By Jennifer Applin
A new year will be here before you know it and with it you’ll establish a new set of goals. This means that fall is a great time to evaluate your accomplishments so far this year. Are you reaching both your long-term and short-term goals? Is your writing career starting to take you in an entirely different direction? When assessing your progress, it is helpful to consider the important Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How questions to make sure you keep growing.
Who have you gotten to know this year? Even if you didn’t make networking a priority, chances are you’ve gotten to know others in this business. As you’re considering the ways you’d like to grow in the future, think about the connections you’ve made and how that may help.
What have you accomplished and learned? Don’t just focus on the number of items you were able to cross off of your goal list. Instead, take time to reflect on what you’ve learned about the process. This will help you make the necessary adjustments to future goals.
Where have your strengths taken you? Even if you never intended to specialize, your strengths and accomplishments may have taken you in a specific direction. Now is the time to plan building upon this niche and make the most of it.
When did you accomplish the most? The mama-part of being a writer mama will always have a drastic affect on your schedule. Review the past year’s schedule, and determine if there were certain times of the year where you were more productive and plan accordingly.
Why do you want to be a writer? You may think that this question has an obvious answer, but your past reasons may no longer apply now that you have some experience. Keeping the “why” front and center can help you plan goals you really feel passionate about.
How are you using your time? If you’ve been paying for childcare, you may have reached a point in your career where you don’t need as much help. Maybe your kids are in school now. Perhaps you have steady clients and no longer need to spend hours finding work. Look at how you spend your time and what has changed this year to plan next year’s goals and schedule.
Jennifer Applin is a freelance writer living in Ohio with her husband and four young children. Aside from writing for many regional publications, she is regular contributor to eLearners.com and Projectworkingmom.com. She spends her days cooking, cleaning and caring for little ones, and her nights writing about pregnancy, parenting, and the quest for peace (as in peace and quiet). You can also find her at Managing the MotherLoad.