Tuesday, December 30, 2008

End of the Year

I'm still cleaning out here - up to garbage bag Number 5, and am impatiently waiting for the recycle bin to be emptied so I can put more stuff in. Does my office look any better yet? Not really, until you look closely. The huge set of shelves in the corner, which previously groaned under the weight of tons of paper and stuff, are now almost empty, and all that is going back there will be in labelled boxes. It's a case of making room in order to create order!

I'm also still considering my goals. Yesterday I read the post on J.A. Konrath's blog - he has compiled his suggested goals for the past four years, and they make very interesting reading. And he is right - we should focus on things we have control over, and keep moving forward. Kristi Holl has posted on her blog about her planned study program for 2009. She's going to be doing her own MFA at home, a great idea and something that is in reach for everyone.

We all need to create our own path to follow, and work out what will take us further along it. I'm like Kristi - I'm in the mood for more study, although I don't want to spend the time on an MA (especially the academic exegesis side of it). I have just received the second Margie Lawson lecture packet - this one is on Deep EDITS, and will take what I've learned so far and extend it into language and crafting sentences.

I see many knick-knacks on the internet that are about helping you set goals and create mission statements. A lot of them also want you to set a financial goal to aim for. Various studies show that the average writer earns about $6000 a year from their writing. It's not like a weekly pay packet you can depend on. One year you could earn three times that amount, the next you might be lucky to earn half. Maybe the goal for a writer is to increase their yearly earnings by a percentage. Aim for a 10% or 20% increase each year, and part of your strategy needs to be to work out where that money will come from. I feel tired just thinking about it!

But I will be thinking a lot about my 09 goals this week, because I'll be sharing them with my special writing/crit partner next week. Deadlines are good! I'll also be looking over my 5 year plan (I still can't get beyond Year 3 but I'm trying), which I created after doing Randy's seminars. More importantly, I'm going to be looking at what I can do right now, and over the next two months, to set it all in motion for 09. All the goals in the world are pointless until you get started on them.

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