As this post goes live, Baby New Year 2019 should be toddling across the threshold in Greenwich, England, which means that it’s time to give some thought to goals for the year.
I try to set SMART goals–specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. And I set them across an array of categories.
Those probably aren’t of interest to the average reader, so we’ll focus on my writing/marketing goals.
- Get The Demon’s in the Details up on Amazon by January 31. Preferably with a few reviews, so if anyone is interested in receiving a free electronic copy in exchange for an honest review, let me know in the comments.
- Get The Demon Wore Stilettos up on Amazon by September 1.
- Get a box set of the first three books up on Amazon by December 1.
- Get a first draft of The Demon Goes Hungry completed by December 31.
- Research keywords and come up with a minimum of 100 keywords that connect with my audience.
- Determine the most effective venue for ads:
- Promotional sites
- Grow newsletter mailing list to 200.
- I know of services that will help you gather new enlistees via giveaways, but I don’t really see a lot of value in having a list of people who only signed up to receive a free Amazon gift card. I’d prefer to grow my list organically. We’ll see how that works out.
- If you haven’t joined the list to receive my quarterly newsletter, which contains extra material that not everyone gets to see as well as the occasional giveaway, you can do that here.
That may not look like much, but it’s what I think I have a realistic shot at accomplishing.
What about you? What are your goals for the year?
I’d be happy to offer a review! Reading for pleasure across genres is one of MY goals for the year so if your offer is still available, I’d appreciate being an advance reader.
(I’m new to WordPress so my site may not yet be public-I’m really not sure!)
That would be great, Julie! Thank you!
You can send me your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you e-files as soon as they’re ready.
PS–I tried linking to your site, but didn’t get anywhere. Keep me posted on when it goes live!
It’s so useful to see how you plan these things out! Thanks for sharing!
And you know, I think several of your other goals are nearly essential to being an effective writer. Health and fitness? A few people can write while sick (I’m thinking about the Seabiscuit story written by a woman with chronic fatigue syndrome), but I think it’s just easier when we are healthy. Culture/Education absolutely shapes our writing as well. And relationships? (-: Well, I think you can be a bit coy about that, but a topsy-turvy relationship only provides great story fodder for LATER, I feel. During, it’s a bit much to spend all day fighting with a loved one, then writing it out in a non-pain-inflicting way in the evening.
I do think reading, critiquing and reviewing are important ways to learn more about our craft, and more importantly, our own tastes in the craft. I definitely want to do more in 2019 along those lines.
Responding to your comment point by point because I think it’s an interesting discussion.
Health/fitness–How you’re feeling, health-wise, absolutely impacts your writing productivity. If you doubt it, check in with Jilly, who’s had the perfect storm of health issues lately (but seems to be on the mend, thank goodness!)
Culture/education–I find that going to art museums and symphonies are highly effective at refilling my creative well. I love theater and movies, but they don’t do the job–maybe because it feels like i’m just stealing other people’s ideas.
Relationships–Stephen King, when asked what the best thing a writer can do to ensure his/her productivity, said something like, “Marry the right person.”
As someone who has been married three times, I can attest being married to someone who supports your efforts and creates a peaceful environment that allows you to work makes all the difference in the world. Hubby #2 was very creative, and really wanted to see me become a published author, but he brought a lot of drama into my life and the constant chaos made writing impossible. People laugh at dedication in my first book, and think it’s kind of an insult to my husband, but it’s not. His dislike of drama lets me write without distraction.
(-: Sounds like you’ve found a great balance!
I’ve been thinking a lot about health and writing lately. On the one hand, energy levels must be there. I find it hard to get into a state of flow when I’m feeling tired and scatter-brained.
But on the other hand, getting into an altered state (like being feverish!) can unleash some creativity that otherwise would be squashed by wiser/staider sections of one’s personality. Now, whether that creativity is readable or not is a different matter! But one doesn’t know until one tries.
Someone on Twitter also said something like writing is something you can do even when you are not feeling on the up-and-up — it’s not like ditch-digging. Well, if it works for them, that’s OK.
I wonder if genre has anything to do with it. Is it possible to write sensible heroines when one is suffering from a high fever and almost delusional? Or would it be better to write psychedelic characters when one feels one state is altered? I suppose it depends on the writer.
I don’t have a fever right now. I have a nasty cold and my sinuses are weighing down on my brain, and I’m freezing in the office. Bleh. Going to try and write a little something after lunch, anyway. It’d be a good time to write about orphans on abandoned space stations, questing for hot soup.
It sounds like you’re feeling dreadful. I’ve never, to my knowledge, written anything that’s worth a a crap when I was sick. I’ve rarely even tried. So I salute your persistence!
LOL, still feeling rotten. I can write short good things while sick (but I have to be “feeling it” — never tried to write while sick and not “feeling it”). I do tend to overdo on the exclamation points, though, and skip over boring things like facts and connecting plot points.
Did you just say your list ‘doesn’t look like much’?? Getting your second book up for sale now, your third edited, polished and published by the end of the summer, and writing a finished draft of the fourth by the end of the year sounds like a hell of a lot (ha!) to me, even before you add in the marketing push and box set.
All very exciting, though. I’m looking forward to your 2019–reading all the books and picking your brains shamelessly about the publishing process 😉
Um, the third one isn’t actually written–I just have 100 pages. So that’s actually, “…the third written, edited, polished and published by the end of summer…”
Gee, thanks, Jill. Now it looks overwhelming.
Nah, you’re good. 100 pages is a whole act done already, and January’s hardly started. You’ve got this!
My bad for being such a negative Jilly 😉
LOL. You’re fine. Mostly, I need to get my personal life (think, “dog”) in order and get back to writing.
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