Planning for the New Year for Writers

by Meryl Evans | Category: Business, Meryl's Notes Blog, Writing 6 comments
Image credit: Mateusz Stachowski

Image credit: Mateusz Stachowski

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been brainstorming and reviewing my work and passions to see what I can do to take it up a notch in the next year. Unfortunately, the planning has turned out to be more of a struggle than a successful one. As much as I love working as a freelance writer, I feel like my passion went on a hiatus. I couldn’t get excited about anything. To wake up the passion, I started reading Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crush It. (Very quick, easy and powerful read.)

Seeking Creativity and Passion

While the book is motivating, I’m not sure where to go or what to do. I’m already passionate about social media (and most everyone else I know). But what product or service should I focus on? That was the problem. I’m lucky to be able to work on a diversity of assignments rather than in a niche. A lack of a niche can be a problem, too. A niche comes in handy for developing email courses, e-books and other products. It also helps people associate you with the niche, giving you a brand.

So I took  Julia Comeron’s — author of The Artist’s Way —  advice to do morning pages, which is writing three longhand pages of notes about any topic to kick-start creativity. I just started doing this activity, and she says it takes about 12 weeks for it to pay off. It’s suppose to help people who lack clear direction find something that’s exciting and challenging.

Reviewing Work and Making Changes

I had more success in reviewing the work I’ve done for the past year as well as look at where I spend my time including…

  • Paid work.
  • Non-paid work.
  • Social networking time.
  • Other time spent during working day.

After reviewing my time spent, I made the following changes:

  • Dropped one non-profit board position as the meetings took too much time of my work day. But, I still volunteer for the organization where I have more control over when and how much I volunteer.
  • Became a substitute on my tennis team rather than a regular player. The matches, especially those away from the home courts, took a lot of time. I still attend weekly team drills and benefit from the practice, socializing and fun that comes with the sport.
  • Attended fewer weekly mah jongg games with other moms, some who also work. It gives me a break from the computer and lets me catch up with friends without cutting into evening family time or kids’ extracurricular activities.

I’m still evaluating the time I spend on social networking. This is my marketing tool. My way of keeping my name out there. My way of helping others. My way of sharing knowledge.

I enjoy working with all of the clients and projects I currently have. So I don’t need to let go of any. In the past, I have let go of clients because they were energy drainers. When a project makes me feel this way, I tend to procrastinate and avoid the project — something that’s not my nature. Many people fear dropping a client, but think how much more energy you’ll have that you can replace one negative assignment with two energizing ones.

Making Plans

Right now, I haven’t added anything new to my plate for next year. Rather, I’ll continue with my morning pages and evaluating social media. This blog will also take a greater focus on business for writers, which includes marketing, social media and anything not having to do with the act of writing and publishing. Lots of fabulous blogs and web sites already cover these in depth.

On the bright side, I did get things done to clear the cobwebs for the new year.

Meeting your needs comes first. What are you favorite topics to read here? Why do you come here? What do you want to see more of?

How do you plan for the new year?


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