Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A New Chapter in My Life - 2017

A Happy & Healthy New Year to All!

Every new year is like a blank slate. It presents all kinds of new possibilities. "Anything is Possible!" is one of the slogans I keep at my desk. Here are a few things I plan to do to make 2017 better than 2016 as far as my writing career is concerned. Hopefully, these items will help you generate your own list.

* I look back over 2016 and see where I had the most success...who I wrote for, how many gags I sold, how much money I made. What worked and what didn't. Because I keep records of every sale to every publication and with every cartoonist, I can easily figure out where I should spend my time and effort for 2017.

* I set monetary goals for 2017. I list the cartoonists I worked with in 2016 and set a specific goal of how much money I plan to make with each of them in the new year. I guess you could call this forecasting. I also set goals like "I will find three new cartoonists to write for in 2017," or "I will regularly read The Wall Street Journal," or "I will start submitting gags to so-and-so cartoonist on a weekly basis" or "I will join such-and-such writing organization."

* I continue my writing routine. For example, I send gags to a certain cartoonist on Mondays, I read the Sunday New York Times on Tuesdays, I write new gags for another cartoonist on Wednesdays, I write my blog on Wednesdays.

* I make to-do lists. In every creative job I've held, both full time in advertising for various publications and full time as a freelance writer, I've always made a to-do list in the afternoon for the next day's work. Believe it or not, I get a great sense of accomplishment when I can cross an item off my to-do list! Because I work on so many things on any given day and I don't want to forget anything, to-do lists keeps me focused. (I understand, it's not for everyone, but it works for me.)

* I'm continuously looking for new markets for my writing. I search the Internet for cartoon writing opportunities, keep in touch with other writers and cartoonists (networking!) and just generally be willing to try new projects. I also do proofreading and editing for a local direct mail firm. Another marketable skill!

* I try to keep focused on what I want to accomplish with my writing. For me, I enjoy making people laugh and hope that the cartoons that contain my gags will bring a laugh to someone. I also keep copies of published cartoons with my gags and keep them in a portfolio. Periodically it's helpful to look over these cartoons. It lets me know I can do this. It's also something I'd like to leave for my children.

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