A Belated 4th Quarter Business Check-In

Normally I post my quarterly business goals and plans at the beginning of each quarter, and I try to post a follow-up in the next update to let you know how I did. Plans always unexpectedly change in one way or another, but this past quarter might have been the worst.

As you might know, I took off for an extended leave of several months due to some health and other personal issues that needed to be prioritized. That threw off my plans, and I'm spending my last quarter of 2013 in crunch mode, trying to make up for lost time.

That means I'm pulling longer working hours than I usually do, and I'm pushing myself harder than I have in a long time. It can be exhausting at times. But it's also quite invigorating. It feels great to be back to work and making progress on some big projects.

Because of the changes, I'm not even going to bother with updates to my third quarter plans. Let's just assume it was a wash for now. Instead, let's move on to the plans for this quarter, broken down by month.

This plan mostly consists of longer-term goals and larger projects, and is in addition to any regular client work that comes in.

October 2013

  • Launch AllFreelanceWriting.com
  • Revive BizAmmo.com with 1-3 weekly posts
  • Review and refresh a novel outline for NaNoWriMo prep
  • Let regular clients know I'm returning to work, and start lining up gigs again.

November 2013

  • Write 50k words of fiction for NaNoWriMo
  • Write 2 horror short stories (inc. in 50k goal)
  • Draft 2 picture book manuscripts (inc. in 50k goal)
  • Finish Murder Scripts Book 1 manuscript draft (partly inc. in 50k goal)
  • Outline and begin draft of HWA guide
  • Release a short free e-course at All Freelance Writing
  • Launch 3 new marketplace areas at All Freelance Writing

December 2013

  • First round of revisions on first Murder Scripts novel
  • Outline second Murder Scripts novel
  • Outline first horror novel in a series
  • Draft one horror short story
  • Finish first draft of HWA guide
  • Release v2 of Marketing Boot Camp e-book for freelance writers
  • Release two small downloadable products at AIW

As of now, I've completed everything listed for October. This month is set to be my busiest month because I tend to take on a lighter schedule in December due to a holiday break I always take for the last week to week-and-a-half of the month. This year I'll take off of client work for that full time, but I might still work on manuscript edits if or when I have time. But at that point holiday planning comes first because I host the big family get-together.

Worst case, if things don't go well this month, I can push one of the All Freelance Writing feature launches (the e-course or new marketplace sections) off until December, with one or two of the December AIW projects pushed to January if absolutely necessary. We'll see how it goes. I haven't had this much energy for work in a very long time, so I plan to put it to good use and knock out as much as I possibly can by the year's end.

What about your fourth quarter plans? Are you on track so far? What do you have yet to come this month and in December? Feel free to share your goals and progress with us in the comments.

Profile image for Jennifer Mattern

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

Subscribe to the All Freelance Writing newsletter to get freelance writing updates from Jenn in your inbox.

6 thoughts on “A Belated 4th Quarter Business Check-In”

  1. I think the last one required 7-8 significant revisions just to get it to a point where I’ll even show it to an editor. Like you said, it’s about brevity. It’s been a learning experience, but I think the practice there is going to help a lot when I’m revising the novel. The fiction revisions are so very different from what I’m used to with nonfiction writing, so I’ll take all the practice I can get. 🙂

    November is always one of those wonky months. Either it’s insanely busy because clients want everything under the sun before the holidays, or it’s very slow because they’re taking time off before the holidays. It usually depends how many are in e-commerce for me at the time. Even on slow ones though, I tend to get slammed on Black Friday. I’ll never understand that. I don’t plan to take on anyone new this month, and probably not next month either. I’m still trying to re-prioritize the publishing side of the business with the client services. And frankly, I just want to enjoy myself a bit more this holiday season. 🙂

  2. Looks like a busy list.

    That’s where NaNo doesn’t work for everyone — picture books, even at 1,000 words, require more brevity. I like how you’re doing it, though. Great idea. I’d thought to do that with my poetry, but I’m working on another novel right now and I want to get it polished.

    So far, I’m on track. I have work for this month, which makes up half of my monthly earnings goal. In November, that’s probably as good as I can expect. Like you, I didn’t have the most stellar summer healthwise, but I’m glad we’re both back on track. 🙂

  3. Jenn, I’m very impressed by both the diversity of your writing (including horror fiction and children’s books) and your ability to get so much done.

    I know you’ve had to deal with a lot over the last few months, and it looks like your life is a bit more settled now.

  4. Wow! That’s some list. I hope all is well.

    My November 2013 and December 2013 goals are:

    1. Find an editor for my children’s picture book series; I found an illustrator. I have two books written in the series and outlined the third book. I have to decide if I will resume querying literary agents or just self-publish.

    2. Continue marketing my content writing/marketing/social media management business.* I became of member of our local chamber; I handle their social media. I’ll continue to attend meetings and network.

    *My business may evolve into a marketing & PR firm. I’m outlining a blueprint, mind map and plan. It’s a good thing I bought a couple of domain names. 🙂

    3. Pitch and market my teleplays.

    4. Continue to pitch my product ideas on Quirky. I have to check the stats of the latest products I pitched a few days ago.

    5. Continue working on my middle grade book. I revamped the beginning and need to write at least one chapter a night.

    6. Continue developing a presentation/workshop based on a marketing & PR I contributed to. I’d like to present this to chamber members next year.

    6. Continue to develop a presentation/workshop on “The Seussification of Life: Daily Meditations for the Movin’ & Groovin’ Soul,” a personal development book I wrote under a pen name.

    7. Step up social media/blogging for my author website.

    I think this is it. Then again, that’s what I said about my schedule this week. 🙂

    • It looks like you have a very busy (and interesting!) couple of months lined up too Amandah! 🙂

      I’d love to know more about your process with your picture book series. I’m still very torn on illustrating mine myself (I’ve been wanting to get back into visual art again for quite a while, but I just don’t know if I’ll have the time), or working with an illustrator. It sounds like we’re in about the same place with our series right now. I’m also still deciding between self-publishing those or pitching them to agents first. It will probably come down to whether or not I do the illustrations. If I’m going to do that as well as the writing, I’m more likely to take on the full publishing and marketing side of things too. No matter what you decide, I’d love to hear how you came to the best decision for you and how it all works out. 🙂


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