Wednesday, 4 January 2017

My plan for 2017 is a bit like the plan for Brexit

My plan for 2017 is a bit like the plan for Brexit. There isn't one. And I think I need one. I started off on day one, after the new year bank holiday, finishing off a couple of jobs left from last year and by 10.30am, it was like, "What now?"

Having spent a lot of time in December pitching to my 'hottest prospects' list, I decided to try a different approach and coughed up £9 for membership of a writing website for three months. It highlights jobs and freelance opportunities in publishing. It goes against the grain to pay for these things, but it came recommended by someone who'd got work from it, so I thought it was worth a punt. First impressions: disappointment. It's a list of publications with links to their writers' guidelines - and they're all in the USA, which is less than ideal for the regional publications who only want regional articles (in the USA). I've already got The Writers' Market (the US equivalent to the W&A Yearbook), so it's mostly duplicating that. But hey, it's a new way of looking at the opportunities, and it's making me think again. So I pitched to two of the publications listed, and I'll keep an eye on it, because I think it might turn out to be more useful than my first impressions suggest.

Anyway, I didn't stay on that website for more than an hour or so, because some good news arrived in my inbox... Before Christmas one of my old clients said he wanted a series of articles written for 2017. I'd pondered his comments over the Christmas break and sent him some ideas. He came back to me in the new year, saying he liked them all... and had some ideas of his own. By the end of the day I'd secured 11 assignments, which should keep me going for the next couple of weeks.

I've also subscribed to a writing magazine for the year ahead, so hopefully these things will all pay dividents. After all, it only takes one new client to make an investment worthwhile.

There's still no plan. But I've now got a few more resources to draw from, and I've got work for the next two weeks. After that, I expect something will turn up. It usually does. If not, I usually spend the time pitching relentlessly, until a new job comes in. I do have ambitions to do more fiction in 2017, so perhaps working on that will bear fruit.

On another topic, this vibration from the builders next door is utterly horrendous. Perhaps I should just go on holiday!