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Looking Back & Moving Forward

Kenneth Burke Writer Looking Back and Moving Forward
 

Folks, 2016 has come and is almost gone. That can only mean one thing!

It's time to start overanalyzing everything that happened in the last 12 months, and overthinking everything that would be "super awesome" if we could materialize it in the next 12. Let's begin, shall we?

Around this time last year, I had just finished reading 52 books in 52 weeks, and was on a new quest to publish 100,000 words. There was also another, bigger goal that I was after. 

I wanted to become a freelancer. To somehow set myself up over the next year to be able to quit my job and work solely as a freelancer by 2017, should I want to.

Publishing 100,000 words - I thought - would be a good stepping stone in that direction. As it turns out, I was right!

100,000 words is a stepping stone for getting people to pay you for your work. But apparently a stepping stone isn't enough to get you across the creek from amateur to professional. So I had to do a bit more.

But I got there! I can comfortably say that I could quit Text Request today and support my wife and me writing. Except, I don't want to do that.

Even though I started freelancing in May, I feel that I've been getting a lot better - maybe even good - as of the last couple of months. And the work I do with Text Request, I believe, is a large reason for that improvement.

I'm still learning and have a long way to go before I'm where I really want to be, but I've hit all my goals for this past year (woo!), and it's time to start looking towards next year. What do I have in the works for 2017?

 
 
Kenneth Burke Writer 2016 Year in Review
 
 

#1 on my list for 2017 is to get a book contract, or (if I get rejected by everyone) to earn $10,000 from self-publishing an ebook (which would be about the same as a signing fee).

I do have a first draft of a manuscript, but who knows if that will be my golden ticket, or if I'll need to write another one (or several).

Now that freelancing is part of my weekly schedule, there are certain income goals I've attached to that moving forward. And to hit these goals, I believe I'll need to publish 100 posts for brands this year.

That's one every 3.5 days, which I think will prove to be a reasonable goal around the other work I'll be doing (50+ posts for my website, 50+ for Text Request, drafting books, and all the other marketing work).

It ought to be just enough to push me without making me go crazy - if things go according to plan. And of course, they rarely do.

I want to start doing more solid, higher quality work (doesn't everybody?), and I think creating pieces and articles that are more like in-depth guides, or that generally have more meat to them is a good way to approach it.

That's what my intent will be, at least, compared to this past year's goal of simply churning out words. I'll be focusing on making each word, each story, and each article better than the last.

 
 
Maybe it's the brown, but 770 pages takes up surprisingly little space.

Maybe it's the brown, but 770 pages takes up surprisingly little space.

 
 

I've certainly learned and developed a lot over the last year, and I think this approach will begin to get me where I want to go.

There are also a few less tangible things I'll be working on or working towards in the next year. Affiliate marketing is basically where you get a commission for referring customers to brands.

With all the content I ought to be creating, it seems like a waste to not take advantage of this. Particularly as I continue to learn what's actually helpful in people's day-to-day work.

Finally, there's this immaterial goal of wanting to become a contributor for Entrepreneur. I'm not entirely sure what they look for, but I'm sure that getting better with Text Request and creating better content in general are steps in the right direction.

I'm a bit apprehensive and a bit excited for the new year. Between Text Request and personal goals, there will be substantially more responsibility and pressure. But I'm confident I'll rise to the challenges just fine.

I'm hoping for a more peaceful year. This past one was barely organized chaos to get things done, and I'm predicting this coming year to be much more intentional.

Now what I would enjoy more than anything is to hear what you've got in the works for 2017. Let's talk about it in the comments below!