As you start a new year of writing, consider what you want to accomplish. Make your goals achievable.
2019 IN REVIEW
In 2019, I changed my approach to goals for the year. I decided to hyper-focus on a few projects and get them finished. My brain is constantly bugging me with new ideas, and the problem is I listen. During the past year, I met about one-third of what I had hoped to achieve, but I can mark off a few projects as completed, which feels very good. In looking over the dry eraser board, here are the results.
- Rescue Animal Activity Book for ages 8-10. Artwork, layout, and published. I hired out coloring pages and formatting and had help with the layout. Got a bump in sales from an Amazon Ad.
- Nonfiction book deadline met. KEEP ‘EM FULL AND KEEP ‘EM ROLLIN’ for TwoDot Books. Publication date of Fall 2020.
- Women’s fiction, western for the Christian market: Done. Writing with a co-author was a challenge, but I am so happy with this story and the characters. Maybe it’s the start of a new series? We’ll be shopping it around to find the best possible option for getting this book into the hands of readers.
- Goal: 6 newsletters. Actual: 4
- Goal: 52 NEW Prairie Purview blogs. Actual: 20. Priority for 2020 is to generate new material every Friday.
- Goal: 52 WordsmithSix Blogs. Actual: 45. I missed a few weeks.
- Goal: 2 short stories for Route 66 Anthologies. Actual: 1 story complete.
MAKE IT VISUAL. MAKE IT REAL.
Put it on the wall where you must look at it. What are you working on now? What is waiting on you to finish? What new ideas have you added to the Board? I use a dry eraser board, color-coded between genres or series. I don’t erase anything, but I add to during the year and check off projects that are done.
Whether Indi or Traditionally published, to be a writer means to be a self-motivator. When it comes down to it, this business is all about STORY. Writing the best story that you possibly can. Butt in chair and words on the page. The next phase involves finding readers. Selling your book relies on the reader-author relationship.
The big picture: 1. A good story. 2. Readers who can easily buy your work.
BREAK IT DOWN
Achieving the end results is why we set goals. To break down the overall vision into something workable. To channel our focus. Seems crazy when we consider the big picture: “I’m going to write a 100,000 word novel that’s going to have awesome characters and I’ll create a world where they’ll do great things and have a great adventure, and then I’m going to sell my book all over the world.” Yeah, right.
But when we break it down into achievable pieces, the overwhelming can suddenly become doable. For example:
- Write one blog every Friday.
- Write and polish one chapter of the WIP every week. (A 2,000-word chapter every week for a year equals 104,000 new words. That’s almost 2 books, and you now have a series!)
- Read one chapter to critique the group every other week. (26 chapters with a new set of eyes, and polished by years end.)
- Read one how-to-write book on craft or marketing every month.
- Build my email list by promoting my newsletter on social media once a week.
- Send a newsletter promoting my work 3 times a year.
- Post on Instagram 1 time per day. (If you hate Instagram, send Tweets)
- Post on Facebook Author Page 1 time per day.
- Learn about Facebook ads. Promote 1 title. Start small and assess the numbers. How can I improve?
- Moms, this one’s for you: Find a place, set up my workspace and shut the door for a few minutes every day.
Do one thing every day over the next year, that’s 365 things you WILL do related to your writing, your dreams, your goals. It’s all good. It feeds your soul and that is why we keep going.
WHICH WAY TO GO?
Still confused as to the difference between Indie Author and Traditional Publishing? You’re not alone. Many are. One of the best summaries I’ve found is in the book WRITE IT FORWARD by Bob Mayer. We were fortunate to hear him speak in Amarillo several years back and talk about a producer of words. His talk was very motivating. At the back of this book is an Appendix, “Getting Your Novel Published Traditionally”, which explains the process and even gives you definitions of the various people who are involved. This book is all about motivating yourself to write.
All the best in the NEW YEAR. May you be a producer of words and achiever of your vision. Thanks for following Wordsmith Six.