My 5-year writing plan

5-year-plan

Today for the monthly Insecure Writers Support Group discussion question, we are discussing our five-year plans for our writing careers. Whoever is picking the topics for each month is doing a wonderful job. This is a particularly timely subject as the new year is just a few weeks away. Five years feels like a long time, but in a writing career, it goes by in a blink of an eye. It can take many writers longer than five years to write a single book, while others can churn out a whole series in that time. I want to be one of those writers.

Five years feels like a long time, but in a writing career, it goes by in a blink of an eye. It can take many writers longer than five years to write a single book, while others can churn out a whole series in that time. I want to be one of those writers. To do that, I will need a road map for how to get there.

Here is what I’ve come up with so far:

2017 

  • Spend a minimum of 20 hours per week creating new content or revising. I tracked how I used my time throughout 2016 and I was surprised by little time I spent actually writing. Social media and other writing-related tasks consumed far more time than I realized. That needs to change.
  • Complete the first book in the Falmouth series and be in the editorial process of the second book in that series.
  • Continue to periodically work on the Hast House book until the structural issues resolve themselves.
  • Explore the idea of running writers workshops in the mountains of Virginia. Figure out the costs associated with putting on a small workshop and get input from other writers as to what they would need in a workshop.
  • Expand my local writer contacts through role as membership chair of Triangle Sisters in Crime chapter.
  • Cultivate book positive culture in Durham through Friends of the Library book club.

2018

  • Spend 25 hours of purely creative time writing and revising per week.
  • Either indie-publish the first book in the Falmouth series or be querying small publishers regarding that series.
  • Write book 3 in the Falmouth series.
  • Complete writing book 1 in the Midge & Snig series and query mystery presses about the series.
  • Complete the Hast House book.
  • Expand Friends of the Library book club to at least fifteen additional members.
  • Run two week-long writer’s retreats and one weekend retreat.

2019

  • Write 30 hours per week.
  • Write book 4 in the Falmouth series. Decide if the series will continue after book 4.
  • Complete the Hast House book (if not already completed). Get that published, either with a traditional publisher or a small press.
  • Edit and polish book 2 in the Midge & Snig series.Solidify how that series will be published. Draft books 3 and 4.
  • Turn over the Friends of the Library book club to another person.
  • Assess if I enjoy running writer’s retreats and either expand or end that project.
  • Reassess social media platform and update public persona in light of changes in technology.

2020

  • Write full-time.
  • Research book set in the Blackstone Valley of Massachusetts.
  • Continue Midge & Snig series if the first few books were well received. Scrap if not successful.

2021

  • Earn enough money with my writing to support myself.
  • Write Blackstone Valley book.

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