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Hoping for a better year

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David DeCristoforo’s blog today is on the same topic I planned to discuss – a look back at 2010. He just beat me to it by a few hours.

Like David, I have no plans to put 2010 down as a very good year, either. I’m guessing the same may be true for you. The economy has just been terrible for a long time now and while there have been a number of positive signs that hint an improvement may be just around the corner, I’m not exactly sure when we’re going to get to that corner.

There were some good things about 2010 for me. I did a number of articles and had two woodworking books come out this year, for example, and got contracts for two more. Sounds like I’m busy – and I am – but books don’t amount to much spendable cash at first (meaning now). Book advances are embarrassingly small, with the real value of a book coming later from the royalties. Unfortunately, it’s too early for royalties just yet, but soon.

On the positive side, although 2010 was my worst year so far this century – and for the last several years of the previous one – I’ve noticed a bit of a turnaround in the year’s waning months due to some additional avenues of work similar to those David describes. These amount to the writing equivalent of the small projects and repair jobs he mentioned: Not what you really want to be doing, but within your talents and abilities. For me that means a lot of work-for-hire hack writing (some, fortunately, about woodworking). While not enjoyable or my main way of making a living, they’re not entirely hateful and do provide a steady and reliable, if minor, income. Combine this with the small items I’ve started making for some galleries lately, and if my regular work stays the same in 2011 as it was in 2010, then that’s enough to tell me that next year will be better than this one.

Sure, the “regular” work part of that equation is key and must hold steady, but I have every reason to expect it to. I’m hopeful for the coming year. More importantly, I’m feeling a bit confident. Not a lot, but a bit.

OK, David and I have each shared our 2010 impressions. How about you? Putting it bluntly, here are two questions: What was 2010 like for you, and what are your expectations for 2011?

Till next time,


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