Each January 1, I feel enormously optimistic. Any personal or professional disappointments can be written off as last year’s failures, and the neatness of the date 01/01 helps me reset all aspects of my life. This optimism always inspires a long list of resolutions, usually too many to keep. But this year, I’m keeping it simple with a few well-defined goals, which I’m sharing with you in this post. Happy New Year, everyone!
LOOKING BACK ON 2016, I'M SATISFIED THAT I NOT ONLY MET MY PROFESSIONAL GOALS BUT ALSO EXCEEDED THEM. At the beginning of 2016, I hadn’t yet completed the UCBX Professional Sequence in Editing, and I had no idea if an editing career was feasible. However, less than 12 months later, the Embark Agency is doing well, and I have regular paid editing work from not one but two publishers. But I’ve much more to do.
In a previous professional life, I was a nonprofit consultant, specializing in program evaluation. As any evaluator worth her salt will tell you, objectives must be SMART—meaning Specific, Measureable, Achievable/Realistic, and Timed—or you risk failure and the demotivation that follows. My three new goals are simple yet, hopefully, powerful enough to enable me to build on the foundation I laid last year.
1. Join the Editorial Freelancers Association and attend the 2017 Conference
Professional affiliations are essential once you’re a working editor. They add credibility and, more important, they help you develop your skills and network. The EFA website is horrible (I’m hoping the EFA’s 2017 resolution is to improve it), but keep an eye on it for news of the next conference (August), and I hope to see some of you there!
2. Double my income
Having budgeted for 2017, I know my overheads will amount to at least $1,700. I made approximately $5,000 in 2016, and I hope to earn $10K during the next twelve months. I'll not be rich any time soon, but building a business takes time. I get regular work now that I'm a contractor for two publishers, but I'd like one more publisher to complete the set. I also need to grow my private client list, which I aim to do by giving copyediting presentations at various writers groups in the Los Angeles area (more on this in a later blog).
3. Read for at least one hour every day
Because reading is such a pleasure, I often feel guilty spending time reading when I have a long list of other things to do. But as an editor, reading is essential and should be a part of every working day. Books on editing feature heavily on my reading list this year, and I’ll let you know what I think of them in this blog.
Three resolutions are enough, because each involves multiple mini objectives, which will keep me busy. And, of course, I have to set additional goals for the Embark Editorial Agency, which I will reveal more about in the coming weeks.
I’m excited about the career opportunities that lie ahead not only for me but also all Embark’s editors, and I wish everyone huge success. I would love to hear what professional goals you might have made this year, so don’t be shy: share your resolutions by posting a comment and inspire others to make 2017 a great year!