This is my fourth year of setting my goals in public. I have been making plans – both personally and professionally – for a long time, but the added accountability of sharing them definitely helps me to stay on track.
Throughout 2018, I also swapped goals and progress with two writer friends on a weekly and monthly basis, and that was hugely helpful from both a productivity and happiness standpoint. I highly recommend finding an accountability partner if you can!
So, I will continue with the same system in 2019 – sharing my goals and progress both publicly on The Worried Writer and privately with my friends.
In 2018 I flirted with software solutions for ‘do do’ lists and planning, but kept falling back on my trusty Moleskine business planner. This year, I’ve treated myself to a Passion Planner (look at the pretty!) with some new washi tape and highlighters. I am hoping that the combination will help me to remember to follow my passion and to keep hold of the joy of creation, even while I get, inevitably, overwhelmed and and stressed…
As always, I want to maintain focus on writing as my primary goal each and every day. I will write first thing, block out time in my schedule for writing, and track my word count (and time spent writing).
I am also going to practice dictation. I began experimenting with it at the end of 2018, but need to give it more of a go… I will start with non-fiction and note-taking, as that feels more doable than fiction, and re-read Christopher Downing’s Fool Proof Dictation book.
I have two books in progress at the moment: the second Crow Investigations mystery and something I have described to my agent as ‘magical realism Downton Abbey’. I am thoroughly enjoying both and want to finish them in the first half of 2019.
To stretch myself (and try for my most productive writing year ever), I’m planning to write the third Crow book in the second half of the year.
For non-fiction, I am considering writing the second Worried Writer book during the second half of the year, but I am concerned that might be a little bit too ambitious. Especially as I am feeling very fiction-focused at the moment. However, I am planning to write six articles for the site during the year, and some of those might form the basis of chapters in a new non-fiction book at a later date.
- Finish Crow Investigations Book Two
- Write Crow Investigations Book Three
- Finish ‘magical realism Downton Abbey’ book and send to my agent
- Write six articles for the Worried Writer
I want to make sure that I am making the most out of the creative assets at my disposal. This includes making sure that existing titles are in as many formats as possible and are widely available, and continuing to learn and improve my marketing/advertising activity using Amazon, BookBub and Facebook.
My author website is due an overhaul and I’m thinking of purchasing a pro WordPress theme to make this easier.
I want to continue to build my newsletter list and to improve my newsletters!
- Create print and large print editions of The Secrets of Ghosts
- Publish The Lost Girls, my supernatural thriller, at the end of January.
- Put existing audio books ‘wide’ with Findaway Voices.
- Either secure audio book publishing deals for The Night Raven and The Lost Girls or get the audio books made myself.
- Create a workbook edition of Stop Worrying; Start Writing and a large print edition
- Request the print rights back for my novella The Garden of Magic
- Publish Crow Investigations books two and three
I am going to try some video this year. Even if I decide I hate it and don’t even release the video, I need to give it a go!
As I am now a small publisher as well as a writer, I want to learn more about being a good publisher and improve my skills… One specific area is writing good book blurbs. This a definite skill and not one which comes naturally (to me at any rate). I have Bryan Cohen’s book How To Write A Sizzling Synopsis and I intend to work through it this month.
I also want to get out of the habit of staying on the computer, even when I’m not being productive, because it fees more like ‘work’ when I should just close the laptop and pick up a book!
- Schedule one day per month to leave the house and go to a gallery (or to explore somewhere new, sit in a cafe with a notebook, walk up a hill etc)
- Enjoy reading without guilt and make books my ‘go to’ distraction/break-time treat
- Continue to use good TV and film for inspiration and learning
- Continue to use cross stitch (or knitting or other craft) for relaxation and thinking time
I know that I need to be kind to myself and that my emotional state is still pretty fragile, but I want to build up my physical fitness to improve my energy levels and mental wellbeing.
I have a lovely new walking accountability partner for encouragement and I’m planning to slowly increase the frequency and length of my walks over the next couple of months.
- Get back to daily walking habit
- Do some longer walks and hill walks.
- Continue playing badminton and add in yoga class (or schedule time to do yoga/stretching at home).
- I had breathing exercises on my list last year, but I discovered I’m actually asthmatic. The inhalers have made a huge difference!
- Continue to improve my newsletter and increase the size of my reader group/mailing list.
- Continue with monthly episodes of the podcast and the patron-exclusive audio extras.
- Research the creation of an online course based on Stop Worrying; Start Writing.
- Attend at least one professional conference. I’ve bought my ticket for 20BooksEdinburgh and am really looking forward to it.
I am also considering visiting The London Book Fair in March.
Your turn! What are your goals for 2019?
Feel free to share them below or on The Worried Writer Facebook page.
Let’s make it a great year!