Flashback Friday: Mid-2016 Goals Assessment

Well, it’s July. Exactly halfway through the year. The San Gabriel Valley in-person writing group I co-founded is having a potluck tomorrow to celebrate summer and all that we’ve accomplished so far, so it seems like a great time for a goals assessment of the goals I set in January. Let’s see how I’m doing.

But first, let me say my usual exclamation:

I can’t believe it’s July already! Honestly, where does the time go!? 🙂

Ok, that’s done. Moving on…

You may recall, the general goal I was aiming for this year was to volunteer less and earn more. That is proving difficult. For one, I’m still finishing up a couple volunteer projects I started last year (like the CCECD website), though I’m making good progress. I’ll also say old habits are hard to break. I went to a conference last week and again found myself volunteering to help the organization with a website, knowing full well they probably have no budget to pay me. But I’ll talk to them about it, because I’d like to work with them, and who knows, perhaps they’ll be able to scrape together a little something to cover it. Wish me luck.

2016 Goals Assessment: How We Doing?

I had a pretty hefty list from January so some things are moving slowly. Here’s where I’ve made progress:

  • Post in my blog at least once a week: This is where I’ve made the most progress, though I haven’t quite maintained a weekly schedule. Out of the 26 weeks of 2016 so far (not including this current week), I’ve posted in 14 of them. So a little more than half. For what it’s worth, I’ve traveled a fair amount during these six months (including the JoCo Cruise and three conferences), and those are some of the weeks I’ve missed. I also find, unfortunately, that blogging doesn’t really help with the “volunteer less, earn more” mantra, which is part of the problem.
  • Send out 2-4 pitches a week: While I’ve fallen short of this goal, I have pitched, and published, a few stories so far this year. I also find I need a better method for keeping track of the pitches I send out. So that will need to be a modified goal for the remainder of the year: create and maintain a better spreadsheet to keep track of pitches.
  • Get published in some dream pubs: I’ve only cracked one of the list of pubs so Goals Assessment - PPZ Etiquette Manualfar: the soon to be defunct The Toast (which is so terribly sad!). I’m delighted by the piece I “discovered” (ie: wrote) for them, a “nineteenth-century etiquette manual describing the proper decorum for fighting zombies,” in honor of the release of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies—which, incidentally, I loved. I am making progress on a few of the other pubs though, and certainly hope to be published there by the end of the year. Meanwhile, I published pieces in L.A. Weekly, and the New York Observer, both of which I’m extremely proud of.
  • Land repeat assignments with a publication that has published me before: I’m pleased to have an ongoing relationship with CheerProfessional. So far my editor there seems to be pleased with my work (I sure hope).
  • Finish my website: I’ve made some progress on this, I’m happy to say, albeit slowly (and it’s not live, so you can’t see it). I find that what I have in mind is too complex for my current coding knowledge, so I started using—which means learning—a new software called Muse (part of the Adobe suite). It’s been kind of amazing, and I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made so far. I love learning new tools!
  • Create a new video (of my own): While I haven’t created a new video yet, I did revamp the Christmas video I made, using better quality clips (clearer picture and removing extraneous logos), and putting it up on Vimeo as well as YouTube. I’m not sure how to resolve the permissions issue, which is frustrating, so if anyone out there has any suggestions, I’m all ears. I’m still so proud of that video and I wish more people could see it. In fact, for kicks, I think I’ll embed it below, in case you missed it the first time, or just want to see it again. 🙂
  • Teach 5-10 (historical) dance workshops YES, I’ve pretty much reached this goal already! In addition to the regency footwork class I taught before the Jane Austen tea dance, I also taught a schottische workshop before the Alice in Wonderland tea dance, a cross-step waltz workshop at the Mothers & Roses tea dance (not to mention a private lesson in cross-step), my own Ragtime dance workshop at the Athletic Garage in Pasadena, and I called a full program at the Culver City English country dance. These were all lots of fun, and it’s time to start planning another workshop!

I also finished the massive sewing project I made for the JoCo Cruise. That was quite an undertaking, and I’m very proud of how it came out. I haven’t worked on any sewing projects since then, though I did write an essay about sewing that should be published in a great new women’s digital publication called Maximum Middle Age. I’m not sure when my piece will be live, but definitely check them out. They’re smart and funny and engaging, and all around awesome. I’m excited to be involved.

Here’s the really big news this year: Alex and I bought a house! While I love the area we currently live in, it’s very expensive, and our rent will probably continue to go up. So we’re moving to a less central area that is less expensive, and we’ll be able to invest our money, and get more house for the price. I’m even hoping to have enough space to set up my sewing machine on a semi-permanent basis. I’m nervous about the move, especially with juggling tasks and making more headway on my goals, but it’s also very exciting.

So there you have it. It’s always good to review, and see that perhaps it’s not as bad as you expect. Let’s see how the remainder of the year plays out.

So readers, how are you doing on your 2016 goals?

Just For Now – A Christmas Compilation from Renee Camus on Vimeo.

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