While in the end, 2011 was a good year for me, I still have a lot of work ahead of me both personally and professionally to get to where I want to be in this part of my life. Here are some lessons I learned this year:
Celebrate Christmas in Virginia again in 2012. This was the first year I had my Mom come down for Christmas and I have to say this was probably the best Christmas since before my father passed away – Christmas Lobster Tail and all.
I can be a patient person. 2011 was all about patience for me. At times everything seemed in slow motion to me this year – from getting my Thyroid medication problems resolved to various freelance projects being delayed or cancelled outright due to budget constraints. Everything seemed to just progress at a mind numbing pace for me this year but I survived and hope to see things perk up next year.
I need to write more. When I was spending time being patient this past year, I wasn’t really writing. A lot of my day job right now is about editing and template development while the freelance front has been quite disappointing. While I did write a lot for my blog this year, I need to really shake things up in 2012 and get back to my regular writing pace.
It’s time for me to get a technical certification. Considering the technical writing market in the DC area for senior technical writers, a technical certification might be helpful as a differentiator and to open some new doors for me.
Spend more time on my web properties. Moving willkelly.com over to Drupal is the first step in improving how I maintain my web sites and spend more time on implementing web technologies to improve my own online presence. I plan for some writing projects and blog posts come out of this in 2012.
It’s time to monetize one of my own projects. With things slow in 2011 on the freelance front, it is time for me to take matters in my own hands and monetize one of my own ideas either as a Kindle book or an iBook. Over my Christmas holiday, I began researching both publishing options. While I may not make big money on the project, I think the exercise should be challenging and fun.
Ultimately, I need to get back into a software development or technical operations environment. With my current government contract due to end in March (and more time to think in the slow periods that marked 2011), I’ve taken the time to think about the next steps I need to make and where I’ve felt the most challenged and happy. Software development and technical operations environments seem to be where I ‘ve done some of the best work in my career and want to get back to those projects.
With 2012 soon upon me, I need to just keep moving forward and take action on the lessons from this past year.
What lessons did you learn in 2011?