Next Up-2016!

This will be my last post of the year. I’m planning to send 2015 out with a bang by welcoming in 2016 from New Orleans, a city I’ve always wanted to visit. Two weeks ago I wrote about the things I was proud of accomplishing this year . Today I'll reflect on what I hope to do as a writer in the coming year and, perhaps even more importantly, how I plan to do it.

Revamp my website and update my social media profiles

I've already scheduled an appointment with a graphic designer and will be meeting with him in mid-January to update the toolbar, the site pages, and the overall look of my website (which is over seven years old!). Once that’s done, I’ll get to work on the content so it reflects what I’m doing professionally these days.

Along with my website, I want to revamp my LinkedIn and Twitter profiles and buff up my blog home page. A fresh look for my online presence will feel as good as having a clean house!

Become a published author

This year, I plan to finish the book I’m coauthoring on college transfer and will hopefully see it published by next December. To do this, I’ll need to write the remaining chapters, have a reader or two look over them and make suggestions, and hire a copyeditor to catch anything we missed. Though it will be a lot of hard work, finishing the book is something I’m really looking forward to doing.

Continue to write for regional publications

This is something I really enjoy so I’ll continue to do it. However, this is the year I will officially give up business writing. I’ve enjoyed the majority of my projects and having the opportunity to promote local businesses, but all good things must come to an end and I’m moving on. On the other hand, after a short hiatus from the newspaper business, I’ve realized that I really do love reporting and that I miss the thrill of discovery and pressure of a deadline that goes along with it. So I’ll be looking for a place to contribute to starting in January 2016.

Improve my writing skills

Like an athlete or a musician warming up every day with stretches or scales, I need to do this to keep my writing sharp and compelling. For me, journaling, timed writing exercises, and signing up for short-term group classes like Writing Aerobics usually does the trick. Another way to do this is to attend talks and readings by authors and poets at my local colleges or bookstores. Of course, my favorite way of increasing my writing skills is to read, read, and then read some more.

Experiment with some new types of writing

I’d like to try to write some personal essays, op-ed pieces, and a short story or two. Perhaps even a novel. For me, anticipation is the greatest thing about the New Year. When you open your eyes on January 1st, you can see this wonderful open slate of 365 days stretching before you. Anything is possible!

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