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.
3 thoughts on “2015 in hindsight”
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.
I’ve downloaded the guide but need to work through it still!
It was very interesting, and even though I did it last week, I keep thinking about it. Let me know your experience.