The Twelve Month Success Challenge – UK Edition – Six Monthly Appraisal

by WordChazer

So. Here we are in July. Time for a retrospective, I think, as it's half way through the year. A chance to see what's going on.

So, is this idea of mine working? This series of thoughts and good intentions to plot progress against goals (real or hoped-for) and document it for all to see? Warts and all. Successes and failures. Good times and bad? How are those objectives measuring up? Am I making it or faking it?

Let’s find out…

Steps One to Four

In my introduction, I stated that:

Step one is to agree to the challenge, and the requirements laid down in reporting it.

Just about meeting that, although I’m running a month behind at the moment with the writing, at least.


Steps two and three are to choose four indicators of success from the original list that complete the phrase ‘I feel successful when I have...’ and customise them to my own situation.

This is a bit more complicated, because ideally I need to look at each indicator in its own right and decide whether I’ve met the criteria yet or not. To remind you, the criteria were:


I will consider that I am successful as an editor/proofreader when I can:

…match the income I used to earn in my part-time retail work.

…afford to pay for certain very necessary interior improvements to the house my husband and I own.

…afford to save money, no matter how little, every month.

…state that I have regular work in the field.


Assigning a timeframe to these indicators, as stated in step four, is another tricky task, as things change by the month in this business, as I am finding. But the idea of a step-by-step process still holds true, certainly.

Thanks to Dana Lookado for the 'Determination' photo, as shown on flickr.

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And we're back with the Revenue Recognition Rule

(must thank my boss for that catchphrase!)

The revenue recognition rule - step five - has begun to show itself in the last few months, where I am less likely to work for pennies and more likely to work for pounds or dollars. I have also reassessed many of my other hobbies and interests in light of the changing editing workload.

To quote the original article, my five things to remember were:

1. I can achieve an income of the same level as my retail work, for more or less the same number of hours a month and significantly less stress.

2. My editing skills are worth at least half the industry hourly average pay, even without a considerable track record.

3. I have editing contacts within my circle at the University and my personal friends outside of this. I should talk to them, use their advice to build my brand.

4. I should bid for the more expensive projects as long as I think I have time to complete them to the client’s timeframe and standards.

5. I must not abandon the lower-paying regular work unless I have to – it is where I learn my trade and get the widest variety of work to read and learn from, even if it is at cents/100 words.


Markers of Success

I will consider that I am successful as an editor/proofreader when I can:

…match the income I used to earn in my part-time retail work

Thanks to a mixture of writing for various sites and clients, a vigorous ebay account and occasional editing, I am around half way there with the earnings. It’s not regular though, so I can’t call it a viable second income as yet. I need to focus more and make sure I plan my attack on these fronts a little better. But when family and friends come calling for my time, staying focused without upsetting them by being seen as anti-social is hard work.


…afford to pay for certain very necessary interior improvements to the house my husband and I own.

My husband and I between us are getting there with this plan, as the kettle, pots and pans have all been replaced lately and the cutlery and crockery added to in the cause of having enough for attending parties, barbeques and other larger events. Small bathroom improvements are next on the list, typical holiday weekend pursuit of DIY to follow. The big improvements are still in planning, but we will get there. Working toward being able to afford the interior improvements was my objective for the second quarter, which I have been meeting for the last few months.


…afford to save money, no matter how little, every month.

Meeting that, which is just as well really because some of the works we have planned are rather expensive. My car also needs some attention, which was not budgeted for, under any circumstances. I do hope to be able to afford a few little extras this month, however. This is my third quarter goal and the one I am concentrating on at the moment.


…state that I have regular work in the field.

I do, and when Life plays along it could be regular enough to class as that elusive second income. But for now, I’m still reassessing and sorting out, seeing what works and what doesn’t, juggling the priorities thrown at me by dayjob, house and freelancing. Achieving this goal will signal a seismic shift in lots of areas in my life, and force me to look at it in a much more professional way.

