2015 in hindsight

I usually review my professional year just before Rosh Hashanah, but when Erika Dreifus posted last week about Annette Gendler‘s “Artist and Writer’s Workbook,” she piqued my interest. I moseyed over to Annette’s site to acquire my copy (free download with sign-up to Annette’s newsletter). Today, I finally sat down to complete it.

On the financial front, it was a bit sobering. For the first time in years, I made less than in the previous year from my writing (I made about the same amount from my editing, but I don’t think it entirely balanced things out). In truth, I intentionally worked less this past year. I’ve stopped doing any serious writing on Fridays and immediately before holidays, and had a few time-consuming family situations to deal with this year. I also volunteered for some significant community projects: teaching Torah to women through my synagogue, organizing a local writing group, and hosting the first of what I hope will be many Women’s-Only Open Mic events here in L.A.

And I wasted lots of time.

I published in just one new place – my only unpaid fiction appearance of the year. That also was disconcerting.

On the other hand, I don’t think I actually wrote less…I wrote fewer, longer pieces, some of which never got published.

Something that surprised me while filling out Annette’s guide was my “top topics” I covered this year included humor. I sometimes try to be funny, but I usually intend it to lighten up an otherwise serious piece. Apparently, I write a lot more humor than I realize.

Anyway, I’ve established three priorities (Annette’s booklet says to just pick three), and plotted out a few steps to take in the first few months of 2015. Hopefully, this will help me meet my goal for next year.

Has anyone else out there tried Annette’s guide or otherwise considered their artistic work in 2015? Share your thoughts in the comments.

3 thoughts on “2015 in hindsight

  1. In 2015, I accomplished two writing goals that I had set for myself: publishing a revised edition of my first book (incorporating your sage advice, ma’am) and publishing that book’s sequel. So, now I have a series.

    Yes, it was sobering, financially. I did not receive the response that I had anticipated. It’s been a trickle so far. However, I realistically expect a slow build.

    This year, I also started to create a social media presence and an email list. The email list is still really small.

    I also found two mentors in the writing and author-biz spaces: Joanna Penn and Nick Stephenson. The latter gives an online course that I take. Both recommend writing more books and concentrating on building the email list. So, I plan to focus efforts in those areas, as well as further publicity.

    As far as writing goes, I have grand plans. We’ll see what 2016 brings.


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