"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflections & Revelations-11 Mistakes I Made in 2011!

Experience is a great teacher.
And for those of us “resolving” to live better in 2012, a rewind to the past can help provide for a more prolific, passionate, progressive future.

Truth is, 2011 was a bag of mixed blessings for me.
Or to quote Dickens, “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”

I gained a few clients. I lost some.
My income projections were off.
My output exceeded my income.
And a tough economy served as a constant reminder that I should have “saved for a rainy day” sooner.

Still hardships can hold important lessons.

In an effort to provide a few “teachable moments”, I’ll share with you some reflections and revelations.

1. When it came to social media, I was somewhat of a recluse. Don’t get me wrong; I dig Tweets from my peeps. And I’ve made some great online connections. But I tend to be more “cerebral” than “social”. I’d really rather write than small talk. And 140 characters on most days wouldn’t even cover what I’ve had for breakfast. But I now think of social media like an “online water cooler” where a lot of cool conversations go on, and leads are shared . So I’ll be hanging out more in 2012, and sharing more of my popular posts from my Blog.

2. I worked harder, not smarter. Trust, choosing the right type of writing projects can be a great time saving device and an important strategy for overall success. Certain types of writing just categorically pay more than others. Copywriting typically pays more than article writing, while Blogging for corporate clients generally pays more than personal clients. Choose wisely.

3. I didn’t market enough. Like it or not, it can make or break a writing career.

4. My “go-get-em” plan didn’t have a “Plan B”.

5. I neglected to work on my book project and finding an agent for my work. It still lingers on my to-do list from last year.

6. I Blogged for free too often. Though I enjoyed the experience, the connections and the growth it provided, I’ll be a little more selective in 2012.

7. I didn’t enter enough contests. As most of you know, I threw my hat in the ring for The Top 10 Writing Blogs contest at Write to Done, and emerged as a finalist! It was big fun, and I even got the opportunity to do a guest post. Often overlooked, many contests provide “paydays” in the way of prizes, cash, and exposure. Here’s a site that offers info on various competitions: http://writingcontests.wordpress.com/

8. I didn’t follow enough writing Blogs. There really are some great ones out there, I recently discovered.

9. I didn’t comment enough on some really great sites due to time constraints. Some of yours are among them. Consider this my apology. :-)

10. I believed that hard work was the ticket to success. There’s so much more that factors into the freelancing equation: prayer, perseverance, politics, strategy.

11. I didn’t diversify my income enough. In 2012, my efforts will be divided into an array of projects and pursuits. As they say, “Never put all your eggs in one basket.”

How about you? What would you do differently?
Any lessons learned?
Image: Stock


  1. Well I certainly would say I have learned a lot, and that is quite an extensive list! I discovered blogging only this year after an injury stopped me short long enough to know I needed to share my writing or implode! I think, as you mentioned , in the future I am seeking to be a bit more selective with my directing my writing time and energy to the book I must birth now that I am officially out of the closet (the writer's closet, that is!) Best wishes for a Happy New Year- see you in the blogosphere, Jennifer!

  2. PS thanks for a great sharing your writing as I am very new to all this and appreciate!

  3. Resume writing is an important skill, everyone should have aware about this, whenever you are going to hire a resume writer for writing your resume, i like your words on this topic. resume writing service

  4. Boy, Jennifer, can I ever relate. Especially to #1 and #10. I'm going to try to pull out of my shell a little and hope I don't get stomped on the neck. But I guess it's a risk I'll have to take if I want 2012 to be greener than 2011. Thanks for the great post!

  5. Excellent revelations, leading to solid resolutions. Nicely done!

  6. Hello Jennifer,

    I am still in the process of listing facts of my Reflections & Revelations, and also actually looking for way's to draw principles from those facts.

    'When I look at your list I like
    the Work Smarter part...,'

    Some time ago I actually bought something titled: 'The Lazy Way to Success' that has opened my eyes for what working Smarter is concerned. To just give you an example, You could write many articles to make money and earn a few thousand dollar that way to - for example - spend on an Expensive Luxurious Cruise.

    Or you could just do it a little differently having to work a lot less hours for it as you can read at:

    (Btw. especially when you are a Writer that has published a Book or an Interesting Article about a specific topic, you can Instantly have Expert Status to speak about a specific topic)

  7. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 2, 2012 at 6:20 AM

    Modern Day Disciple,

    How wonderful to hear from you. Thanks for starting us off. Trust me when I tell you, that newbie or veteran, there will always be something to learn. :-) Thank you for sharing in my journey...wishing you abundant success and rich discoveries!

  8. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 2, 2012 at 6:24 AM


    Thanks for your time and input.

  9. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 2, 2012 at 6:27 AM

    Hi Susan,

    How lovely to have you stop by and weigh in. I hope we'll both "see" more of each other in social media circles this year. :-)

  10. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 2, 2012 at 6:30 AM


    Welcome! I greatly value your time and perspective. Glad you liked the post. :-)

  11. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 2, 2012 at 6:33 AM

    Hi Hp,

    How have you been? As usual, I appreciate your thoughtful comments. Good food for thought. :-)

    Happy 2012!

  12. I'm thinking along the same lines. I need to work smarter this year, and consider the pockets of time that are wasted. Still haven't nailed the right balance for social media, but working on that (And I just jumped into Twitter too - ahh, what was I thinking? lol) Praying for the wisdom and direction for things to fall into better place. For me, an awareness and a better action plan is very helpful.

    Thanks for the food for thought.

    Happy New Year,

  13. Karen,

    You can do it! Can you hear my cheers from here? :-)

  14. Thanks, it has been a nice Chistmas (and talking about 'Food' plenty of that last Christmas! probably a little to much :)) With New Year a lot of Great Looking Fireworks.

    And talking about 'Fire Works' (on my Main Blog) Today I finally finished my 'Reflection Post about 2011' titled:

    'What Happened on
    the Happy Blogspot Blogs in 2011?'

    Writing it has 'Sparked' a lot of New Ideas for 2012 to do differently or to improve.

  15. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 3, 2012 at 5:25 AM


    Very nice. I'll have to check it out.