Friday, August 29, 2008

4-Month Evaluation

Since I don't have a boss anymore other than me, there is nobody to give me feedback on my work progress. So I'll give it to myself! (Although I tend to be a harsh critic and a perfectionist)

FINDING WORK FOR MYSELF
I'm entering my second trough month since I started this racket, and I find my procrastination is way worse than before. I don't have any outstanding assignments right now, and there is nothing more bleak than a long 8 hours with nothing to do staring you in the face. I really need to get better at networking, outreach, and pitching. I vowed to spend two hours per day on said activities this week, but I can't bring myself to do that all damn day. Instead, I've been watching shows from Netflix. Like My So-Called Life. This needs to stop. But what do I do instead?? I'm pretty much just waiting for Corey to get home so we can hang out. (It's ten in the morning...)

EXPANDING MY PORTFOLIO
Since May, I have written a business article, several green/sustainability pieces, a number of profiles, and even a servicey piece about grief. I feel pretty jazzed about this effort. Lots of pots to dip my hands into.

FINDING MY NICHE
I know it seems odd to evaluate myself simultaneously on breadth and focus, but as a writer I feel it's important to find a niche, an area of expertise, to better market myself. I liked writing the business article, for example, but it didn't make my heart race like the green stories did. I'm finding that when I spend my two daily hours reaching out, I grab at topics that give me the tingles. These things are health/fitness, green stories, and pretty much anything related to advancing women's rights. For me this often looks like stories about women playing contact sports, but I get just as tingly about women-owned cooperative farms. Which also fits into my green niche.

I also love writing about food, but really--who doesn't? I think I'm pretty happy with my progress toward finding my niche in the world.

WRITING FOR NATIONAL PUBLICATIONS
Thus far, I have one 150-word piece in Bicycling magazine, a 3-paragrapher forthcoming in Ode magazine, and a handful of blurps in US Airways. This needs to be my focus. This is where I must be diligent. I cannot die a happy person unless I get to become a regular contributor to Outside or one of the many fabulous publications by Rodale. I just need this to feel satisfied.

EARNING A LIVING WAGE BY MY PEN
I feel ok about this. A shit-ton of people owe me a lot of money right now, which makes me anxious. (Hi, Peggy! Got any checks in your mailbag?) But the money is going to show up soon, and it will be fine. Three-quarters of my income starting in May came from writing stuff. This makes me happy. Now, if there were just a bit more of it, I could feel better about the $25 copays for PT, but that's a different story for another day.

OVERALL: Considering the procrastination, I give myself a B. I could be working harder than I am, so not living up to my potential makes me angry. Something to improve by year's end!

3 comments:

Chris Mayhew said...

What issue of Bicycling should we be looking for?

Thought about joining Facebook for real? Good way to network and advertise, and a good time suck.

Thought about writing for any of the local stuff (Dirt Rag, Urban Velo) or VeloNews? There's a huge swell in cycling in general and womens' cycling specifically right now (and locally).

You've clearly got talent as evidenced here.

Valtastic said...

I give you a B- because you procrastinated watching My So Called Life and never blogged about Jordan Katalano or the Boiler Room...

bethany said...

i am super proud and amazed that you are doing so awesomely well at this. i would give you an A, but what the hell do i know? a B will give you room for improvement, which is pretty much my rule of thumb when grading my students, too.

i'm not sure if you're into writing for free anymore, but a friend of mine, Arija, is starting a magazine featuring writing by women. i'm going to submit something as well. the website is http://periodsmagazine.com.