Good lord, it’s slow around here! I’m sitting for eight hours or more with absolutely no work coming in save for yesterday’s ongoing routine. And thank God for it – it will be the first check I receive in 2008 and it will make this lean time a lot less lean.
So what am I doing? Searching for opportunities. It’s a rare gift having time to market, and I’m taking advantage. So far, I’ve sent out 10 brochures this week, contacted two wayward clients, and have brainstormed on where I might find other work. I’ve taken one of those gawd-awful “tests”, but since this was an area I’d not worked in before, and since I established in writing that my test won’t be used and I’ll retain copyright, I was okay with it. Besides, there’s nothing happening here – why not spend the time learning a new niche of an old industry?
I’m financially strapped, but so far the gifts have been paid for in cash only. Charging it would defeat my goal of paying down my entire debt – business and personal – and I’m seeing real progress this year.
So, what are you doing this week? Are you allowing yourself to relax and enjoy the pre-holiday madness? Or are you, like me, going crazy from lack of work and that same sinking feeling that the new year won’t deliver on those projects you’ve been courting? I have three irons in the fire (four if you count the one I suspect will never come about), and if any of them come through, I’m in great shape. Well, one already did, so I’m able to untense a few muscles, but not many (because we know that without the contract, the deal isn’t a deal). If two come through, I’ll be overworked (happily, joyfully, I’ll work 12-hour days if need be!). If all of them work out, yikes! From these fingers to God’s ear, know what I’m saying?
I read Anne Wayman’s post over at The Golden Pencil yesterday about goal setting. I love her take on it. Please read it – but in essence, Anne says that setting goals because you feel you have to isn’t the best approach. Set them because you want to, and after you’ve done some soul searching and contemplating.
It’s true – we see a new year, a new beginning, and we run to it like lemmings without a true sense of direction. Let’s set goals! Let’s strive for greatness! Let’s become famous! But without knowing what it would take to make us happy, what the hell good is a goal, anyway? You want to make a million dollars – great! Are you doing that in one year or one month? Are you changing your entire marketing and writing perspective, or are you going to expect to sell 300 times the articles you’re selling now?
Anne makes a point about knowing how to set realistic goals. She says it in context to the beginning writer who may not know how to do so, but do any of us really understand how to formulate sensible goals for ourselves?
If you have any ideas, post ’em here. How do you set your goals, and how has that worked for you in the past?