Thursday, 29 December 2016

How did I do in 2016?

In January 2016, I published a post identifying some plans for the year ahead. Call them resolutions if you like. How did I do?

1. Juggling workload - keep the balls in the air, and keep the work coming in.

I managed this one, although there's been some emphasis on finding new clients, since some of the old ones have fallen away due to budget cuts, editorial changes, new policies, or big backlogs of commissioned work already on file.

2. Maintain the income. Always a challenge!

The income wasn't so much a problem as the earnings this year. Earnings fell (see problem above). However, the income actually went up, because I'm starting to be paid for some of the things commissioned years ago, that have only just been printed and paid for. Some clients have big backlogs.

3. Write more fiction.

I wrote some fiction. Not sure it was 'more' than previous years, but I'm still struggling with the short story genre and getting it right for the paying markets. I submitted three short stories to My Weekly and they were all rejected. Oh well; we can't all be brilliant at everything.

4. Complete and publish the guinea pig book!

Nope. I completely failed. But I blame the book deal I received in April for stealing my attention. It's ghost written. Don't ask. I also published The Little Book of Freelance Writing under my own name. It's a collection of articles to inspire, inform, and assist aspiring writers. Some chapters were published in magazines last year, others were written especially for the book.

I will have more time to review the situation with the guinea pig book again in 2017. I hear Bloomsbury is doing a good trade in guinea pig books. All I need is a contact in the Bloomsbury guinea pig department!

5. Complete the novel. And find a publisher.

Failed again. See above.

6. Sell more books.

Well I sold more books, but I won't be retiring on the proceeds. Perhaps no. 4 will become a best seller.

7. Have lots of holidays.

I achieved this objective, and visited Glastonbury, Lynmouth, Rutland, Welshpool, Barmouth, Coastal Suffolk, Buxton, and Lincolnshire! Still trying to sell the stories.

8. Find new clients.

I have achieved this one with a number of new magazine clients, one new book publisher, and one in the corporate sector, so I seem to be doing OK on the day-to-day stuff.

9. Develop and improve my photography skills.

I bought a new lens and did some great macro photography with bees. Did I improve? That's a bit subjective, but I like to think I'm always improving.

10. Sell photos independently of my writing work.

I started selling my photos on Alamy in December. When I say 'sell', I actually mean there are some listed for sale.

11. Complete more courses: next up: Commercial Photography, starts 11 Jan. Free! Bargain!

I did about 20 FutureLearn courses before exhausting my list of interests and deciding it was actually taking time away from my writing work. I did sell a few articles about the experiences though!