We're nearing the end of 2011, so it's time to look over your records and make an assessment of what has happened in your writing life this past year. You do keep records, don't you? If not, you should.
What and Why:
1. list your submissions (where sent and when) so you know where your precious words are sent
2. show you acceptances or rejections so you know which ones to keep on sending
3. keep track of any income received so you know if you exceeded last year's income or not and for tax purposes
4. keep track of expenses incurred for tax purposes
5. keep a list of publications you want to submit to, include editors' name if possible
There are probably other records some writers keep, but the ones above will give you a good start if you are not already doing them. At the end of each year, I look over my submissions and acceptances. Sometimes a picture emerges showiong me that my work is selling in a certain type of magazine, ezine or whatever. Common sense tells me that I need to concentrate in that area. It doesn't mean I should give up on the others, just that my focus should be on what is, apparently, my strong suit.
Compare your income from year to year. If you've had either an especially good year or a rather bad one, ask yourself why. What happened to make it either topnotch or abysmal? Was it a good/bad market year or was it something you did?
Keeping that list suggested in number 5 will be helpful for this next year.
This is not a full list of records you need. What others can you suggest?