These evaluation questions are from http://www.aboutfreelancewriting.com/2012/11/evaluate-your-freelance-writing-business-with-these-5-questions
- 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.