Resolved: Past and Future
I began 2012 with a post publicizing the resolutions I was making for myself and eDitmore Editorial Services. Today, I want to revisit those resolutions and determine how I have fared in the past 366 days.
2012: I resolve to find a way to meet with other editors and writers in person. I love the community I have found through email and list-serves and social media, but it would be nice to have some face-to-face contact every now and then.
Grade: A. I attended the national conference of the Independent Book Publishers Association in March, the Antelope Valley Christian Writers’ Conference in May, a Book Tea that was part of the Ojai Writer’s Conference in June, and several Ventura County Writers Club meetings and events. I learned new information, participated in stimulating discussions, and made contacts that led to new clients and jobs through the year. I loved meeting new people and getting new clients, obviously, but the highlight was finally getting to meet face to face with Marla Markman, a colleague I’ve worked with from a distance for a decade or so.
2012: I resolve to learn how to use macros in my editing.
Grade B. I did find a set of macros from Paul Beverley, Macros for Writers and Editors, that he makes available for free at http://www.archivepub.co.uk/book.html. It took some determined effort on my part, but I eventually figured out how to utilize a few macros that saved me a lot of time in a particularly detailed editing job. Now that I have some understanding about how to make macros work, I would like to take the next step and figure out how to create my own that I can customize to my needs.
2012: I resolve to get a Twitter account and figure out how to use it.
Grade C-. I did set up a Twitter account; I read articles about how to use it, talked to Twitter fans, and even participated in a helpful EFA webinar about using Twitter to promote my business. I attracted close to 100 followers and learned about tweets and retweets and hashtags. But I eventually decided that Twitter cannot be a major tool in my marketing toolbox—at least now. Although I see how Twitter can be a great tool, I just don’t have the self-discipline right now to make it worthwhile for me. I was never able to dip into Twitter during a working day without getting swept away in a maze of interesting tweets and links and hashtags. I’d open up my Twitter feed during a work “break” and realize an hour (or more) later that my break had stretched far longer than I ever expected and now I was behind in my work. What good is it to build my business if I’m not actually working? I still enjoy dipping into the Twitter stream—and especially enjoyed it during the final days of the election—but I have learned to only allow myself that dip when I am not on the clock.
2012: I resolve to build better boundaries between my work and my post-work life. And to have a post-work life.
Grade F. I never came close to getting a handle on this issue, which is one of the reasons I’ve decided to let go of Twitter during my working hours. But I’m not giving up; I’m putting this resolution back on my 2013 resolution list, along with a couple of new ones:
- I resolve to join some nonediting groups or associations this year. I know there are a few groups for business owners and/or women in business in my area, although I don’t know much more than that. I plan to research those organizations and find one that seems right for me.
- I resolve to start keeping better records so that I don’t need to rely on my overloaded memory and overflowing email inbox to know what projects are upcoming, what date I contacted a potential client, which message needs to be answered next, and when to expect my next paycheck.
That gives me three firm resolutions to focus on this year, compared with four last year. But of course, there are only 365 days in 2013, so that’s probably all I can handle. Tune in again next year to see how I score.
In the meantime: Happy 2013! May your year be filled with work and play that fills you with joy and contentment.