The Word for My NewYear: Focus

My goal is to do a few things well, instead of many things badly

Jason Weiland
5 min readDec 30, 2022
Photo by Chase Clark on Unsplash

In the past, I have suffered from trying to do too much. I take on new projects as easily as changing clothes. 9 times out of 10, I end up losing interest in those projects and ditching them after a time. I repeat this over and over, wondering why I am never getting anywhere professionally or creatively.

One of the only things I have ever stuck with in the past 20 years has been Medium, where for the past 4 years, I have been writing and publishing happily. While I am not satisfied with the money I make on the platform, I am thrilled that I have an audience to read my essays and articles, and I get feedback and advice from my fans, as well as them sharing their own stories as they relate to what I have written.

Also, over the course of a few years, I have fostered a small fanbase on an email list that I built with several newsletters, and with who I currently share my work in my newsletter, Cringeworthy. I have both paid and free members who have started interacting with me more often as my publishing frequency increases.

Now, at the end of 2022, which has been one of the worst years of my professional and personal life, I’ve taken some time to step back and analyze what I am doing and what I am trying to accomplish. I went to the USA in November to see my kids and took a creative break, and as soon as I came back, I had a horrible mental health episode, so I decided to slow my work down and take some time to figure out what I wanted to do in the new year.

I’ve grown tired of always changing projects — always chasing after the greener grass on the other side of the fence, and always continuing to fail at everything I do. I have looked at the last twenty years and realized that if I ever want to be professionally and financially successful, I need to get off the merry-go-round and start getting serious.

I pinpointed the one thing that has been missing all along. When I am constantly starting and dumping projects, I have no focus. I never stick with anything long enough, and I never give any of my projects the attention they need to thrive. Even Medium, where I have met with success at times, has been up and down because I am never consistent, and I don’t give it the focus it needs to blossom.

I am just running around in circles, calling myself a creative entrepreneur but never doing the work it takes to turn my projects into successes.

So next year, the one thing that I plan on doing more than anything is focusing on a few projects that bring me joy, and have the most potential to become income streams. And as I write about each one, you may still think I have too much on my plate, but I guarantee that it is 80% less than I was doing before, because I want to devote all my time to a few very important projects and give them the attention they need to bear fruit.

I plan to live by the rule that it is better to do one thing well instead of trying to do many things badly. Most of these projects have a weekly deliverable, except for Medium, where I plan to write daily.


I am not a professional coach, but this year, I started meeting weekly with a client, helping her plan for a creative career after she retires from teaching. We have become great friends and started working on a project together. It is a YouTube channel and right now we only have one video completed, mostly because we a struggling with both her schedule and mine to be able to set up a plan to create more content.

This project above all I want to put focus on, both because I want it to be successful for her, and because I think the idea is amazing.


I am going back to writing a daily essay or article. I have not seen the success that many of my peers enjoy for many reasons. I went through a period where I had to battle my ego, which was telling me that I was a much more accomplished writer than I was, and I had to improve my skills as it pertains to writing.

I also haven’t written on topics that are lucrative. I tend to write about myself, my mental illness, my family, my health, and my marriage. Personal essays are not as popular as writing about making money or self-help, so building my audience has been slow going, After over 4 years, I still only have 7.6k followers, and while I love each and every one of them, it would be nice to grow at a faster rate.

Slow and steady wins the race, I have to remember that.


I have two weekly newsletters, Cringeworthy, which is about me and my life trying to make a living as both a creative and a seriously mentally ill father and husband, and High Functioning, which is about my family living our lives with my son, who is autistic, and finding out that, I too, may have been autistic all along.

Both newsletters are on Substack and have both free and paid tiers. I will publish one epic post each and every week, and spend the rest of the time promoting and maintaining the newsletters.

YouTube Channel — On the Back Burner

I have a YouTube channel that I am proud of, but the time it takes to keep posting several times a week is just too much with all the focusing on my writing and coaching. Later in the year, if I have the time, I may change the format from vlogs to showcasing pieces from my library at Medium — telling stories from my life and experience.

This may seem like a lot of work but being a creative is my only focus outside of my family. The only thing more important than my work is my family, so I will be available when my wife is working, and 24/7 for the kids, and to keep the house clean and running smoothly. So, you can say that my main job is as a father and house-husband, and I love my job. I want to support my wife as well as she builds a career for herself, so I take up all the slack that I can.

The key to getting everything done is to focus. That one word will be at the forefront of my mind like it is tattooed on the inside of my eyelids. I have limited myself to a few projects, and I plan to give them the focus and care they need to thrive. I will NOT be starting any newer projects this year because I want to see what a year of focus can do for my life and creative career.

I have goals to focus on my health as well, but that is a topic for another article.

What goals have you set for yourself in the new year? Could a little focus help you in your life and career? What will you be doing differently this year?

Let us know in the comments!



Jason Weiland

Personal essays and articles from a guy who never tires of writing about his life -