Happy New Year of the Dragon

Here we are again! Ringing in the new year and celebrating what a wild, wonderful trip it’s been. The Year of the Dragon is often viewed as a great year for everyone, so the consensus is we’re supposed to dream big or go home.

The water dragon is a symbol of prosperity and power in the East, in some ways divine and always revered. It is also a harbinger of unpredictable events. What this may mean to a freelancer is too numerous to count, but as always, I’ll try to approach the year like any other. I hope to build on the foundation I established in 2011, and climb the ladder to greater independence.

Last year, I made five freelancing goals for the Year of the Rabbit. One was definitely completed (#3); the others were hit and miss (#5). However, I’m determined to not let 2011’s record get me down. So in the spirit of the dragon, I decided to shoot for 10 freelancing goals this year. Who knows? Maybe then I’ll actually complete five this year.

Here are my freelancing goals for 2012:

1. Stop writing for publications that offer no monetary reimbursement

This is going to be a tough one, but I recently decided that I’m getting a little too long in the tooth to be labelled a beginner. And even though exposure is a good thing, exposure that doesn’t bring you paying gigs or significant experience isn’t worth your while. Of course, the exception to this goal is writing guest blog posts for other freelancers.

2. Work with a graphic designer to create a logo for my business and website

I can’t put this one off any longer. I either need to put my less-than-stellar art skills on the line and design my own logo or pay some insanely talented designer to develop and create one for me.

3. Pitch 3 music-related articles

My mind has been brimming with ideas for music interviews, exposes and industry analysis for the last 6 months. I’m compelled to get these ideas out of my head and onto a page. A page that pays.

Credit card background4. Move my business account to a credit union

A bit self-explanatory perhaps, but for-profit banks have made me more and more leery of their ever-changing policies. I constantly hear about the advantages credit unions have over banks, so my goal is to take my business’ business there this year.

5. Comment on 3 blogs that are not my own each month

I’ve been slacking on the social interaction lately. Blogging is a game of give and take, and if freelancers are truly a supportive community, I need to step up and show more support.

6. Replace Sergio with a new Mac mini

This summer, I’ll have had Sergio for 6 years. It’s time.

7. Join 2 professional organizations

I’ve already joined one (see sidebar), and I hope to join another by mid-year. I’m open to organizations related to editing, writing, freelancing or entrepreneurship. If anyone has any suggestions, please share in the comments below.

8. Update online and hard-copy portfolio

Here’s another area where I’ve fallen off the grid and neglected to maintain. I have a number of pieces in my print portfolio that need to be scanned and added to the online portfolio. I also want to take some of my better blog posts and add them to my print portfolio as well.

9. Write 3 guest posts for other freelance sites

So far, I have one in the works and one ready to pitch. I wrote a guest post for the first time last year for the incomparable Diary of a Mad Freelancer, but I never got around to pitching any more bloggers. This year, I hope to change that. But I’m only shooting for 3 guest posts, because I plan to also ….

10. Develop book proposal

Another idea I’ve been sitting on for last 6 months involved a book proposal for a nonfiction subject that I feel I’m well qualified to tackle. I can’t share more than that, ladies and gents. But here’s hoping I will stop thinking about it and start being about it.

Happy New Year of the Dragon

I know it looks like a tall order for the Year of the Dragon, but what did I say about dreaming big or going home? I’m a Pisces through and through, so I tend to spend a lot of time daydreaming, and I’ve been known to get bogged down in the planning phase as well. By taking a moment to make the hard choices about where I want to go and how I’d like to get there, I might be able to make 2012 the best year yet.

Are you inspired by the Lunar New Year celebration?
How do you plan to make the Year of the Dragon different?