Saturday, December 23, 2006

'Twas the Week Before Christmas and New Year

A fellow creative friend of mine last night told me she was taking Monday and Tuesday off this coming week, returning to her corporate job on Wednesday and Thursday and then taking off again on Friday.
“What bother?” I asked her.
Turns out that her boss felt her department needed “coverage” at least part of the week. We both agreed, given her plans during her clocked in time, that all companies should just shut down the week between Christmas and New Year.
We self-employed creatives have the option of doing that – shutting our businesses down or using the time to regroup, catch up and plan. That’s exactly what Barb Adamski, a freelance writer in Canada, intends to do. “I'll take a couple of days off (25, 26) and about three days off for new year's. The rest of the time will be spend finishing up a few projects (a HUGE one is due mid-January), catching up with people over coffee, lunch, etc. And in my "free" time, I plan to tweak my website, create a promo flyer, and work on my marketing plan for the New Year. I also want to read one darned good novel (book to be determined).”
I’ve been doing all of the above. My husband gets paid a bonus for taking his vacation anytime in December-January, so we’ve always taken the week between Christmas and New Years. I’ve already caught up with a few friends over coffee and lunch this month and plan on catching up with the rest over the course of January. But this next week will be about doing all of the things I can’t squeeze into a normal workweek.
1.I plan on revising my business plan and goals for 2007. My New Year’s resolution will include a plan for reviewing my goals once a quarter.
2.I plan on taking all of these loose papers stuffed in a “possible markets” folder and researching them more carefully for possible reprint sales. Reprint sales are a part of my business that I haven’t taken advantage of to the fullest. This will be included in my business plan. I’ll also be thinking about query ideas for new stories to some of these markets.
3.Reading at least ½ of the stack of magazines that make up my dream markets. They’ve been gathering dust since, oh, August.
4.Finishing that novel Barb mentioned. I decided this winter to read “The Shining,” the first and truly still the scariest book I ever read. I read it upon its release (after my mother was done with it) 30 years ago and slept with the lights on for a year, even though I was nearly a teenager. I couldn’t help myself and started it a week ago when a box of Christmas presents I ordered from B& arrived.
5.Take lots of afternoon naps followed by walks through the woods.
What will my husband do while I’m pursuing my market research and reading? He’ll be pursuing his hobby of cooking (which he doesn’t have time to do when he is working), fishing and complaining about our dog Emma, jumping into the lake after his lures. And yes, we will be taking those long afternoon naps and walks together.
This is one of the weeks that freelancing is truly “free” for me.


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