My Writer’s Performance Review

It is that time of year in my workplace. You know, that time when  you sit in your bosses office and talk about why you suck or don’t suck, rule the world or need to get off the throne. Performance review season.

This was the year I re-committed myself to my dream of writing and publishing, and I have been trying to walk the line between treating it like another job and keeping it in the realm of “something I do for love.”

To keep that committment going, I’ve decided to take the categories we get rated on in my “real job” performance review process and translate them into what I’d say to myself if I was evaluating my year as a writer.

I refer to myself by name here not because I am a flaming nutjob, but because I was trying to write like a boss.

1. Job Knowledge

 Pam knows her way around writing a story, but as far as what to do with it once it was written, she needed a helluva lot of work. However, she took the initiative to improve her knowledge base in that area and took a course on querying, marketing and publishing. She has been putting that knowledge to the test ever since, and I expect it to yield results this coming year.

In the year ahead, I want her to expand  her knowledge of self-publishing and continue to expand her exploration of creativity and writing in new genres.

2. Quality of Work

We all have good days and bad days. As a writer, Pam has had more good days than bad. Her ideas have been imaginative, original, and full of twists. She’s getting better at running with those twists while still bringing home the heart and souls of her characters. While there is always room for improvement, I’m impressed with what she’s done with the short stories she’s completed this year.

3. Quantity of Work

Pam completed 3 short stories that are now actively seeking publication, as well as several smaller contest entries. She has a 4th story now in its final editing stages, and 2 others in various stages of completion.

While I’ve been impressed with her productivity this year, my hope for the coming year is that she will shift her focus a little. Without completely giving up her exploration of short stories and writing in various genres, I want her to take her idea for a novel off that dusty shelf in her brain and begin bringing it to fruition.

4. Dependability

For the last six months, I’ve been pleased to see that Pam has not gone more than 3 days without writing SOMETHING, and not more than a week without writing “something of substance.” She has completed significant work on a story or contest entry each week, and has at least blogged during rare lapses in other types of work. She has maintained that pace while working a full-time-plus job, completing two courses, and going out once a week to consume mass quantities of booze.

While I’d like to see her step it up even more, I’m not going to harp on that. I’ll be content if she keeps up the same pace and continues to love her words.

5. Cooperation and Teamwork

Yes, writing is a solo activity, but I’m not going to scrap this category. The solo nature of the venture just means writers need to be more proactive and creative in building their team.

Pam has made strides in this. She networked with other writers through her course. She created this blog devoted to writing and has spent a lot of time reaching out to other writers through their blogs, learning from them, offering her own insights and beginning to build a support network. She’s also very recently joined the Maryland Writer’s Association, and if she doesn’t take advantage of the opportunity to participate in critique groups this year, I will personally kick her arse.

6. Public Relations and Customer Service.

Well, she doesn’t actually have fans yet, so I guess this area really doesn’t apply. But if she handles an eventual writing success with the same mad skills she’s applied to not letting this aspect of her “day job” make her drool and twitch, I think she’ll do just fine when she gets there.

Goals for the next year:

1. Rev up the marketing attempts.  Now that there is ‘stable” of short stories in the barn, get them out there.

2. Complete a course in forensics for writers (scheduled to begin in June), and possibly, if time/money allows, in writing memoirs.

3. Thoroughly research and gain a better understanding of e-publishing options.

4. Have “the novel” fully fleshed out and at least a third written by this time next year.

5. While focusing primarily on the novel, still dabble in other writing ventures and complete at least 10 short story, flash fiction or essay projects, contest-or-otherwise-inspired.

Note: Completing this review was fun and really helped me flesh out what I want my next action items and areas for improvement to be. I just wish I could give myself a big fat raise.


About hawleywood40

Writer, Steelers Fan in Baltimore, Frequent Visitor to the Shot Fairy
This entry was posted in Uncategorized, Work, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to My Writer’s Performance Review

  1. akamonsoon says:

    I am over here clapping for you! It is so neat to watch you go for something you so obviously enjoy and have wanted for so long. I think its one thing to say you are going to start writing, but it is completely another to actually sit down and critique yourself as a writer. That is discipline! You are well on your way to becoming the next great writer, my friend. Keep up the good work! 🙂

    (And happy anniversary, btw. We’ve been blog buds for a little over three years now.)

  2. l'empress says:

    Impressive. I know you’ll achieve your goals.

  3. Frank Cote says:

    Wow. That is a brilliant idea!


  4. Shelly says:

    What a great and creative post.

  5. tsonoda148 says:

    I love this idea! I have absolutely nothing seeking publication, but have written dozens of short stories that I am proud of. Some others, not so much. If I were writing my own appraisal, my 1, 3 and 4 would mirror yours. I’m kind of ‘skeered’ of the whole self-publishing ebook adventure, but think it’s definitely worth researching. I certainly buy enough ebooks for my own reading.
    Interesting post. And thought-provoking.
    And, way to go, by the way!

    • hawleywood40 says:

      I’m “skeered” of it too – I just wanna get closer to making an informed decision about it. I’m definitely not a “marketing” type person although I’m trying to learn to be – I think that’s what “skeers” me the most about it!

  6. This is an awesome review. I’m glad that you are following your dream. I know that all your goals will come into being because you have the passion for it. great post.

  7. The Hook says:

    Very cool, raw and honest post. I loved it!

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