to do; earn my living from creative writing (long term).
  • Finish and send out short story “Asleep, Awake.”
  • Work on finishing things and sending them out consistently.
  • Make more money in 2005 than I did in 2004.
  • Improve creative writing technical skills.
  • Spend at least three hours, six days a week, writing.
6. What steps to you see necessary in your life to achieve these goals? Each month, pick one step and work on it.

Here are the steps I've come up with to help me meet my goals. There are 12 of them and they are organized loosely by month:
  • Finish short story, send it to two people for review, then submit it.
  • Look for new leads, clients and jobs. Check job postings every day.
  • Make more time for creative writing; consider attending a retreat or writer's workshop.
  • File taxes; figure out quarterly payments for 2005; Make a budget.
  • Update my resume to include the Celtic Mythology book and recent jobs.
  • Only take jobs that pay a fair rate for my level of experience.
  • Join a professional freelance marketplace such as
  • Network. Get business cards.
  • Start charging more per hour or assignment.
  • Finish old work before starting new work.
  • Write 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo in November.
  • Start sending out finished work on a regular schedule.
There are two quick things I want to say about this process. First, when I first saw the list of questions I doubted that they would be helpful for me. I was wrong. There's a big difference between thinking about something in the abstract and the concrete action of writing it all down. I'm glad I took the time to do it. I think I ended up with a pretty good list of non-resolutions.

Second, I might not have tackled these questions and I surely would not have followed through so nicely if it weren't for this blog. Having the daily (if self-imposed) deadline of the blog forced me to do the exercise even after I got a little bored with it. And having an audience for it, no matter how small, forced me to be honest and thorough.

So, my faithful audience of twenty or so, thanks for your (mostly silent) support. And I'm sorry if I bored you this week. By the way, I know some of you are writers (or artists, or etc.) and I'm still interested to know if any of you tackled any of the questions and what you came up with. Post a comment and let me know, OK?

1 comment:

Visual-Field said...

I've really enjoyed your posts on the Devon Ellington questions. Most of these questions are applicable to endeavors other than freelance writing (including, for me, photography and scientific research). It's helpful (and interesting) to see someone else struggling with them.

More generally, I like your blog very much. Good luck with your plans for 2005!