The first month; time for the acid test. Am I actually achieving something or am I just paying lip service? How do I measure up against my goals from last month? It's been a busy month, one way and another, with lots of changes and challenges of its own, as well as trying to achieve something (anything?) against the goals I set a month ago.
The Twelve Month Success Challenge – UK Edition – January Progress Report
A month into the Twelve Month Success Challenge, how's it going? Have I really made progress or am I treading water?
Given that the day job just extended my contract another seven months, and that some of the team are agitating to have me taken on permanently, I can do no more than plug on with work there, trying not to become distracted by the upheaval that is the rest of the office adjusting to a new computer system. My boss complimented me on a presentation I gave mid-month to a cross-departmental meeting, although the pressure of having to present to her boss, the Board member, did give me a nasty headache!
To start with, I took out membership of elance, rather than relying on a basic free account. This means that I have more customisation available than previously, as well as twice as many chances to bid for work.
I like to think I have used this to my advantage, landing a small (but well paid) job writing synopses of news headlines, which is almost completed now. I have also made the final three in bidding for the editing of an autobiography. The client rang me this morning and told me she likes the way I wrote to her as if I was talking to her, explaining myself. In turn, I was able to tell her that it was good to be able to talk to a potential client, and that, should I be the chosen editor, it will be a pleasure to get to know her better.
I must also organise the invoice listing for my second content provider client before he arrives home from his cricket tour in a day or two, so that we both know how much he has paid me and whether he owes me money or I owe him work.
As far as my first quarter goal is concerned:
I will feel successful as an editor/proofreader when I have achieved a level of income.
Last week I had a very good week working with my original content provider client, which is not something I’ve experienced in a while. Just as it looked as if this week was going to be big round snake eyes for income on that score, I managed to polish off the last three articles for a project with a 72-hour turnaround window, and immediately followed that up by editing the first three of the next stage of the same project.
Following my intention to become more active in editing, I spent last Monday evening submitting bids on elance, including the one for the autobiography editor. Figuring that the content editing was slowing off after my manic week mid-January, I refocused my options on the opportunities available at elance. So far, this has been paying off. I will know by the end of the month if I have been successful in gaining the autobiography editing. If I land it, it will be my biggest single editing paycheque to date, and easily my highest profile project too.
Should I be the chosen editor, the income will put me three-quarters of the way towards being able to afford to upgrade the heating in the house, which, after the last two weeks of freezing temperatures and snow, is a much needed improvement. This is then progress towards my quarter two goal:
I will consider that I am successful as an editor/proofreader when I can afford to pay for certain very necessary interior improvements to the house my husband and I own.
Apart from the synopsis-writing project, which is great fun as well as good money, I am working on several articles, although I have only finished and published one, not including this one. I submitted another to a guest posting blog site, which has attracted one offer so far. I don’t have to make a decision until I receive five offers though. No money in that, as I only earn if I offer my blog for placement, not when I write for other blogs.
I’ve logged four blog posts in the course of the month, but the majority of my writing has been comments on articles and forum posts here.
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Housework and Decluttering
My new washing machine is now fitted and working, which makes washing a much easier task than it was with the old one. However, the village water supply was cut off by a burst water main yesterday so my great plans to catch up with the laundry now that the weather is better had to go on hold for a while. I have managed one washing load this week (two last week) and am presently ploughing my way through a mountain of washing up which had been left because we were out or it was too cold.
Having cleared the ironing pile a couple of weeks back, last week’s laundry is now winking at me but the invoicing and the next slice of salami-principle paperwork sorting will take priority just as soon as this is posted. I have a full washing up bowl of papers at my feet and another of dishes in the kitchen...my aim is to have emptied them both by the end of the day.
In order to further assist with the laundry I bought two large mesh bags to wash socks and tights in, so that sock pairs are not rent asunder by my washing machine deciding to become a sock-eating monster. I also purchased two large storage bags for the duvets in the loft, as the bags they are in presently have become ripped and torn, which defeats the object of having them in bags in the first place.
Thanks to the weather, we have a kitchen full of rubbish, as the bins have not been emptied during the snow. I am hoping to be able to move the rubbish out to the bins tonight, so that we can once again move easily around the kitchen. The old washing machine has been taken away and I have broken up and bagged all the packaging from the new one for removal. Fortunately, the recyclable rubbish is being collected this week so I won’t have to put up with it hanging around for too much longer.
Footprints in the Snow
The phrase ‘footprints in the snow’ expresses the feeling of progress which I have at the moment. Not sure how long this will last – depends on how bogged down I get in paperwork and invoicing, I guess.
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This article originally appeared on Suite101.com on 27 January 2013. It was removed at the writer's request in February 2013, and appears here with slight revision and additional photographs.