1. How to research and query agents. I’m starting by asking my friends about their agents, once I’ve dried up that source of information I’ll resort to the internet.
2. How to set up our online store for a pre-order. This is one of those things which I expected to learn once, but instead I have to re-learn every time I do it. The software keeps updating and changing in between pre-orders. Also our needs shift and change from book to book. On the list of things to research for the store: how to set it up to deliver electronic only files and if it can track orders based upon how a customer arrived at the site. (It would be useful to be able to figure out if a tweet or a blog post is more effective in driving sales.)
3. Graphic design. I have text books sitting on my desk and gathering dust. I fully intend to study them and get better at this job I’ve been doing for four years now. I want to know how to purposefully create rather than just muddling through.
4. How to manage four kids at home all day and still get my work done. Again, it seems I should know how to do this, but the kids change from one year to the next making hard things easy and introducing new hard things. Also the summers have different demands, different camps, different scheduled items. Last year there were swim lessons, this year I haven’t scheduled any. This year there will be a summer drama camp if I can ever get in touch with the teacher long enough to get the kids registered. Generally I get it figured out just in time for everything to shift around again.
5. Marketing. There are always marketing things to learn. If I learn and apply marketing skills then (in theory) we will have more money. More money means less immediate stress. I like being less stressed, but I still don’t like marketing.
6. Freelance non-fiction writing. I’m just on the front edge of this, beginning by emailing some people I know who do it. I have enough writing skill that I could be earning money this way. But before I can earn money I have to figure out how to find people who are willing to pay for my words. Then I have to figure out what kinds of words I am willing to sell. Ideally I’d be able to sell some of my essays with only minor revision. Getting paid is not the only aspect of this which interests me. I like being able to say things which are useful to others.
7. How to make over a dress. I already know a lot of sewing, but a make-over project is inherently dictated by what already exists. I have to figure out each step as I go. I’m also doing researches on acquiring discounted materials.
8. How to pick up and start writing a new project after completing a large project. This one is harder than I would have thought.
It would be so lovely to be able to focus on learning one new thing and be really excited by it. That is not my life. I’m not sure that luxury comes to very many people in this world. At least most of these things do not have fear attached. I like it when I can learn without being driven by terror of failure.