Goal #1, though, is a simple picture:
And the picture really tells a simple story, but it's not the obvious story.
It's not "I need to make more time for my family." It's "I need to make the time I spend away from my family working more efficient and work for me."
So with that theme in mind, here are my 2011 goals:
About.com - expand my income beyond the minimum ($500 per month stipend) by the end of 2011.
Suite101 - if possible, complete an experiment of 3-5 months writing nearly full-time, and quadruple my income (by quadrupling my article total) by the end of 2011.
History book - sell the proposal I have out there now, and have a full draft by the end of 2011.
Academic publishing - continue with current client and work to add one new client.
Book reviews - break into Kirkus Reviews with at least one review, and write 2-3 reviews for new academic journals.
Backlinking - write articles for non-paying or low-paying markets ONLY if I can backlink to my benefit.
DMS CE work - continue for now.
So that's it.
What I won't be doing in 2011:
- Writing for DMS. I'm done.
- Experimenting with lesser/low PR rev share sites.
- Accepting work below a set pay rate (per word or per hour).
- Chasing new clients aside from those targeted above.
Some other professional measures I need to take:
- Create a website that showcases my work (I have the domain name).
- Network more locally.
- Contact more PR firms locally to get on lists for press events/grand openings/ festivals/etc. related to my writing.
- Attend at least one major writing/editing/SEO conference.
Given that I have a toddler at home, I think this is fairly ambitious. I have about 7 hours of babysitting a week, and often sacrifice sleep to do my writing work. I'm hoping to keep my goals reasonable for 2011, but by mid-2012 Daniel will be in preschool and I may inch my way, slowly, toward having more time.
I want to enjoy my family time, though - having a large break (7.5 years) between our second and third means that I know how quickly they grow up, and at 1, 8 and 12 the time will fly by. Querying inappropriate markets, chasing low-pay but "possibly prestigious" work, and wasting my time on fruitless writing isn't how I want to spend my time this year.