As regular visitors know, I’m a massive fan of setting goals. During the last couple of years, I have aired mine in public for some extra motivation (accountability!) and as an exercise in ‘feeling the fear and doing it anyway’.
So far, this year feels like my most productive ever, but I know there is still so much I want to do! Also, I want to make sure I don’t let my motivation or progress slip over the second half of the year.
Time seems to be flying past faster than ever and I know how easy it is to lose weeks – or even months – if I don’t stay focused on my main goals. It’s too easy to get caught up in the latest ‘shiny thing’, in learning about all the possibilities in this exciting publishing landscape, or just in the day-to-day ‘busy work’ of running an author business.
So, I thought it would be a good idea to do a halfway check-point to see if I’m on track. I’ll be honest, I’m a little bit nervous…
I set the goal of writing two new novels and finishing, editing and publishing the Worried Writer book.
Stop Worrying; Start Writing is finished and out in the world! Yay!
Writing two new novels… Um. Not started, yet. Need to prioritise this for the remaining five and a half months of the year.
My initial thought is ‘Argh! I can’t write two novels in under six months’, but some quick calculations shoot down that objection… Let’s say I have five months. That’s 20 weeks.
2 x 80,000 words = 160,000 words
160,000 divided by 20 = 8000
8000 words per week is 1143 words per day.
That sounds much more manageable, doesn’t it?
I will, however, have to get strict about prioritising writing new words, though. I find it frustratingly easy to let writing slip down my to-do list even though it’s the most enjoyable and fulfilling part of what I do, as well as the most important!
I planned to rewrite and publish Beneath The Water and my supernatural book, and to get The Secrets of Ghosts made into an audio book.
I landed a new publishing deal with Lake Union for Beneath The Water and have just finished the structural rewrites. It will be published early 2018.
I did get an audio book made, but I chose my novella, The Garden of Magic, instead… The narrator, Tracey Norman, did a fabulous job and was a joy to work with.
Also, I have decided to attempt the narration for the audio version of Stop Worrying; Start Writing. I’m going into the studio next week!
I have been consuming less and creating more, which is excellent as I think I’ve been skewed in the wrong direction for a long time! I’ve still read some brilliant books, though. One really useful ‘craft’ book I discovered is Alexanda Sokoloff’s Screenwriting Tricks For Authors.
On the business/marketing side, I’m working my way through Mark Dawson’s Ads For Authors course. Even if you aren’t ready to spend money on his paid training, he offers loads of information (and a mini video course) for free, and his Self Publishing Formula podcast is excellent, too.
I still haven’t started scheduling ‘artist days’ to refill the creative well. Must do better!
Walking isn’t strictly ‘creativity’ but I do think it helps me to think (as well as having health benefits) and I’ve been sticking to my daily habit of a morning walk. I would like to increase my stamina and distance, though, and maybe add a second walk in the afternoon (or a yoga session).
I planned to keep up with my newsletter for my mailing list subscribers and I wanted to increase the size of my list.
I also planned to continue with the monthly episodes of the podcast and to add more content to this site.
I’ve been keeping up with my newsletters, sending them every 4-6 weeks, and have had some brilliant conversations with readers which feels amazing!
If you are interested in hearing about my fiction releases, giveaways and exclusive content, sign up here!
I have also made more of an effort with Facebook and have started a dedicated page for The Worried Writer (to keep the ‘stuff for writers’ separate from my author page).
I’ve kept up with the monthly podcast, but could do better with adding more content to this site… However, I was delighted to be listed in the ‘Top 100 Websites for Writers’ by The Write Life – yay!
Also, I was interviewed on the Self Publishing Journeys podcast (link to my episode here), and am planning to do more guest spots on other podcasts.
My lovely brother has given me his old video camera and I am looking into adding some videos to my websites or, perhaps, starting a YouTube channel.
Finally, I’m considering attending the ScotsWrite conference in September.
Your turn! How are you doing with your 2017 goals?