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.