Goal Setting Golden Rules

(or don't become too set in your ways)

What has become apparent to me in the last six months is how priorities change as a result of market forces and decisions taken. I like routine, but sometimes, freelancing changes that up and allows new clients to take over where old dependables were once. Just one writing client and my ebay listings have easily replaced the old mix of smaller, less profitable jobs, thus fulfilling part of one of my points to remember. I am on the way to achieving a level of income equivalent to that of my retail work, for more or less the same number of hours a month and much less stress. Friday nights are typically spent uploading articles to the client’s website in draft form for approval before spending the weekend working on new ideas and research for them, listing ebay items, packing them up, printing postage and stacking the parcels up by the door to go out. My mother-in-law is a rich source of ebayables, my own collection of clutter is slowly diminishing and my mother has promised to wait until we have cleared some space before allowing us to have some of her bits to sell.

Determination, Goals, Willpower

Willpower has no affect on addiction. There are many addicts who have plenty of willpower and no control over their addiction.
Some tips on setting and achieving your goals.
With warmer weather approaching, beach days are ahead and so is a great time to initiate an exercise routine so you might feel more comfortable in that swimsuit!
New Years Eve is not the only time for making resolutions. Best time to decide on a success is right now, and best way of setting your goals is the SMART way!

Meantime the once all-consuming content editing has hit the buffers. The new Project Manager is in New Zealand, so the work is timed to her timezone, not mine. It is uploaded at 11pm my time and all completed by Antipodean- or Asian-based proofreaders closer to her timeline before I wake up the next morning. Plus I have not been paid since June, so my will to work for them has diminished accordingly. My mature student has finished his courses and is now back to being a retired gentleman while the authors I have edited for previously are all working on their next novels so there’s nothing to edit as yet.

So although I didn’t want to abandon the lower paying editing and writing, I have had to do so, because I can’t afford to work for strangers for free. Other rev share platforms have emerged, however, and I still have the idea to investigate new areas and possibly revisit older opportunities as the opportunity presents itself.

To be honest, whether this challenge proves a success or not, I'm enjoying the journey, and especially the ability to contribute to websites and other people's wellbeing by selling them ebayables along the way. And I'm sure my parents approve much more of my writing than they ever did of my penpalling activities back in the days before the net, if only because it allows me to show off my abilities and benefit financially as a result.

Updated: 12/25/2013, WordChazer
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DerdriuMarriner on 07/17/2017

WordChazer, What is the part-time retail job description, hours and pay against which you measure editing/proofreading success?

WordChazer on 12/13/2013

Give me a chance to finish the rest of the year's writing and that will tell you.

AbbyFitz on 12/12/2013

I'm curious how you've done with all you wanted to accomplish this year?

WordChazer on 09/17/2013

Time. Now that is something I don't have enough of. (Of which I do not have enough?) I'm enjoying seeing the way that my goals are changing and my original interest in writing is currently reasserting itself, although thanks to Jo and my husband I won't be short of editing either!

WordChazer on 09/17/2013

Thanks! I was just so taken by the idea of finding out whether within a year I could make the editing/online writing pay, that I had to accept my writing colleague's challenge. I think I may have to consider that this is working out very soon. Mind you, I'm running a month or so behind on the updates so I need to pull my fingers out of my ears and get on with the typing...

WordChazer on 09/17/2013

Oh it was. In a way. Too little writing though I did manage to work some hours for my freelance client and Bubblews.

WriterArtist on 09/17/2013

Reassessing myself and revising the goals helps in checking procrastination. Useful tips to focus and time to work on them.

RubyHelenRose on 09/17/2013

Wonderful challenges to pursue and achieve. I too find if I don't set some kind of goals I cannot concentrate. Great read, I enjoyed it.

JoHarrington on 09/16/2013

But a weekend involving wine and laptops does sounds like geek heaven.

WordChazer on 09/16/2013

*grin*. I've spent the day unable to focus on the computer too, thanks to having spent much of the weekend awake with the laptop screen arm's length from me. I can see the 14" laptop screen very well without my glasses on. My 21" workbeast? Not a hope! I made an opticians' appt earlier because I really need to be sure it wasn't just a weekend of wine and screen that made me about as much use as a blind bat today!

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