2011 New Year's Resolutions

I love a fresh start, don't you?

1. I will value my time and work more. 2010 was a breakout year for me in terms of glory (or, if you prefer, exposure), but a mediocre-to-lousy one financially. I nonetheless count myself extremely fortunate, because I made a living wage from my work. Not many writers can say that. But I've done better, and I'd like to do better again.

Part of this was the lousy economy, which is of course out of my hands. All signs have been pointing to business picking up dramatically over the last few months, so that's good. Hopefully we'll all do better in 2011.

But there have been other factors at work, too. Looking back over 2010, I made a lot of obvious mistakes, such as quoting a flat rate for a project that hadn't been scoped out yet. Not setting a rate as high as I should've. Being timid about pointing out when I was being asked to do work explicitly out of the scope of my contract.

These all ultimately come down to crises of confidence, so the solution is to foster an unwavering believe that I earn my keep. Gulp. It's not going to be easy, but it's necessary if I want to build a healthy career over the long haul.

2. I will structure my time. I am made of work. I daydream about giving up sleep. Or better, being locked away somewhere to work night and day for a  few weeks, uninterrupted by any of my dozens of everyday obligations, so I can catch up once and for all. But catching up is just a mirage on the horizon; there's no way to ever get there.

At the same time, I've been flirting hard with burnout at various points through the year. So I need to -- not work less, but work in a more focused and limited fashion, and carve out dedicated time for all of the other stuff that makes a life worth living. All of that eat-play-rest-recharge business.

I'm not sure yet how to do it; my schedule is a nebulous thing at best, a product of the schedules of clients and family, the way the tide is created by the moon. Any advice from other freelancers on how they structure their time would be very helpful indeed.

3. I won't worry about my weight one way or the other. Life's too short, guys.

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