I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions—I’m not really the iron-willed type, so it just usually ends in tears (and my resolving not to be such a crybaby next year). This year, though, I do have a few.
- Relearn my Chinese characters. I always say I’m going to do this, and last year I even started, but I don’t think I studied very effectively. This year I’m going to review a few every day and see if I can really learn them this time.
- Make some money. I’ve heard that if you do what you love, the money will follow, but I realize I’ve never heard the word “immediately” used with that saying. So far, freelancing has not exactly been a get-rich-quick scheme for me. So this year, I resolve to make a real career out of this. Part of this will involve working harder—it won’t kill me to put off some of the home-improvement projects, house cleaning, and weekday errand-running I’ve been doing lately. Normal people get these things done on the weekend and I can too.
But mostly, getting into the black is going to involve working smarter. I’ll be doing less spamming of articles to nationwide newspapers. Instead, I’ll target the most prestigious ones and make sure my articles fit their format and style perfectly. I’ll pitch to more magazines, too. They’re where the money is anyway, and they also don’t want you to even bother writing the article until they’ve accepted your pitch, so there’s less wasted effort. (If I can’t write my way into the middle class, I can at least minimize the time I’m spending not making any money.)
- Keep up with the blogging. I’ve been pretty good with the daily postings this year—let’s see if I can keep it up.
By the way, Ellen DeGeneres has an interesting approach to New Year’s Resolutions. She prefers to focus on what she accomplished in the past year, rather than her shortcomings. She also tries to make the resolutions that she does declare be attainable. “Don’t go back to beauty school” was one of hers for the coming year, for example. So that’s a good one. I absolutely, positively promise you I won’t go to beauty school in 2007. That one I think I can stick to.