I have reached Level One Seller status on Fiverr. I’ve done really well on this site – who’d have thought? Just goes to show that I should not judge any potential opportunity until I’ve tried it. I have received excellent feedback on my editing and my writing, I’ve developed good relationships with a few people who may turn into long-term clients, and I have built up my portfolio. These were the exact goals I had in mind when I joined Fiverr in the first place, so I consider this a resounding success! (Even if I’ve netted all of $50…)
On the technical front, I finally launched this here Dot Edits blog – something I’ve been thinking about doing for almost a year now – and I purchased and set up the WordPress theme for another web project of mine. That project is going to require a lot more time, energy, and effort, however, if I am ever going to see any returns.
I competed my final for Grammar Lab which means that I am officially finished with course #1 of the Copyediting Certificate! Other educational achievements include NoCo Writers’ “Writing for Magazines” Seminar, but I have not yet ordered a certain Travel Blogging Course that I’ve had my eye on for a few weeks now, although I want to. I am afraid that adding one more thing to my already overloaded plate – even something as fun as travel blogging – would derail me completely. I may hold off on that for now.
I took a good first step towards learning how to ask for help when I need it. It had nothing to do with writing or copyediting, but it was still an important personal growth moment for me: I broke down and asked – nay, begged – my girl friends to help me plan my wedding. Wedding planning is a conflagration of tasks seemingly purposefully designed to make me fail. The organizing, the pressure, the trying-to-make-everyone-happy, the money! I thought this was supposed to be fun…But lucky for me I have wonderful friends who love this stuff, so I’m letting go of control and letting them do what they’ve been begging to do since I got engaged 6 months ago: take over some of the wedding preparations. This was a big step for me, and I’m proud of myself.
What Isn’t Working
Elance: submitting proposals is time-consuming. For at least 2/3 of the jobs I’ve submitted proposals for, a candidate was never chosen. This equates to a massive amount of wasted time. And for all the extra work you have to do submitting detailed proposals, clients don’t expect to pay you much more than they would on Fiverr – about $5 for 500 words. I know that Elance works out very well for some people, but it is not for me. I could potentially make this work if I were MUCH more selective about the jobs I pitched (and maybe I’ll do that someday) but for now, I’m calling it: it is time to abandon Elance.
I have another idea for a blog – a craft blog. It is one that I used to maintain but had to abandon when I started working FT again. I actually had a dream this week wherein a friend of mine told me to relaunch the blog. And I want to, I really do, and I genuinely think it would be a good idea. But I’ve been trying to find the time all month and have made exactly zero progress. This should be a greater priority in the coming month.
It’s time to get more disciplined about content creation. If my blogs are going to succeed, I must write content for them every single day. And not just drafts. I have a million drafts and very few finished posts. How about this: I easily have enough drafted content in the annals for 20 blog posts. So every weekday for the next month I will take one draft and turn it into one finished blog post.
I have decided, once and for all, not to sign up for Lynda.com and not to feel guilty for not doing so. The content is great, but the course structure doesn’t work for me and I don’t need the extra expense. I have also, VERY regretfully, canceled my membership at Treehouse. I adore Treehouse, and I love the way they structure their courses and overall learning experience – but the content is very web design/development heavy and that just isn’t where I see my career heading right now. Sigh.
I have been focusing on making sure that I get out of the house and trying to be more social. I worked in the park one day, and I have worked at the library a few times. I could really do better at this, though. I joined a book club – but didn’t open my mouth once I got there – and I haven’t been to any Meetups. Overall, my strategy for simply getting out more is going alright; my strategy for finding/building a better community is falling flat. My best social interactions of late have been with clients online, rather than with people in my “real” life. Maybe there’s a lesson in that?
I have not done as well as I should at keeping my office clean. It’s a mess and needs a complete overhaul. Really. I’m talking new floor, new paint, new organizational system, and a serious de-cluttering. Perhaps this is my next opportunity to let other people help me. I could call on the talents of my creative friends and host a home office re-design weekend. (Question: Is that too much to ask of people? Where is the line between “asking for help” and “being a major imposition”/”making a nuisance of yourself”?)
- Work 1/2 day 2x/week somewhere, anywhere outside the house.
- Build a stronger social community (but how??).
- Spend significant time outdoors (hiking, biking, skiing, sitting in the park) twice per week.
- Devote more time in the evenings to other web projects.
- As much fun as magazine and travel writing would be, continue to focus your attention on blogging, for this next month at least.
- Join organizations?
- No more Elance.
- 2x a week, take one draft and turn it into one finished (as in, publishable) blog post.
- Home office needs a major re-design.