Pen to paper: Evaluation of 2012 and plans for 2013

Journalism 2012


These evaluation questions are from

What’s worked? 

  • I got paid for writing for the first time in my life.  I earned about a grand this year and (apart from finding pictures) it was pretty easy.
  • I got published in the Guardian
  • I found and maintained a partnership with a writing buddy
  • I set up a website
  • I have defined my niche (‘landwork and handwork’)
  • I took a photography class (more than one, actually) and discovered an absolute love for photography.
  • I really like doing it
  • I have become passionate about small business this year

What hasn’t worked?

  • I have got much of my paid work through one magazine, which pays me half the rates that the NUJ recommends and requires me to provide pictures, which I have struggled with taking/finding.  I am grateful that they always seem to accept my pitches, but I can’t help feeling that this is not an optimum situation
  • I have pitched a lot and not got much work out of it
  • Having said that, I have not kept up with my pitching schedule…  Last January I aimed to get three pitches out a week.  Then I reduced it to one, but frankly I am not even making that…  I am probably averaging one every two weeks (though I seem to send quite a lot out at the same time and then not send any for ages).
  • I haven’t quite got scything and journalism balanced
  • I am still nervous of ringing editors

What do I need to change?

  • I need to chase up editors more
  • I need to work out what a realistic pitching schedule is and stick to it
  • I need to work out how to get more work out of the pitches that I do send.
  • I need to plan for not writing in May – September


Goals for next year (and how I plan to achieve them)

The major goal: Earn £5000 from writing

My major goal for next year is to make my self-employed income more or less equal my employed income.  To do this I need to earn £5000 from scything and £5000 from writing (actually, I earn more than £10,000 at the University but that’s a nice round number).  I earned £1000 from writing last year so I will have to quintruple (is that a word?) my income from writing.  I am not at all sure that I will be able to do this.  However, my entire writing income last year came from one magazine who seemed happy to publish most pitches that I sent them so I just need to find four more editors like that…  😉

How to achieve this:

  • I think I can rely on earning £1000 from ‘the magazine that publishes me’.
  • I want to find something regular, e.g. a column and earn £1000 from that
  • £3000 from other magazines and articles.  I was giving some thought to focusing heavily on profiles of craftspeople as these are articles that I think would fit in anywhere (well, maybe not anywhere, but lots of places).  I’m wondering whether this is getting too specific though.
  • I have got a writing mentor (to compliment my writing partner) and am working with them to figure out how to crack this thing…  I’m very aware that I have goals here that I am not really sure how to achieve, so hopefully working with a mentor who has been through this process will help me to make things clear.

One thought on “Pen to paper: Evaluation of 2012 and plans for 2013

  1. […] project is providing the angst this year.  As you can see from my Christmas evaluation (I seem to be evaluating rather a lot, don’t I), I had some successes last year but I had […]

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