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Christopher Sikkenga

January 2017 Monthly Income Report

4 min read

The accounting goal of many businesses that want to avoid taxes is to not show a profit. Personally, I would very much like to see profit from writing so that I can justify this change in careers. However, this month isn't exactly a winner. What if I pretend that I'm sandbagging? I'll post these low numbers in January so that by May, when I'm raking it in, the difference will be dramatic! Yes. That's what's happening here.

This documentation adventure started, in part, because we're our own worse critics. I'll never tell myself that I'm doing a great job or successful. However, if I look back and see these reports, the numbers won't lie. I might have to admit to myself I did something right. At the moment, this may look like it is backfiring. Well, the other reason I wanted to do this was to keep a realistic record of a writer's life. Finding information when I was thinking of making the switch wasn't easy. Perhaps these reports will help some future writer.

Of course, I'm not done yet. Yes, I got $10 per short article I wrote this month. However, I like who I am working for and I'm learning a lot from him. Furthermore, he's helped me network and meet other potential employers. Therefore, at this point I'm not letting the numbers get to me because I need to build my confidence. I need to be positive and assured as I hustle for more work. January is typically a slow month for many, that post Christmas drought. Thus, I've been spending the time sending writing samples out and introducing myself to editors. It's awkward, but it gets easier every time I do it. The "no thanks" and lack of any response doesn't have to get me down. Those unlucky souls are just missing out one what I can give them. Right? Right!

Monthly Summary

More hours, less money than last month? There's a big assignment I've been working on for a while. I put a lot of pressure on myself to slam dunk it because there's a small chance it could lead to an opportunity. Plus, I mean who doesn't want to do a great job? Anyway, this piece has gotten in my head and I've written multiple drafts trying to please my worst critic, me. I'm still working on it in February, but I think I've shaken the futile pressure.

Every report, I'm finding a new item to track and this month is no different. I really do need to keep track of my hustling for jobs. I started the month on vacation with my spouse, but when I returned I hit up at least 2 sites and a local publication about an unpublished story. There's more emails out there waiting for responses, but as I said, I need to start documenting that better. I've got a small client lined up for the Spring and I've been writing a lot. Whether it is putting ideas together for future articles or simply writing about what interests me, I've been keeping that big muscle in my skull busy.

This past month and much of February has been focused on personal projects. I've seen so many friends have success with "doing their own thing" that I've doubled-down on a small project I started 2 years ago. Someday In February is a holiday that I've put together to help people get things done and enjoy themselves. I've been writing at that site and asked a friend to help out and keep me focused.

The other personal project is the podcast. We're back in production and that means scheduling, researching guests, writing questions, recording and summarizing the shows. It's great to be back and I'm looking to do another show with someone locally. Both the shows I do now are long form and I would like to try something shorter, possibly with more pre-production. In this way, I could add a show that I could record 3-5 episodes of in one sitting. I'd also like to sit down with someone next to me, the current shows are through Skype which can make conversations awkward.