I became disillusioned by the freelance writing game and stopped pitching. Stopped blogging. Stopped coaching. Stopped working on my manuscript. I flailed about for something new to do, but discarded each new option as the wrong one. I threw myself into my yoga teaching certification program and tried not to think about the fact that I was spending a shit-ton of money while not bringing new money in. As the end of the year approached, I felt like a total failure.
But then I read Lisa Romeo’s post on I Did It lists, and started writing up my own (as much as I also dreaded the endeavor).
First I listed out my accomplishments on the writing/editing side:
- landed a Ploughshares blogging gig
- signed a one-year contract to manage online editorial content for a nonprofit sexual health professional organization
- got published on Book Riot and Elephant Journal and in the Virginia Quarterly Review
- got an essay accepted in an upcoming Seal Press anthology
Not too shabby, right? Then I started listing out the stuff on the yoga side of things, an important new slice of my freelance pie:
- earned my yoga teaching certification
- developed and taught my first workshop at two different studios, with requests to do it again
- landed four weekly teaching gigs at three yoga studios and a country club
- landed free tickets to the Wanderlust Festival as a blogger
Finally, I started listing out some other notable moments from my personal life:
- earned my Competent Communicator certificate at Toastmasters
- went to Greece and Italy (where I wore a string bikini, hiked a volcano, jumped off a ship into the sea, experienced a Greek wedding, and more)
- got pregnant (something I’d been trying to do for about three and a half years)
So income aside, I actually did quite well for myself. Still, I feel that 2014 will — easily — be one of my best years yet.
Because not only do I have a concrete plan (return to work on my manuscript… continue rocking out the yoga teaching… avoid breaking the baby), but I also know that when you find yourself in the midst of actively accomplishing something, awesome opportunities open themselves up to you.
So you need to be ready and willing to abandon or tweak that original plan… if it feels right.
After all, I was singlemindedly building my yoga biz when I was handed the opportunity to do work for that sexual health organization. A perfect fit for me and the work I’ve been doing all these years. A challenge I think I might actually be ready to take on (I’ll have ULTIMATE POWER when it comes to putting together a monthly newsletter and blog content). And a chance to make more money in one year than I’ve made yet as a professional.
2014: you better bring it.
How are you feeling about things as you move from 2013 to 2014?