My Top 3 Professional Goals for 2020

I wanted to write something inspirational and motivational today. This is our first day back at school after the Christmas holidays, and for many people it is also the first day back at work. I know a few people who are planning career changes in 2020, but for me there is a sense of, well, nothing, to be honest. I usually start a new year raring to go, with lots of plans for how to grow my blog, how to increase my subscriber numbers, and crucially, how to sell my novels. But none of it works. I simply do not have the time or the resources to make it happen. So then I get cross with myself and start searching for work from home jobs on my preferred jobs websites. Then I get frustrated because it takes me away from working on my freelance business, and the whole cycle turns inwards. This year I am breaking that pattern. Here are my top 3 professional goals for 2020:

My Top 3 Professional Goals for 2020

1, Be realistic. I have been trying to earn money from my published novels and freelance writing for the past eight years, and I still do not earn a regular livable wage. It simply isn’t happening for me. I need to lower my expectations, accept that I am just an average human, and keep trying to learn and grown in the best way that I can. I do not have access to business training courses, and I cannot pay for a mentor to guide me through the process. I have no money for PR or advertising, so I cannot build my author brand quickly. I can only take each day as it comes.

2, Be flexible. I have been applying for “regular jobs” for most of my adult life. Back when I worked a full-time office job, I was applying for work within the media industry, desperately looking for that big break so I could move into broadcasting and TV. But it was not my career, nor was it meant to be. I am a creative writer. I love words. But now I am struggling to get into the very closed and unwelcoming literary industry. I’m just a boring white girl from an average family. I have no special back story that will propel me to literary fame, and nobody has heard of my self-published novels. So I will apply for part-time jobs in my local area and be open to suggestions about how to earn a decent wage while still caring for my family.

3, Be kind to myself. There is no point in me getting upset and frustrated every time I hit the proverbial brick wall. It is an old pattern of behaviour and I am ready to move on. There is clearly a reason why I am not selected or considered for the jobs I apply for, whether they are freelance writing jobs, or regular day jobs. I do not desperately need the money. I want it for a bit of financial independence, but I am in a strong marriage, and my husband has a good, reliable job. He works in waste management; he will always find work. The work that I do is important but largely unrecognised in modern society. I know how valuable I am. I know my worth. And I will not settle for second best. I would rather be “unemployed” that make myself ill trying to juggle a job I despise with childcare and all the other domestic commitments on my time.

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What are your plans and professional goals for 2020? Have you instigated a big career change, or are you happy and settled with your lot? I wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous new decade!

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5 Responses to My Top 3 Professional Goals for 2020

  1. oscarsparrow says:

    Catherine – I understand your feelings about the literary business. There is something of a taboo around saying what is true about the situation for most writers. I started reading your blog many years ago. I think we started e publishing at about the same time. Before that I had laboured away for decades trying to get a foothold in the conventional business. I write in my own name and under a pseudonym in other genres. Every book has received an Amazon No1 best seller tag thanks to expert marketing and considerable advertising budget. I have made no money at all when all the costs have been paid. No money whatsoever. I regard it as a triumph if I do not make a loss. My greatest success has been in giving away thousands and thousands of books in order to gain “market traction”. The truth is that as soon as the price goes to 99cents, there is no follow on. None. Nix. Niente. The fact is that the business is awash with free books. Gurus will tell you to give away your best stuff as a “hook”. They will sell you plans and courses to exploit the tactic. I’m guessing you have trodden the guru path to Nirvana… The fact is that the guys who made money in the gold rush were the ones selling shovels, not the dumb gold diggers.
    Now, should one give up? Do you feel empty without those characters inside you? Only you can answer this. In a broader sense I think that the novel in book form will no longer have the cultural appeal and dominance that it did in the 19th and 20th centuries. You have to remember that all “art” forms evolve. It wasn’t long ago that Wordsworth and Tennyson were best sellers. Before then the epic poetic narrative and drama defined fiction. Modern box-sets have billion dollar budgets and teams of writers. I do believe there is a book or books for you to write – unique books from your life perspective. You have to experience and the writing ability. However, writing and selling are very different worlds. My advice would be to get famous as a spooky TV chef and write about your cats. I know guys in publishing who’d love that witch and cat over the cauldron angle….You’ll get 10% OK.

  2. oscarsparrow says:

    I meant the experience…..

  3. Ha ha, if only I enjoyed cooking! 😉

    Yes, I know exactly what you mean and I did take a chance and do one of the online courses from someone who cleverly did not promise to show me how to sell lots of books, but persuaded me to follow a winning formula. I have learned that my income must come from elsewhere but I will continue to write and publish books for as long as my Muse keeps whispering to me…

    • oscarsparrow says:

      Believe me, success or failure in this business has nothing to do with whether or not you can write. I know one writer with a personal publicist and another with a £40.000 advertising budget. If I’m quite honest with you I think there is a good story in you about a woman who becomes involved in the occult and what flows from it viz a vis her family…could be a bit dark or very dark and maybe we never know if she had “powers” or not. Perhaps she is not sure herself……All the same, things happen…

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