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Looking into 2013

With the ending of an old year and the beginning of a new, we all get a chance to reflect and make plans for the coming year. As I look back over 2012, I see a year of growth.  I cannot think of a single year in my adult life that I’ve learned and experimented as much as I did in 2012.  Going forward in 2013 I intend to add depth to my knowledge and width to my experimentation.

Where does Writing Fit in?Writing Agenda for 2013

During my time of growth and discovery, writing took a back seat.  As I look at the infrequent posts here on NJFM, it’s obvious that writing about writing hasn’t been at the top of the list.

A few things writing has taught me:

  1. Don’t force it
  2. If you have nothing to say, be quiet
  3. Let life happen

I enjoyed making money as an online writer.  When the online writing climate changed and my income dropped, I made a half-hearted attempt to do what I did in the past to increase my income.  The big difference this time around is the enjoyment level.  I don’t have the same level of joy as an online writer as I did in the past.  That meant I would have to force myself to write.  Forced writing doesn’t work for me.

I also found that I pretty much said what I had to say, especially on the topic of writing.  My philosophy remains the same and though there are many ways to slice a pie, do I want to keep slicing the same old pie and repeat the same stories on how I sliced the pie?

So, rather than force myself to write about things I’ve written about before, I thought it would be better to shut up, sit back and let life happen.  But before I shut up and let life happen, I thought I’d share a few numbers with you.

 Income for 2011 vs. 2012

Year Residual Up Front Total
2011 $28,958.60 $102.90 $29,168.67
2012 $21,398.55 $100.00 $21,498.55

As you can see my income dropped in 2012 and will probably drop further in 2013.  I went from a high of $3,237.49 in March 2012 to December’s low of $1,128.16.  The only thing that makes it a little less painful is my income is mainly residual and I didn’t do much writing this year.

 Immediate Future

For the immediate future, I’m taking my Suite articles and sprinkling them around my various sites.  Since taking them down from Suite I have Chill Outquite a few broken links to mend.  Once that task is completed, I’ll play it by ear.

One of my goals this year is to practice mono tasking.  On the whole, we seem to glorify the ability to do several things at one time.  We do lots of things at one time, but don’t do them very well nor do we truly enjoy the plethora of tasks we’re engaged in.  I want to slow down and enjoy what I’m doing.

With that goal in mind, I’ll write when inspired and find alternative ways to bridge the financial gap of my lowered income.  That’s my plan, plain and simple.  How about you?  What are your plans for 2013?

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About the author: Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer and blogger. She spends the majority of her time with her family and writing. If she’s not writing or commenting on NJFM, she’s either outside smelling the roses or writing articles for one of her other sites which include Tidbits and Stuff, BLULOW, A Dose of Health and a few other sites/blogs scattered around the internet.

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  • Trent January 18, 2013, 3:54 pm

    Felicia —

    Happy 2013. I’ve found mono tasking works better for me, too. One of the strange habits I developed from writing content for upfront pay was composing multiple things at once.

    As I’ve been coming out of burn-out, I’ve made it a habit to finish one a time. The practice of doing one thing from start to finish helps me be more conscious of how I’m using my time, and I don’t waste time getting back in gear.

    I’ve been increasing my social networking, learning to tinker with AdSense — and recently Google made my blogs eligible for Affiliate advertising, so I’m exploring ways to integrate ads that are relevant and keep the look of the blogs uncluttered.

    I still make about 90 percent of my income from copywriting for upfront pay. I sold an article on Constant Content and I get regular payments from two revshare sites. This year I want to publish eBooks and increase income from my own projects so I can get off the content-production treadmill.

    Grandma — For transcribing large amounts of text: you can use a scanner with text recognition software or dictate it into Dragon Naturally Speaking. Either way, no typing except to make corrections.
    Trent recently posted..Cleopatra and Antony: Couple Costume Idea

    • Felicia January 21, 2013, 4:19 pm

      Thanks for your input, Trent.

      Some old habits take a while to die, but I’ve made strides in reducing the amount of things I do at one time. It helps me to appreciate things better.

      It sounds like you’ve got a good plan for going forward. As I look back over my career, the best thing I ever did was to continue writing for myself. Your desire to publish eBooks sounds like a good way to get off of the content treadmill.

  • Grandma January 17, 2013, 9:39 am

    If you are considering writing an ebook or two this year, by all means look into getting a longer novel done up into a paperback at CreateSpace.

    I just got my two copies of the John Erwin book “Into the Snow” from Amazon. They are beautiful, just lovely! It is very nice to see the potential of what a writer can do with a print book instead of an ebook. CreateSpace did a fine job with these, in my opinion.

