Some initial goal-setting

Perhaps I should have added to my previous entry that being productive also requires having something to produce. Looking back on the times I’ve spent unemployed, I feel that I ought to have used that time to more effect than I did. At the time, however, I often had little idea of what project I might work on, or even if I did have an idea I was reluctant to commit to it because there was always the prospect of getting “real” work.

One of the reasons that I decided that now was the time to embark on this adventure was that I do have several project ideas at various stages of maturity, as well as the means to work on them thanks to a steady part-time salary and savings from my previous full-time position. I didn’t include them in the introductory essay to the blog since I expect the individual projects will change as each one moves from ideation to execution to completion or maintenance, but perhaps I ought to make a record of them somewhere by way of setting myself some high-level goals.

Following my commitment to the job that I do have, my next priority is to establish my consultancy and have it produce income. I hope that I can complete straightforward steps like creating the business entity, creating a web site, etc., fairly quickly but I expect the income will take somewhat longer to come (and may never come, or in not enough volume, from what I have heard of establishing businesses).

After a long time of writing little or no fiction (and never publishing even the stuff that I did write), I took it up again while I was living in Singapore and had a few stories published in AntipodeanSF. I still don’t write nearly as much fiction as non-fiction, and the quality of it is rather variable, but I do have a few longer pieces in progress, and I made a promising start on a comic novel during National Novel-Writing Month last year. Come to think of it, National Novel-Writing Month is itself a good example of what I wrote about in my previous entry: I got far more fiction written in a month than I had in years by committing to writing a thousand words a day (and trusting that later editing could do something with the ideas that came out…).

Being back in Australia, I’m also closer to the activities of various societies of which I’m a member. I’ve previously been very active in the Society for Creative Anachronism, undertaken voluntary bush conservation around the Wollongong area, and hung around the IEEE Society on the Social Implications of Technology, all of which I intend to become more active in as I settle back into my home country. I may even find one or two new societies if time and energy permits.

I feel that 2-3 major projects at any one time gives the best balance between always having something to go on with (while I’m waiting for consultancy requests to come in, for example) and being overwhelmed with things to do, but I also have plenty of ideas for smaller projects, or projects that might become large if the aforementioned two either come to completion or don’t work out. I’ve got some education in mind (such as, how to run a business and how to write fiction), I’ve got a blog to write, I’ve got a unit in need of some renovating, and maybe I can find an open source software projects that appeals to my interests and skills.

I don’t intend for this blog to be a blow-by-blow account of how each of these projects work out, but I will note any major milestones and record any thoughts that arise out of them that seem relevant to the topic of this blog. If nothing else I can always come back to this entry to see how I went against my goals!

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