My birthday is in two weeks. That means it is time to review my goals. I am going forward with plans I established when I started this regular process three years ago, the moment I launched the "Year of Living Positively Project", though with a little tweaking.
The last time I adjusted my short term goals, I switched the goal of the next stage of my career development (which may turn out to be my last). About a year ago, I suddenly felt that becoming a full-time writer was not so realistic, especially since the qualifying requirements of the Canada Council of the Arts funding had changed in early 2016, shutting me out for now. I therefore got the idea to strive at editing full-time and embarked upon part-time online studies of editing. Now into the fourth of these type of courses, I realized that I am not as sharp at it as I should be, and that I do not enjoy it enough for a full-time occupation. I am better as a writer, so I have recently switched back to writing as a career goal for this stage of my life.
Coming to that realisation necessarily entailed broadening my notion of a working writer. Previously, I just stuck with the vision of writing my own projects. However, writers are in demand for publicity, education, program development, internal communications, and news. While some employers prefer someone with a communications degree, others look for a degree in English and some experience and other related qualifications like an arts degree. Large organizations want editing for promotional materials to attract partners and clients, and in-house communications such as newsletters and blogs to solidify relations among members or employees. Some such organizations are more meaningful to me than others. For instance, working within an educational institution, charity or credit union would be more meaningful and therefore motivating to me than some other gigs, although I've seen postings for writing positions in companies that I would entertain. The kind of writing matters; I am interested in content writing.
I am getting stoked about the prospects. Some positions among all the postings I have come across need the employee to edit as well as write. I could manage in that kind of situation, where editing was one of the duties and writing was still another. I can see that I would qualify much better for a position as writer than one purely as an editor, especially. I would be better motivated to care about the work and the work would make better use of my skills and knowledge.
Looking into relevant associations upon which to build my profile as a writer, I found the Canadian Authors' Association (aka Writers' Assoc.) and joined. Now I have learned that I may qualify for professional writer status within that organizaton. Oh, yeah! It turns out that experience as a writer experience combined with some paid writing work or editing work can meet the requirements of that status. Okay! I might squeak through. I may honestly just make the minimum requirement of having earned $500 through paid writing of properly published materials, if not this year then soon, particularly if the Public Lending Right decides to pay me for my works on the shelves of the SFU Library, and if a recent submission to a newspaper is accepted. For now, it seems the combination of teaching plus editing on the side may satisfy the authorities of the Writer's Association. If so, I'll be in among the greatest of acclaimed Canadian authors! More importantly for me, I'll have met a major five-year goal to become a pro author.
Another major goal for a five-year term was to resign from teaching English in Korea and move back to Canada. Although I have not yet put in my formal notice, I am organizing to make the move, packing up some stuff and giving away other stuff. Besides checking the job postings, I have also been keeping an eye out for short term housing. I have booked my one-way flight to Vancouver, and arranged to house-sit for a month.
I feel confident. I feel I am on the right track for success.
I'll have to look over my entire list of goals and review them. Also, it is almost time to put out invitations to celebrate "my big fat (60th) birthday."