Panic and the Pareto Principle

With just a little over three months remaining in the year, I decided to check my career progress. My 2009 goals included:

1) Writing instead of whining. Check! I’ve definitely done a lot more actual writing this year.

2) Generating more freelance. Check. I worked with new people this year and a good thing too because only 1 company that I worked with previously had new assignments for me this year.

3) Finish and send out a new novel. This did not happen. I did go through the entire F1rst Pages process and felt good about the manuscript enough to have it proofread so that I could send it to my agent, but ultimately I felt that it needed considerably more work, so it’s shelved for now.

4) Drafting a new picture book. This didn’t happen. I haven’t even thought about it.

5) Writing every weekday. For the most part, this did happen.

6) Drafting the new novel. I started it today and I plan on doing the 30 day draft. Then we’ll see where it goes.

7) Meeting my financial goal. Didn’t happen. I’m not even close. Which is where the panic comes in.

Although I didn’t have that much cash-generating work, I did accomplish a lot so far this year. I wrote the Stephenie Meyer biography. I did major work on my 3rd novel. I rewrote my 2nd novel. I am writing (through the end of the year) passages for a test prep company. I just began the draft of my 4th novel which I hope to have complete in a month. I was re-hired by the same vendor I’m working with now to do a 2nd project. I read loads of books that helped me improve my work including Nabokov’s “Lolita” (which was beautiful, but hard to read as the mom of a young girl). I started the research for my next biography (Sharon Creech).

I’ll rely on the Pareto Principle and hope that all of the effort I put in this year pays off at some point. Fingers crossed.

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