(If you're glaring at me and assuming I've written two posts and scheduled them to drop a week apart, shut up)
So I promised we'd talk about what my plan is for next year, and then also a little about what sixteen years of writing has taught me about planning your next year as a writer. But first here's a picture of a spoon balancing a potato and some euro coins? I think those are European. Although I'm also pretty sure that's a ten and some pennies and nickles in the back. There's much so much going on in this picture. So much. (Thanks, Pixabay)
5 things to remember when you plan your writing year: A list no one asked for.
But. Here's the thing. Unless you're just really organized and on it--and if you are why are you reading something from me?--you're not going to make every goal you set. But my umpteen years of experience has taught me there's a difference between lowballing your goals, and being realistic.
So yes, I could make a goal to market my way into being a bestseller that is almost 100% guaranteed not to work. Won't know if I don't try, though.
It's the details that'll be different for everyone. Are you the kind of person who gets bogged down in the things you're failing and gives up? Or does a commitment to write every day mean you'll think about writing every day and make it happen more often than you would otherwise? Do you need big goals to keep you motivated, or small ones so you feel like you're accomplishing something?
The best path to success is knowing what you need. Not what everyone says you're supposed to need.
Case in point, I used to manage a NaNoWriMo schedule (50k a month) three or four times a year. And then I met publishing and now it's like twice a year. If I'm lucky. So I try for three.
Because you should pick a new freaking project at least once in a while. Stretch your creative muscles. Do something that bloody terrifies you. Don't wait for inspiration to come, go look for it.
"Don't wait for your Prince Charming, go out there and look for him. The idiot might be stuck up a tree or something."
Take a deep breath, roll your sleeves up, and get back on that horse.
Make a plan. Try to stick to the plan. If you have to remake the plan later that's fine. You only fail if you give up. You never know what you can do if you don't try.
Avoid trolls. We all know a few.
- Try to be on freaking time. It's a thing.
- Do better at taking care of the things that aren't on fire.
- Clean the mailbox at least once a month.
- Let the fire-breathing dragon out, in re: people not following submission guidelines. It's their own fault, I have better things to do than be overly-nice about it.
- All the other crap that we always have to do, that no one wants to.
- Try to be on freaking time. It's almost like I have a problem. (O.o)
- Remember even if I'm scheduling for two people I'm not ACTUALLY two people.
- Finish 4 started projects (Float, Only the Dead, Travels Book 2, Space-Romance Thing).
- Start 2 new projects.
- Keep up on the marketing stuff. Blogs, and social media, and all that jazz count as marketing. So at least 2 somethings every week.
- Finish the kids series this year. Because I should only have one book left, but I'm late. On like 2. Again.
- Send some things out in the world. Alone, in the cold.
- B-i-C-H-o-K. Five days a week. For at least an hour a day on the project you're supposed to be working on.
Alright. We're taking next week off for holiday insanity. Come back on the 1st for the 1st post of the New Year!