Well, it’s coming up to the close of 2011, and I’ve given myself a lot to think about in the past few months.
Most importantly, I’ve thought a lot about what I’m doing right now as a lover of books, and what I could be doing to make the next year more successful on that front. My freelancing has stalled; it’s easy to blame this on the fact that I have a day job that takes up a lot of my mental energy, but that would be wrong because there are plenty of other people out there who are successful at balancing a day job and freelancing work.
So now I’ve decided that I need to sit down and think about what I want to do. Who do I want to work with? The kind of writing and editing I’ve advertised on my site so far has been targeted (somewhat haphazardly, I admit) to small businesses. However, let’s consider the following:
- Do I follow a lot of small businesses/entrepreneurs/start-up companies on Twitter? No.
- Do I listen regularly to podcasts about marketing, small businesses, or start-up culture? No.
- Are the people I network with on a regular basis involved in small businesses or start-up culture? On the whole, no.
In all three cases – social media, podcasts, and in-person networking – the majority of the people I converse with are fiction writers. I follow book review sites, publishing news, and other editors on Twitter. At WCDR meetings, I talk to people who just got their books published with independent presses. And on the podcast front, I listen to podcasts talking about the art, craft, and business of writing.
Then, let’s not forget, I attempted NaNoWriMo this year, and, wonder of wonders, actually hit the 50,000-word mark. Consequently, I’ve had to admit to myself: The people who I felt I should work with as a freelancer were not the same people that I found myself most easily connecting with.
What does that mean, then? I think it means I have to re-brand myself and devote myself to what I’m really interested in: Working on fantasy and sci-fi fiction.
I can hear some of you groaning in the background. Genre fiction? I hear you scoff.
It’s the fiction I find myself reading and enjoying most often. This more a change in direction than a reversal – I’ll still try to work on writing website copy and helping people with their WordPress installations. But I’ll just have to be more diligent about finding writers who want me to critique their work.
To help me with this task, I’ve set up a few new goals for 2012:
- Read at least 25-30 scifi/fantasy books.
- Write at least 5,000 words of my own fiction every week. More to the point, write a series of short stories as my own personal writing challenge along the lines of NaNoWriMo.
- Build a network of like-minded writers and bloggers who also appreciate sci-fi and fantasy writing.
- Attend the 2012 World Fantasy Convention in November.
This last bullet is the most important. The 2012 WFC is happening in Richmond Hill, of all places (though the site says Toronto), and that’s practically in my backyard. Given my new realization about what I want to do and my new sense of focus about how to achieve this, I would be a fool if I didn’t take advantage of such an event handed to me on a silver platter.
So, those are my goals for 2012. And if it turns out that the Mayans were right and the apocalypse does happen, at least I’ll have faced it doing something I love to do.