Every year, I set goals for myself, and every quarter, I review my progress. Here’s my fall check-in:
1. Write and submit at least one new short story every month, with the goal being at least 10 publications this year.
I have stories written, but I haven’t submitted anything for a couple years now. Looks like I need to be renewing my Duotrope subscription.
2. Write the rough drafts for a seven-part novella series, and maybe even publish one or two of them.
I’m almost done with the first one. Two and three will probably be my NaNoWriMo project.
3. Have at least one novel published, with another one polished enough to publish in 2016.
A Handful of Wishes has a cover and an assigned editor, but that’s as close as I’ve gotten.
4. Publish at least two long short stories (10k+) or short story collections.
Maybe this will be my NaNoWriMo project.
5. Improve my marketing strategy in order to increase my fanbase (as measured by newsletter subscription, Facebook page likes, and social media interactions like comments, likes, and favorites), sales, and reviews.
I’ve been hitting this hard. I just did a book fair last weekend. I’ve taken out various ads. I signed up for a book review service. I’ve gotten a lot of reviews (relatively speaking, compared to my previous rate) and a lot of free downloads. I haven’t gotten more sales, but at least I’m getting my name out there. My publisher is doing a huge marketing blitz in December and I have another book fair then, so we’ll see.
I’m going to focus for the next couple months on growing my newsletter by offering a free story to subscribers. I’m also planning a big giveaway in November centered around The Futility of Loving a Soldier.
6. Read 100 books.
I’m at 46 – 33 behind schedule. If only there were a way to count all the reading I do for my classes…
7. Get healthier: cut out my daily breakfast Pepsi (not sure how the lack of caffeine will work when I generally only get 4-5 hours of sleep) and eventually almost all soda; go out to eat once a week or less; eat more fruits and veggies and less processed, sodium-drenched foods; use the gym membership I’m paying for; ride my bike to work when it warms up; etc.
My eating habits are a lot healthier, mainly because I’m not sitting at a desk eating all day. I’m riding my bike more; parking at my university is horrible, so I take my bike, park on the street a mile away, and bike in. I may be stalled on weight loss and toning, but I feel healthier.
Overall, I don’t know what happened this last quarter. I had more free time than I’ve had in the last couple years, but I’m less productive when it comes to writing. I think I need to schedule writing time every day and just focus on that – not marketing, not networking, not cat-Vining. Writing.
If you’ve set goals for yourself, how’re they going so far this year?