Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

Yeah, it's already the 11th. Don't judge. I still have last year's resolutions in the back of my mind to do. I think at this point it's time to let go of the old and to make new ones. I've been thinking about new goals since the 1st of the year because I take resolutions very seriously. I actually have all of my resolutions for each year since I was 16. Seriously.

Last year's resolutions went sort of OK, though I didn't do the ones that I thought were the most challenging, so that's pretty much a fail. In reality, this year's will likely end up like this, but I will press on anyway. Here's what I've come up with:

Stick to a basic work schedule.
For a freelancer, that doesn't necessarily mean that work is done at a specific time- just that a set amount of work gets done each day. I've been trying since the first to work with a daily schedule planned out a week at a time to ensure that I don't try to take on too much work in a day, burn out for a day and then come back with trepidation at the thought of more misery.

Work on my novels.
I have a list (yes, I am waaay into lists) of the novels that I have either begun or have in mind to begin. Some of them have been buzzing around in my head for about 15 years. If I can stick to my work schedule and can feel assured that enough work is getting done to allow us to continue to eat and all of that, I should feel no guilt at delving into my novels and perhaps actually finishing one.

Read my work more often. Once a piece is written and proofread, I tend to never want to see it again. It's over. Finished. I have come to believe, however, that reading over your work after it's cold and dead will give you some objective insight about your style in a way that reading over a still-warm work can't. I have been reading some items that I wrote a year ago or more and I have seen several spots that could be improved. I think that a person's writing style is always evolving and that this evolution can be helped by sucking up your pride and visiting those old items.

Continue to build residuals. This has become important to my income and I hope it will allow me to take it a little easier this summer. Last summer was rotten as the economy tanked and work dried up. With less free time at that time of year, I had less time to market myself and communicate with potential clients and we all suffered for it. To offset this, I am working hard at creating income streams that will continue to come in even if the freelancing market slows. Having a little bit of cushioning like that is important when you rely on your freelancing income for the basics.


Russell Cavanagh said...

Hi L,

Could follow my example with Triond (re "residuals"). I'm about to break $1.90 for the 13 articles I posted with them over six months ago. Though I haven't in the slightest tried to market them ... How come you do so well with this stuff (apart from your natural writing talent, of course!)?

L. Shepherd said...

I did try Triond for awhile, but I had even worse results. With about 15 articles I usually amass about .25 a month.

Suite101 has been pretty good to me over the past six months. It takes a few months to really make it worthwhile, but it's worth the effort. There are two other sites I also wrote for that are similar in their income potential. The combination of the three has made the project work.

L. Shepherd said...

Also, Bukisa is a newer one that is paying a lot better than Triond. I actually have it on my schedule for next week to pull my Triond articles off the site and put them on Bukisa.

Russell Cavanagh said...

Thanks for the advice.