Focus: my goal for 2011; Growth: my experience in 2010

About a year ago, in December 2009, I was sitting in my living room with two friends.

I had no heat, two plastic chairs and a coffee table. I was chasing down the last of that year’s freelancing invoices to make about $16,000.

I was certainly still privileged for an endless list of reasons, but, to put it shortly, for a lot of reasons, 2009 was a miserable year for me. The three of us all had disappointing years. We all agreed that 2010 was going to better. Much, much better.

What I did do last year was reflect on 2009 and decided upon a theme: slow start.

I haven’t paid it much mind until now, but I think that’s a great task, summing up a year and trying to move in the direction of another for the following year. In that post, I suggested 2010 would have to be a year of ‘next steps.’

Basically, I need a thousand flowers to bloom so I could see which one I wanted to pick.

As expected, 2010 was a much, much better year. It was a year of tremendous growth for me, and, yes, next steps, as I’ll reflect upon below.

But now, with all of this growth, it is time to pick. Fitting the professional goals and the personal resolutions I’ve set, my theme or my overarching goal for 2011 is focus.

Continue reading Focus: my goal for 2011; Growth: my experience in 2010

My 2011 Professional Resolutions

Yes, I’m doing a resolutions post. If for no other reason than to hold myself accountable.

Looking at last year’s professional goals, which were much more about staying afloat financially, I think this year, the theme is laying the foundation of sustainability to grow a business and opportunities at journalism and the like.

I broke them out more specifically by month, as I did for last year’s personal resolutions:

Continue reading My 2011 Professional Resolutions

My best clips of 2009

Happy 2010.

But first: yesterday I shared my best read posts of 2009. Because ultimately I’m a freelancer, I thought I ought to share my best clips of the year, if only to satisfy my concern that 2009 was all for naught.

See my portfolio here.

Meaning they must have met a good portion of the four reasons a freelancer would write a story, below I list the best one or two clips from each calendar month of 2009:

Continue reading My best clips of 2009

Professional Resolutions for 2010

Update: Today, Dec. 19, 2010, I’ve gone back and looked at my goals. It’s interesting to see a split and failure to finish most of these. Three of these resolutions I succeeded in meeting definitively and met in spirit a fourth; I outright failed at three, and two became un-applicable as the year wore on.

I also created personal resolutions and goals to manage on my new home in 2010, but with a new year, I want to set goals for my professional self in 2010.

After all, 2009 was a brutal year, so 2010 should be plenty better.

  1. Stabilize my incomeUpdate: I did that in January 2010 in an unexpected way. It’s varied wildly throughout 2009. One way or another, I want to focus it.
  2. A new, solid pitch at least once a weekUpdate: Did that until I got the above mentioned job. (to buttress other work and those fed to me)
  3. Contact a new client at least once a monthUpdate: Did that until I got the above mentioned job. In writing, editing, multimedia or other
  4. 100 RSS subscribers for this site, up from 60 todayUpdate: Nope.
  5. 1,500 Twitter followers, from the 960 today (I hope a plurality of them can offer value in connecting to sources, ideas and content) — Update: nope, though, at nearly 1400, I got closer.
  6. Distribute remaining 600 business cardsUpdate: Nope. I still have more than 400.
  7. Bring Technically Philly to profitabilityUpdate: By way of its parent company, we did do that, as I’ve come on full-time.
  8. Earn grant funding for real journalismUpdate: Yes, for both NEast and Technically Philly.
  9. Write regularly on this site Update: check! It’s a place to improve my web writing and connect with audiences. I want to perhaps write a little less but make the product more meaningful.

Professional Resolutions for 2009

It’s a new year, so it’s time for resolutions. Here are my professional ideas, as I shared some more specific personal ones here.

Here are a few I’ve been thinking about:

  • Write: I want to write more here, journal more, more establish my freelancing career, get pieces into big newspapers and magazines and be part of meaningful journalism. Most important, I want to think I am a better writer, reporter and journalist a year from now than I am now.
  • Technology: I need to toe more into the obvious steps of tech, multimedia and web design. I want to invest time in using my point and click camera, editing video and audio and move this website maybe to a self-hosted version without the wordpress.com.
  • I want to make $30,000: Making that pre-tax total would mean I made more than I did as a post-graduate intern and allow me to save a little bit of money. I could do this freelancing, but I also might look for some writing and journalism jobs.
  • Make a book out of WDSTL: I created a lot of content with the cheap travel video podcast while backpacking in Europe, so I’d like to do something more with it.
  • I want to say ‘I don’t know’ more: All of us get trapped into making educated guesses and generally trying to answer questions or offer opinions for matters we don’t know. I want to stop that. If I don’t know something, I want to
  • Frame clips and diploma: I have some great newspaper clips and that diploma I paid so much for, so I’d like to display them to show them off a bit and be reminded of how hard I worked for them.
  • Update portfolio: I have a print portfolio that I’d like to update.

Those are my clearest objectives for 2009. What are yours?