Happy New Year! It’s that time again – resolution time.
I am a firm believer in setting goals. If you make a plan and set an intention, you are far more likely to accomplish the things you really want to accomplish. It is far too easy to lose track of the bigger picture in the minutia of the everyday.
I also feel it is useful to look back over your goals from the year before and see how you did. Many times, I don’t feel like I’ve done very much in a year and find that I actually did most of the things I set out to do.
My writing goals for 2016:
- Find 25 people to read and review Escape Plan before it is released in April. I did find 25 people to read Escape Plan, but not all of them wrote reviews. On the other hand, the reviews that book did get were all pretty positive. So that’s something.
- Finish the first book in the Midge & Snig series and get it through at least one round of critique. This I did. I sent a draft to some beta readers in September. They gave me some valuable feedback.
- Make a go of starting a creative cooperative where I can market my skills at formatting manuscripts and other people can market their gifts. This was one of my big struggles of 2016. I took on several formatting projects and several content editing projects and tried to check-in with myself about how I was feeling about the process. My formatting customers were happy with the quality of my work and seemed to enjoy working with me, so that was good. I really enjoyed the content editing. I kept meticulous records of how much time I was spending on each project and can now understand why other editors charge as much as they do. I hope to take on several more content editing projects in 2017, so if you know of someone that could use that type of service, please send them my way. The creative cooperative part of this project only went so-so. I have connected with a few copy editors that could be part of the group but am still looking for a few marketing people, and cover designers. I may just let that project go and move on.
- Write faster. I would like to publish one book per year, so I need to simply produce more pages in less time. I am experimenting with things like dictation software and writing sprints to get more words on the page. I am also going to work on editing at a faster pace. I am getting faster at producing new pages, but the editing part is still slow, slow, slow.
- Track my daily writing practice better. This year I plan to use Jaime Raintree’s spreadsheet system. I like how detailed her spreadsheet is and how it allows me to track my progress on multiple projects. Wow, did I do this one! Not only did I use Jaime’s excellent spreadsheet, I started using Toggl to track how I am using my time throughout the day. It has been enlightening. There is a lot of time in my day goes wasted. I will be working on remedies for that in 2017.
- Reassess my social media activity and decide what is working for me and what is not. I feel like I am not doing any one platform well and don’t want to spend more total time on-line. Social media is sucking up too much of my time and I don’t enjoy it. I’ve been cutting back and will continue to do so.
- Reassess my involvement in the various critique groups I’ve been involved with. It’s valuable to examine whether or not the group is useful for me and if I am useful for them. I dropped out of two of my critique groups. I am only in one group now that meets only once a month. It is great.
- Make peace with the idea of working a job as well as writing. I enjoy working outside the house, but I need to figure out how to do so without slowing down my writing career. Nope, didn’t happen. I am scheduled to work full-time from January through May and I hoping to pick up more editing work that can fit around my own writing time.
- Actively eliminate negative forces in my writing life. The writing life is fraught with enough insecurity without unnecessary sources of negativity. This I have been actively doing and feel great.
My writing goals for 2017:
- Be more deliberate with how I spend my writing time. In 2016, I implemented some good ways to track my time. Now, I need to put a plan in action to get the most bang for my buck.
- Reassess my online presence. I want to spend more time interacting with my readers. I think I will scale back this blog and expand my presence other places.
- Complete the first two books in my Falmouth series of books. I am well on my way on book 1, so I am hopeful that I can do this and work full-time January-June.
- Write book 1 in my Midge & Snig series and edit book 2. Yes, I’ve already written book 2. I thought it was going to the first book in the series, but my beta readers convinced me that there was simply too much going on in that book to adequately introduce the two sleuths to the readers. This is my “reach” goal. It may or may not happen, but who knows, it might.
- Go on two writing retreats to really concentrate on my work without the distractions of home and family.
Do you set goals for the year? What are they?