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A new resource set up by a friend of this show and past guest, Tracy Buchanan. This Author Can aims to help traditionally published authors to take control of their careers and to increase their book sales. While the focus is for those who are traditionally published (Tracy noticed that there wasn’t much business-focused advice aimed at trad authors), there is plenty useful information for independent authors, too.
I share that I have just got a Russian deal for In The Light Of What We See and talk about refreshing my attitude to fiction writing – reframing it as play. For more, see my blog post on the subject: Is It Time To Hit The Reset Button On Your Writing Life?.
Also, I am still dealing with my sad personal news and am working on getting back on track. I talk about the importance of being kind to myself!
We are halfway through the year so a good time to take stock and check progress.
Remember that it’s completely fine to update or change your goals – they are a tool to help you achieve what is most important to you, not a document which is set in stone just for the sake of it.
I go through the goals set in my January post: My 2018 Writing Goals.
I was actually really worried about looking over my goals as I’m always so aware of all things I could/should be doing, and how much slower I am at finishing books than many others.
However, I was pleasantly surprised – I have achieved more than I realised.
So. Halfway through the year might feel scary and ‘oh goodness where has the time gone’ but six months is a long time. We all have plenty of time left in 2018 to achieve success. And you get to decide what that looks like to you. Imagine we are in December, rolling down to the Christmas holiday and the end of the year. What do you want be saying? What do you want to have finished or started?
I mention a few tips that have been helping me to refocus:
New keyboard (mechanical) for writing sessions – used alongside the separate log-in on my iMac for ‘writer Sarah’ which helps signal this is a writing session not a general admin, marketing or podcast session.
Focusing on one thing at a time and trying to resist the urge to open lots of documents and browser tabs.
I’ve tried a few writing in café sessions which have been very successful and I’m planning a ‘proper’ retreat in the autumn.
Experimenting with listening to different soundtracks to help me to focus. I’ve used loud music for ages and always create a book soundtrack which I listen to on repeat while writing the book, but while I’ve been finding it hard to concentrate I’ve been trying video game music, film scores, brain.fm and even atmospheric soundtracks – things like crackling fireplaces and weather sounds.
So, goals for second half of 2018:
Continue focus on creative writing. I have finished the current book (hurrah!) and sent it to my first readers, and I want to write another new draft by the end of the year.
However, this doesn’t mean I’m dropping The Worried Writer. Far from it!
I want to carry on helping you, but it’s also super-valuable and helpful to me, too.
So, I’m also going to write another non-fiction book and I’m also thinking about creating an online course based on Stop Worrying; Start Writing. It would be a series of videos and a private FB group for discussion and support, so that you could jump in and take the course anytime and at your own pace. Let me know what you think – good idea? Bad idea?
What Should I Write Next? Please help!
For my next non-fiction book I’ve got a couple of ideas and I would love your input as to which topic I tackle next. I’ve got two main ideas, but I’m happy to take other suggestions, too!
How to publish both traditionally and independently. The pros and cons of each route and why you might choose to have a foot in both camps. Plus, the practicalities of running your career this way.
Some discussion of the tools available such as targeted advertising through FB and Amazon, but focusing on the strategies and the mindset issues around putting ourselves ‘out there’ and ‘selling’ as well as a bit about money mindset.
Let me know which you are most interested in!
Also, as ever I would love to hear your questions or suggestion for the show. I’ve had a few requests for more content from pre-published writers and I’m thinking about how best to incorporate that – whether it’s reading out more questions or anecdotes from you guys or interviewing somebody who is trying to finish their first book or similar. Let me know your thoughts if you have any on that.
That feels like a scary amount of work for six months but in a good way. I’ve got a rush of excitement along with the fear so I know I’m on the right track.
How about you? What do you want to get done in the second half of the year? What do you want to have achieved by the end of 2018?
Leave a comment below if you would like some public accountability, but definitely write it down somewhere for yourself.
And let’s all kick writerly butt during the next six months. I want each and every one of us to be celebrating our successes come December 31st.
Thanks for listening!
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