Welcome back! It’s been a few days (slightly longer than I’d hoped) since my 2015 Retrospective, but as promised, here’s my 2016 Goals list! As I mentioned, 2015 was great for work progress in some ways, but slow in others, so as a result, I have plenty of goals for what I’d like to accomplish in 2016.
Notice too that I’m saying 2016 Goals, rather than New Year’s Resolutions, in the hopes that maybe I’ll accomplish something concrete this year. I always make vague, general resolutions that are hard to quantify—lose weight, save money, get more gigs, spend less, eat better. And while I’d still like to do many of those things, I think it’s better, a) to focus on work goals specifically, and b) to have more specific, concrete, actually achievable (if ambitious) goals to focus on. The hard part, of course, is then figuring out how to reach them, but I’ve got the year to do that.
This “goals vs. resolution” concept isn’t new, so I’m not presenting it as some amazing new concept that my brilliant mind came up with. Ha. But if it makes sense and sounds new to you, feel free to credit me for it. 😉
In fact, I’ve used this incredibly helpful blog from colleague and awesome writer Virginia Sole-Smith as a guide. She has four posts where she talks about writing a business plan for your year, complete with a very involved spreadsheet for tracking assignments and payments, and it’s great. Thanks Virginia!
To put it simply, many of these goals strive to contribute to one overall goal:
Volunteer less, make money more.
What a concept. But it’s true. I hate to admit it, but the majority of work I’ve done for the past 3 years (since I moved to LA and changed careers) has been unpaid. Serious problem! It’s partially a problem with the economy and the current job climate, but part my own doing. I think my obstacles are 1) I’m too anxious to please/help people; 2) I’m too desperate for approval (let’s be honest); and 3) I feel like I’m so new to this career that my skills aren’t strong enough to charge for them. But that’s bullsh!t. I need to have more faith in my abilities to charge what I’m worth (or closer to it, at least), and learn, at last, to say No.
Perhaps I’m oversharing, listing my very specific and somewhat vulnerable goals to you, my adoring public (yes, I’m making assumptions, what of it). But I want to be honest. I also think it’s important to put them out into the world. I want to declare my goals to you, the public, so y’all can help keep me accountable for them. (So it’s on you now. Don’t let me down.)
Here are My 2016 Goals:
- Post in my blog at least once a week (and I haven’t given up on the Year of Ideas concept just yet)
- Send out 2-4 pitches a week
- Make $4-5,000 a month This is a big, ambitious goal, and it’s very daunting to see if I will get anywhere near it. But why not aim big, right?
- Get published in at least 5 of these specific pubs (many of which are dream pubs):
- Narratively, Dame, Bitch, Bust, The Establishment, Ravishly, The Toast, AV Club, Vulture, Bustle, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Wrap, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, New York Times, Entertainment Weekly
- Land repeat assignments with a publication that has published me before (Los Angeles Times, Hello Giggles?)
- Get 1-3 anchor clients regular clients who assign a steady flow of projects and income
- Publish my Cruise and Pinewoods stories somewhere
- Do a reading somewhere
- apply for The Moth?
- Finish my website I’ve been planning to revamp it for months now—never mind that it was never quite finished in the first place (websites can be such massive undertakings, are they ever really “finished”?)
- Redesign my blog?
- Successfully pitch/place a story for radio NPR; This American Life?
- Successfully pitch/place another video story
- Create a new video (of my own) once every 2 months I have so many ideas, and I enjoy editing, but I need to figure out this permissions issue
- Teach 5-10 (historical) dance workshops, starting with Jane Austen Tea Dance
Here are a few more general goals:
- Find a mentor and/or writing group to join?
- Learn more about writing
- Criticism, Humor (satire?), Quiz writing, creative non-fiction?
- Get better about generating ideas and pitching/writing them immediately I need to work on the whole breaking news/time peg thing…
- Sewing projects? I’m not a brilliant seamstress, but I started a few projects last year that I haven’t finished, including a Regency era corset, and something for the JoCo Cruise—which is rather soon. My January is so busy that I’m not sure how possible that will be… but I’ll try.
Well, this sure looks exhausting. It’s definitely ambitious, and in some ways I already feel overwhelmed. But it also feels like it could be achievable. Never know until you try, right?
So how about you? What are your goals for 2016? Will you help keep me accountable with mine? 🙂