Blog,  News

Happy 2019!

It’s 2019 and I am back in Melbourne.

I spent the Christmas break in Sri Lanka – a last minute decision. And then the last week of 2018 and the first week of 2019 by myself with just the cat for company in Melbourne.

It was two weeks of alone time that I sorely needed.


2018 was a bit of a whirlwind. And I knew from the start that it would involve me just using a lot of time to get my bearings about how being in Melbourne and being in a different living situation would affect work and my life.

I knew there would be changes. I knew that there would be things I would need to grapple with or adapt to. And there were.

But now it is 2019.

11 months on from when I moved I get to move forward with what I know will work and what I hope will work.

These aren’t resolutions or goals per se. Some of them are not things that have started with just the new year. I don’t think there is an adequate label for these things.

But this is what I am forseeing for the year to come and what I am hoping will happen alongside a general dollop of “this space has nothing because life will intervene at some point anyway because it is sod’s law”.


Income growth & diversification

There will be a more indepth post on what I earned for 2018 and how later on but in 2018 there was a monthly goal (and an annual one for 2018-19 so expect a post about that in June/July) set.

The monthly goal didn’t seem very big but it was set to a) test the waters and b) ensure that I had enough coming in to pay for things.

In 2019, I am hoping to see if I can increase that goal but also set up a few different income streams, some related to journalism and writing and editing, some not.

To that end, I am going to be talking about my Patreon account a lot more. That may bother some of you on here and it may bother some of you on the mailing list but I would like to see if I can get Patreon working for me.

I don’t intend to make you miss out on anything – Patreon will just have some extra things to what is on here on the blog, set up monthly so no one is out of pocket.

I also intend to go ahead with the courses either via Teachable or Udemy. I spent 2018 running courses and I will run another one soon on the 4th of February via Writers Victoria. It’s cheap, online and you get 20% off if you book a spot before the end of January. I will be taking people through the basics of freelancing, setting up systems, goals and processes and talking about the mindset you should have.

But I hope to soon have more courses up and running that you can take at any time, online, at your own pace.

More blogging

I also want to do more on this blog. I am still reorganising all the categories of posts but I am hoping to have posts go up twice a week at the moment.

I am hoping this will be:

  • more book reviews
  • more writing updates
  • maybe interviews with people
  • more posts on how I pitched and wrote pieces
  • more posts on freelancing
  • plus anything else you would like to see more of.
instagram.png

More on Instagram, Youtube etc

I am hoping to post every weekday if not every day on Instagram but I am also keen to do more video work.

Video work however takes time. So I am trying to figure out what would be interesting that I can put out there.

In terms of journalism, putting together a video story especially when you have no inhouse resources can take time that you aren’t paid for. So to do it for social media content doesn’t seem quite the right direction. The actual story packages can go to clients and broadcasters who pay me for it and there are often issues around rights of usage etc.

The question is what does one put on social media platforms to showcase what one can do as a journalist? For future clients and other people who are more generally interested to see?

At the moment I am debating doing less well reported international news headlines and deep dive explanations of certain bits of news via Instagram or Youtube, possibly daily on weekdays if not a couple of times a week.

It would also help me fall back in love with journalism again because sometimes the Australian media looks inward a bit too much for the part of myself that is keen on what random or not so random things are occurring in the rest of the non-western/China related world.

Or possibly podcasting…

As usual, I have more ideas than I know what to do with. And it occurred to me that I could do a regular news podcast.

And there is the writing of course

I am still writing Gin & Tonic. I am waking up at around 4 am every day to do so. I will be posting updates as I go and I am hoping to post actual draft sections up on Patreon for supporters to read.

And more speaking gigs

I will be speaking at the Women In Media’s Telling Tales event in February. And sometime this year, the podcast episode of my story for October 2018’s Melbourne QueerStories will be put online.

Workers in black t-shirts outside a Fairfax building with flags protesting job cuts and the takeover by channel nine as part of the union MEAA's campaign.
Workers protesting Fairfax job cuts and Nine’s takeover deal. (c) MEAA

And then there is MEAA

I still plan to do monthly updates of what is happening with MEAA that I am aware of and can tell you about.

Come June/July however there will be elections for MEAA delegates and I have to decide whether to run again or not.


What are you planning for the year ahead?

I want to know what your goals and resolutions and dreams are so tell me in the comments.

And tell me what you would want to see me do more of on this blog.

Marisa is a globetrotting freelance writer, journalist and editor with cat for hire (her, not the cat). She is usually based in Melbourne but is currently flouncing around in Perth for a week for the Inaugural 2018 KSP - Varuna Foundation Fellowship. She will be at Melbourne's Continuum and online running a Writers' Bloc course in the coming weeks.

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