Cover Image - 2021 Year in Review

2021 Year in Review


This year I experienced many ups and downs. Not professionally, but personally. I picked up one too many side projects, fell ill multiple times, had several trips and was stranded on moon without Internet.

Made my newsletter regular, paused, and then resumed.

But this year, I also did some public appearances (virtually, of course). And I found some more opportunities to earn, apart from just writing and marketing.

So, listing my major wins (and few pending wins) of the year.

First, the wins…

My 2021 started with seeing an open rate of over 60% for the newsletter I sent on the night of 31st Dec ’20. And out of the 144 newsletters I’ve in the archive, 131 are from 2021. Yea, yea… that’s way too many spam mails.

Also, I had only 80 newsletter subscribers at the start of 2021; the number crossed 200, before falling to 198.

OK, what else?

Did a live session – Living in the Moment and appeared as a guest in a podcast (it’s in Hindi). Also, grabbed a spot in Chayanika’s newsletter for my skill to monetise different skills. A wish too came true towards the end of the year, when I was featured in the Freelancer Magazine.

Also, read 47 books this year; much of which were short story collections.

But I have prepared a list of 13 books for writers and marketers from those books. Published 6 other articles on my blog, including a fun story about Veg Biryani (yes, it exists). Plus, I summarised three podcast episodes about creators and creativity. You can read those articles on Medium.

2021 was also a year of freebies. Received 15 books, a planner and some online coffees. Won my first-ever giveaway, too.

On the work front, I got to work on 15 projects. These include complete website copy, a bunch of individual web pages, social media posts, one email pitch and articles (of course). From lifestyle and fashion to tech and education, I got to work on a mix of projects.

One of the projects was from Fiverr (my first ever there).

But now, trying to branch out to other verticals. A few side projects I tried last year:

  • Graphic designing
  • Meme marketing
  • Website consultation

Apart from all those…

  • Restructured my website (will have to redo, AGAIN)
  • Changed my website hosting to Bluehost
  • Made digital paintings for selling
  • Moved to EmailOctopus as my newsletter service
  • Set up a newsletter signup page on my website itself
  • Built a public newsletter archive
  • Set up my articles as a digital magazine on Flipboard
  • Put up Lazy Library on Gumroad
  • Made 100+ memes

And in 2021, I also had to part ways with the laptop with which I began my freelance adventure. It wasn’t old; haven’t even crossed 5 years of intensive use. And everything was running fine, except for the keyboard and touchpad.

Bought another Asus.

Now, the pending wins…

It hurts the most that I couldn’t continue creating and selling my digital paintings. Even set up an Etsy store and a separate Instagram profile. Dropped it for now. I might still make those paintings sometimes. But won’t be selling/marketing them.

Also, dropped the idea to complete the short horror fiction I started 2 years ago. Couldn’t make time for it.

Started learning to work with FB Ads… Didn’t feel like doing it.

And yeah, in 2021, I was excited to set goals and plan my path. It doesn’t seem to happen soon. I don’t have any goals. And without any plan, whatever good happens feels like a win.

2021 wrapped!

It was a weird year for me.

I was distracted for the most part of the year. My productivity was disrupted. Might be because I’ve been trying too many things at once. I wanted to move away from writing, and earn from something else. But I kept falling back into the comforting cocoon of writing.

What about you? How was your 2021?

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