What I’m Up To: My Work for 2014

by J.D. Roth

Sometimes it seems like I’ll never learn.

After vowing at the end of 2013 that I wouldn’t overburden myself this year, that I’d take 2014 off as a year to relax and to work on my own projects, I’m just as over-committed as ever. On one hand, I don’t mind. It feels good to be busy and to be doing productive work. But on the other hand, it would be nice to be pursuing personal projects.

So far this year, my main work has been the guide/course that I’m writing for Chris Guillebeau’s series of “Unconventional Guides“. Mine, naturally enough, is an unconventional guide to money. I’ve written it based on a single conceit: You ought to manage your money as if you were the chief financial officer of your own life.

This guide took much longer to produce than I’d anticipated. It was tough for me to find the “hook”. Even after I’d discovered how to approach the material, it was difficult to get every chapter to fit the mold. In the end, though, I’m happy with how things turned out. This is some of the best material I’ve ever written. It feels like there are chunks missing from the guide (how to work with a team, for instance), but those can be included as part of a follow-up email series.

That brings up the work I’ll be doing for the next two months. Now that the guide itself is finished, it’s time to create additional content. I’ve already conducted sixteen interviews with other folks in the financial world (including Jean Chatzky, Ramit Sethi, and Liz Weston), and those audio files will be available. But I also need to develop a supporting website with additional content, such as downloadable forms and files, plus links to resources around the web.

Beyond that, I’ve agreed to resume writing the “Your Money” column for Entrepreneur magazine. My first piece is due tomorrow. Plus, I’m in talks to write for another popular personal-finance outlet. Combine this work with my twice-monthly articles at Get Rich Slowly and the writing I want to do here, and that’s plenty of responsibility.

On top of this, I’m doing more speaking this year.

I’ve also entertained three additional speaking requests, although I’m likely to accept only one of these.

So, that’s what I’m doing for my “day job”. Meanwhile, I’m continuing to work on some time-consuming personal goals. After gaining fifteen pounds with my aborted “scrawny to brawny” fitness program, I want to lose the weight to get back to where I was last autumn. That takes time. (I’d like to spend two hours per day exercising, although I’m lucky to find sixty minutes per day at the moment.) I’m also taking guitar lessons, spending time with Kim, and trying to make time to read.

The bottom line: Life is busy but good. I had hoped things would be less busy in 2014, but apparently my priorities lie elsewhere. I guess I’ll just sit back and enjoy the ride!

Update! This morning, my friend Jim published a podcast interview with me in which I discuss past projects (including Get Rich Slowly) and present ones. This was a fun conversation. I haven’t had a chance to listen to it since the interview was conducted, but I remember enjoying the discussion.

Updated: 11 March 2014

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