    If you have a short novel, it’s worth consideration for print copies. This one is just 102 pages. Nice glossy full cover, front and back one photo. The print book has two different covers available, a grassy prairie scene and the snowy mountain. His writing is outstanding, very picturesque.

    • Crystal January 17, 2013, 1:51 pm

      Couldn’t agree more on CreateSpace, Grandma. We published my MIL’s book for kids a few months ago and it turned out great! I blogged about it some over at The Best 50 Years and will doubtless do so again.

      This has opened up so many possibilities! We’ve got my hubby’s family’s true wilderness adventure (began in the 60s and continues to this day) coming out this year and I may just publish another book or two myself.

      What I especially love about CreateSpace, besides the fact that it’s free, is that the author can very affordably order as few as a single copy. My MIL’s book is 8.5×11 and about 90 pages and she was able to order copies for all the great-grandkids for Christmas for under $30. You can’t beat that!
      Crystal recently posted..Project DO – Continuing to Organize with Calibre

      • Grandma January 17, 2013, 2:44 pm

        Thanks – I was wondering if there was a charge to create books there or not. I know they are a seller and would get commission that way.

        I do have a novel that I started decades ago, one third complete. I was thinking about putting it out as a three part series. The first part is 163 typed pages, but I would need to transcribe it onto my computer :(

        • Crystal January 17, 2013, 5:38 pm

          Nope – no charge to create your book yourself unless you opt for expanded distribution, which we did but probably won’t again due to some unforeseen consequences. But the expanded distribution option is only $25 so very affordable if you want to go that route.

          The only other cost I recall is if you actually publish and then want to make changes – then it seems there’s a fee. But you can edit, re-upload and order proof copies to your heart’s content without paying for anything but the proof copies. How cool is that?

          Best to you with your publishing venture!
          Crystal recently posted..Project DO – Continuing to Organize with Calibre

  • Terr January 11, 2013, 7:48 am

    I just read this post. Yeah, I’ve realized I’m trying to do too much at once, especially when my time and financial resources are so limited. If I had a lot more financial independence I could get more done. Since I don’t, I have to give myself permission to stop focusing on a lot of things (Failing to do anything right) and focus on doing a few things well.

  • Crystal January 3, 2013, 8:23 am

    “…I intend to add depth to my knowledge and width to my experimentation.” Love this, Felicia! May I join you?

    For me, 2013 is to be the year of publishing. I tend to get scattered so plan to practice mono tasking, as well. I’m hopeful that this will allow me to actually complete projects – and if I can slow down and enjoy myself at the same time, so much the better!

    Thanks for mentioning broken S101 links – yikes! I also had my articles removed and don’t even know how to go about finding all the broken links on my site (Blogger not WP). Good thing I didn’t have too many articles there…

    Best to you in 2013 and beyond!
    Crystal recently posted..Project DO Introduction

    • Felicia January 3, 2013, 9:38 am

      I think everyone should try a few new experiments in 2013. It’s more fun than reading the manual. :)

      Like you, I get a bit scattered too. I find that my brain explodes with ideas and it’s impossible to get them all done. Now, I write everything down and if I get to it, great. If not, that’s good too. As thinking human beings we all have more ideas than we have time to work on them. BTW, I love your DO project. I’ll join you with DO and you join me in experimenting.

      Just found this free broken link checker. I tried it on one of my blogs and hated seeing all of the broken links it found.

  • Loretta January 3, 2013, 8:09 am

    Felicia, your list of things that writing has taught you are partially the reason that I have cut back on the regularity with which I do online writing (although my venture was never profitable like yours.) Writing is my passion and I have always enjoyed it, but multitasking and other interferences push that task lower on my to do list and I find that the gap between writing my blog posts gets wider and wider. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions; I just resolve every day to get back to writing with fervor and then I give myself a mental kick in the rear when I don’t at least write a few drafts before day’s end. Hopefully, I will soon pick up my pace, and get back to organizing my writing like I did before my “things to write about list” began looking like a high school kid’s cheat sheet with scribbling haphazardly diagramed on a 3×3 post-it note. Okay, that’s not literal, but it sounds good. LOL. One thing that I always do is make time to read informative and inspirational material like your NJFM blog. Thanks for jump-starting my day.
    Loretta recently posted..Resistance to Change: A Baby Boomer’s Perspective on Computers and the Internet

    • Felicia January 3, 2013, 9:33 am

      LOL! Your “things to write about list” sounds like my old list. :) In cleaning up a few papers and looking through my last year’s notebooks, I found a bunch of old lists. Who knows, as I slow things down I might get to write a couple of them.

      There may be a larger gaps between posts, but when you do write, it’s worth reading. There’s something to be said about quality vs. quantity.