By Mary Andonian
This has been a busy year for you and your writing. So make time this holiday season to evaluate and refine your habits in order to make 2009 even more fruitful.
Clips: Do you have any? A clip is a copy of your published writing. It serves as a reference to your good work. You include clips (or offer to send them) in your proposal package. This is a prime opportunity to categorize your clips in a way that makes them readily accessible for future needs.
Online articles: Did you complete a year’s worth? Now is the time to create links to all of your past articles and list them on one handy page at your website. This creates a holistic picture of your written topic and makes for meaty content. It also serves as an easy way for a potential editor to view your clips.
Supplies: Take an inventory of your work space. Are you low on business cards? Need a new printer? Toner? Make sure to purchase these before the end of the year so you can write them off on your 2009 taxes.
Taxes: Are your records organized? Even if you didn’t make a cent this year, you can still take write-offs if you can prove you have been soliciting income from writing in 2008. Check with your tax advisor for details. Itemize your receipts and bank statements so you’ll be prepared at tax time next year. You’ll thank yourself come April.
Tax related: Do you have a business checking account? If not, consider opening a separate account just for your writing business. As you become more and more successful you’ll want to keep clean and detailed records of your transactions. Doing this today ensures a happy moment in April 2010.
Platform Building: What have you done this year to build your platform? Have you created a specific reading audience via website, blog, or newsletter? Taught a class at the local library? Volunteered for your writing association? Take stock in everything you did this year that lent credibility to you, the writer. Make a goal to add two or three things to the list in 2009. Attach rewards to each item you accomplish next year. (I’m thinking spa treatments.)
Finally, ask the tough question: Is this what I want to continue doing in 2009? Only you can determine that. It’s okay if you decide that writing isn’t for you. What’s important is that you do make a choice and stick to whatever path it is you choose. If that course is writing, then continue to take action steps that bring you closer to your goals. And by all means, proceed in peace.
Mary Andonian is the agents and edtiors coordinator for the Willamette Writers Conference, one of the largest writers’ conferences in the United States. In past years, she was Co-chair and Program Coordinator. She just completed her second book, Bitsy’s Labyrinth. Contact Mary at maryandonianwwconference AT yahoo.com.