The Year Ahead & Upcoming Changes

2013 was a year of troubleshooting in terms of writing. I didn’t know exactly how to keep content fresh without seeming forced. I felt my way through it week to week hoping a rhythm would naturally develop. Then it occurred to me that learning a new skill is a process. And as long as you commit to the process, you’ll see the progress. What’s surprised me recently is I stopped asking myself “what am I doing?” and started saying “I want to do…next”. I’ve accepted it. I’ve embraced it. And to quote the lovely Erykah Badu

I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my sh*t.

Back in September, I did a post about the lessons I’d learned in the 2 years I’d been writing. It helps to fuse music with my writing. Music, just like moments, affects us differently. People could experience the same exact moment or listen to the same song yet have polar opposite perspectives. We see this all the time in relationships. Our personal experience, henceforth our writing, are what makes us human and perfectly flawed. I’m in an optimistic place when it comes to my writing. However, there are some changes I’ll be striving to make very soon.

Goal #1: Make the site and content more organized

When I first started, I wrote when I wanted about what I wanted. However, with the increase and the variety of visitors I’ve seen, I want the site to be a bit cleaner. I’m going to roll with a new layout. Along with that, I’m going to make a set schedule for posts. More than likely, my post days will be Mondays and Thursdays.

Goal #2: Cross-promote 

Recently, I’ve been linking back to my Examiner page on certain posts. That’s my “writing home”.But I feel bad every time I get a nicely worded “write an article or we’ll delete all your work” email. I want to balance my time between those articles and this site. Although I write about relationships here, I’ll never make this a relationship-based site. So subscribe from the About Me page and check my intermittent links in posts here.

Goal #3: Incorporate more public speaking

When it comes to dealing with work presentations, I get up there with my confidence on Tony Starks’ level. But with general public speaking? Not so much. It’s not that I don’t think I can’t do public speaking. It’s more or less fearing the let down of doing a great what I judge as great video post and barely getting any views or shares. Over the summer, I did videos of basketball drills and exercises for clients to have while they were waiting for the season to start. They were impromptu and unplanned. I didn’t have to edit or set them up as clips. Video blogs and podcasts are much different in the sense of you have to have a plan. I’m not exactly sure how to start that project. So if you have any advice or feedback, please leave it in the comments.

Goal #4: Attend a conference specifically for writers

To this day, I hate calling this a blog or calling myself a blogger. It’s akin to calling any guy with a jumpshot a basketball player. We all can learn the game by Google and reading other peoples’ posts about this conference and that workshop. But there’s nothing like experiencing it for yourself. I wrote in my list of personal goals that I want attend 1 conference this year that’s professionally-related. There aren’t many conferences for writers of color that don’t conflict with my work schedule. I’ll figure it out.

Goal #5: Do more photo posts

In 2013, I got to experience some pretty cool stuff. I attended the NBA Finals and Draft. I trained at a world-class facility. I went to Italy and got stuck for 24 hours in Turkey. Personal sites are becoming more visual thanks to Instagram. I sometimes spend days trying to come up with the right topic just to be able to use a great gif. Picture posts will break up the monotony and it may even engage the lurkers.

Goal #6: Get Freshly Pressed

I don’t know what the exact criteria is but having a post Freshly Pressed is a game-changer for writers. It gives a no name writer the opportunity to go viral with a co-sign. I also think being Freshly Pressed will give me a push to continue to create quality content; mainly because it brings a bunch of new visitors who will be peruse the archives. Even in writing, nobody likes a 1 hit wonder.

I’m excited to start the new year off in a great space writing-wise. What types of goals are you guys setting for the new year? For my fellow writers, will you be making any changes in your writing?

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3 comments

  1. My honest writing goal is to…write. Like actually, physically write. On paper. Often I turn on the computer, stare at the blinking cursor and go blank. My sheer volume of my free-form writing increased exponentially when I picked up my pen again (my wrist, however…smh). I often suffer from “writer’s constipation” where I cant get a post out of my head unless I write what my heart wants to get out first, so simply touching a pen to paper has been a huge help.
    My second goal is to trust my writing and branch out. I had the privilege of writing several guest posts on other blogs, but “you’re pretty good at this…you should do this more often” just did not resonate with my incorrigible paralyzing perfectionism. I rarely **like** my writing, to be honest, which stops me from doing more of it. So Lord willing, this year I’ll be submitting pieces more often, with the belief that every piece is “worth it”.

    1. Are you saying you handwrite posts 1st or are you talking about just physical writing, in general?

      I agree w/ the “trust your writing” goal. The places I wanna GP for have a completely different audience. It’s hard to not be self-conscious about the delivery/reception, even if the post is dope as hell. Good luck on checking your goals off 🙂

    2. Yeah. I flesh them out on actual paper. I used to when I started blogging, but gradually tapered off and just began by typing. Now that I’m writing more returning to basics has been very helpful. I write the “title” down then just let my mind flow to the paper and jot down every thought I have about it and work backward. It also helps when I need to clear whatever is in my head that is blocking me from writing, whether it’s writing a ‘letter’ to a person or situation that bothered me or giving myself closure and moving forward.

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