2018: A Year of Growth and Balance
2017 was both a frantic and incredibly slow year for me. Yes, the blog did move from my old site of the same name to this spiffy new one and I love it. I even got rid of all the content from my old blog that didn’t work for my vision of this one. Something that can be difficult for people to do. But I never quite struck that perfect, comfortable and sustainable ratio between blogging, writing, and personal interests like crochet. I never found that balance.
Because of this, my goals never really got achieved. I wanted to get into a comfortable groove with Eclectic Little Dork. That didn’t happen. Hoped to get a short story published. That never happened either. So this year, I decided to work to a theme under which I could achieve balance and achieve more tangible goals or growth. And that theme is the title of this post: A Year of Growth and Balance.
Yes, it sounds a bit pretentious. But I find that I work better in both small and big ways when working to a theme. And working just to goals in 2017 did not work out for me.
I believe that when working to goals or a theme for the year that the goals should not only be SMART goals. Which means a person’s goals would ideally be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and set within a specific amount of time. For example, a writer may want to get a trade published novelist within the next year. It’s a good goal, but it’s not how the trade or “traditional” publishing world works. There’s a lot of work that goes into formatting, editing, and marketing both hard copy books and e-books.
Or a blogger may want to make $500,000 dollars in the next six months. Again, it’s a good if ambitious goal. But most bloggers don’t make any money in a year, let alone $500,00 in half that time. You have to learn to walk before learning to run. Which is why I’ve chosen to keep my relatively small compared to what others would shoot for.
My goal for Eclectic Little Dork this year is simply to grow the blog and start making money. Not a lot of money. I’m shooting for $1000 instead of the $50,000 that some popular bloggers make. And if I make more than that or a little less, so be it.
But I can’t stress enough that I want my making money to be a byproduct growing traffic, and engagement in comments and my email list because people enjoy my blog. Of growing that trust and relationship with Eclectic Little Dork’s audience. And because of that, I’m planning to add a lot of fun things that I’m excited about to the blog such as:
- Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror cookbook reviews.
- bookish interviews with food bloggers.
- book review and book chat hybrid posts.
- a possible podcast.
- more 100% free writing advice.
- more lifestyle posts.
All of these things are additions that I hope you will enjoy. Some I’d like to hear feedback on such as my podcast idea, but others are already in the works and will be starting to show up on the blog soon.
I’m an unpublished writer. This may seem weird as I provide writing advice, but it’s true. And all of my advice is an amalgam of things I learned through my own writing and by absorbing information from published authors. And it my hope that I can help other writers how aren’t as far along in their journey as I am. To pay it forward.
But beyond paying forward, I want to make progress in my own writing career through:
- submitting 12 poems
- submitting 12 short stories.
- plotting and writing a novel.
It is my hope that by the end of the year I will have either a short story or a poem accepted somewhere like Strange Horizons, and that I’ll have written the first draft of a novel.
My personal goal is simple. I want to spend a little bit of time on my hobbies every day. This can mean from crocheting to analyzing films and books that I enjoy for my own amusement. Whatever it is that I’m in the mood for that day is what I want to do when it comes to my hobbies.
Coming back around to how I plan to achieve balance, I’ve broken it down into doing two things every day that I hope will bring a sense of order to things.
1.) Setting Aside Daily Work Hours
I want to do things like maximizing my workflow, which would give me more time to write, read, and to interact with my audience. More time to create awesome content and build relationships with other bloggers as well.
But last year I didn’t have any set work hours. At least, not ones I stuck to and it’s obvious to me that not having my loosey-goosey approach last year hindered more than it helped. So, in 2018, I plan to look at my Bullet Journal each night and set aside time to work depending on what the next day looks like.
That may mean that work more some days than others, or my workday may start later. But what matters to me is that when I’m working I’m bettering the blog. Not working eight hours a day when health or being burned out means I can’t work.
2.) Setting Aside Daily Writing Time
I think this method of reaching my goals and finding balance speaks for itself. I can’t achieve my writing goals if I’m not doing a little creative writing every day. And in order to actually write every day, it’s best to set aside writing time.