It’s Going to Be a Busy and Creative 2018

Now that you’ve probably read every other blogger’s resolutions for 2018, it’s my turn to jump into the Pool of Goals and Ambitions (please shower before entering).

As I mentioned last week, this post is going to be chock full of my many aims in my writing career over the next year (and even beyond). Now that I’ve finally gotten the spark, the tools, and the mindset to turn my writing world around (with a good dose of reality about how much work this is going to take), I’m naively excited to see how this year plays out.

Yeah, like THIS level of excited!!

I recently spent a long afternoon brainstorming everything I wanted to achieve this year and it’s a HUGE list. I’m the type of person who, when I get excited about something I want to tackle everything at once. Unfortunately, this is what I’ve done too many years running: Had ambitious plans but left them super vague, had no real marketing goals beyond being more active on social media, and did too much at once which not only led to frustration but also a complete stagnation of my writing career somewhere in mid-2016.

My writing career circa August 2016.

So, this time around, not only did I come up with a HUGE list of dreams and goals, I plotted out a timeline for them, broke them down into their component needs-to-happen parts, and sorted out what I’d have to do each month over the next year to keep these goals trickling in. Oh, and of course, I did this with a good stock of colored pens.

But enough of this blather, let’s get on with the goals…

  1. Revamp my mailing list and double my number of subscribers. I’ll write an entire post about this next week, but let’s just say I’ve been very hit and miss with my mailing list. This is the year the mailing list mayhem will change! I’m also determined to make the content I send to my subscribers more unique (no more copying blog posts!) and more regular (every 3 to 4 weeks).
  2. Give my website a remodel. Actually, I’ve already completed this goal. YAY!!! If you poke around my site a bit you’ll notice a cleaner look, a new menu, some changes to my book pages (including a dedicated Osteria page), the removal of my art (no one was looking at it anyway), and a few new items in my blog’s sidebar.
  3. Earn a defined amount from book sales this year. Since for most people this amount would be a joke (and probably what they earn in less than a week of book sales), I’m too embarrassed to divulge it now. Even though it’s tiny, it’s a monumental increase over what I’ve earned in book sales over the past couple years. As such, quite a bit of my 2018 goals revolve around increasing book sales, including….
  4. Running at least one ad a month starting in February. The prevailing theory is that you should run several ads a month (“stacking”) to really get your book in front of people’s faces, but for now that’s simply not in the budget. As you might guess, there’s a blog post in the future regarding this.
  5. Stay knowledgeable. Because things are always changing in self-publishing these days, I’m going to continue to stay on top of book marketing trends and strategies (something I’ve NEVER done until late last year) by listening to at least three marketing related podcasts a week and reading a marketing book once a month.
  6. Keep improving. To keep my writing skills up to snuff, I’ll be reading a writing craft book once a month, doing a 10-20 minute writing exercise one day a week, and aiming to write a short story every couple months.
  7. Continue on with the Osteria Chronicles. As you read last week, I’m relaunching books one through three of my Osteria Chronicles series (official relaunch date is next month). I’ll also be publishing book four in May. By the end of the year I’ll have books five and six (the final two) outlined and maybe even drafted with an aim to publish both of them in 2019. I’m also creating a box set (ebook only) of books one through three which will be released just a few weeks before the release of book four.
  8. Publish an Osteria-based trilogy. Because I need a break from the core Osteria series, I’m taking a historical novel I wrote several years ago and turning it into a trilogy set in the world of Osteria. This trilogy will be independent of the main series and should be out in the fall. In 2019, I’ll do a boxset of this trilogy. And, yes, of course, there will be plenty of blog posts about this to come.
  9. Write (or at least draft) a stack of non-Osteria books for 2019. This will take a whole blog post to explain, but this goal may involve a pseudonym and getting very efficient with my writing time. My goal will be to have a book ready to publish at least every 60 days during 2019 (even I’m rolling my eyes in doubt at that, but we’ll see).
  10. Try out KDP Select. I’ve been very wary of going exclusive with Amazon especially since my sales on other retailers are always higher than those on Amazon, but supposedly there are some advantages to exclusivity so I might try it as an experiment with one of my releases this year. More on this in a few weeks.
  11. Make some passive income. By this I mean working on getting a few pennies from scattering  affiliate links in my posts. I’ve already joined Amazon’s and Smashwords’ Affiliate Programs and am working on ways to drive a bit of traffic to those links (as you’ll see at the bottom of this post). I’m also toying with the idea of starting a Patreon, but that’s a project I’ll hold off on until summer.
  12. And finally, keep on blogging. As you can see from all the “more on this later” comments above, I’ve got plenty to blog about in 2018. I’m going to stick with my Writing Wednesday post each week, but until he starts having more adventures later in the year, I’m going to pare back Finn’s Saturday posts to every other week. I’m also going to try to interact with more bloggers (commenting really intimidates me) on a more regular basis.

Finn McSpool, Hawaii, Lahaina, Maui

It may seem like a daunting list, but unless some serious life issues crop up this year, I’m feeling pretty confident I can manage it (sleep? who needs sleep?!!).

So, what do you think? What are your big goals for the upcoming year? Or have you already given up on your New Year’s Resolutions? Share your thoughts in a comment below!!

***

What I’m Reading…

Writing with Emotion, Tension, and Conflict

The Plantagenets

The Dragonblood Collection

Your First 1000 Copies

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21 thoughts on “It’s Going to Be a Busy and Creative 2018

    • TammieLP says:

      I thrive on crossing things off lists. Sometimes I’ll add something I’ve already done to my to-do list just so i can have the satisfaction of crossing it off. I imagine that’s a sign of some type of addiction.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. anne54 says:

    Wow! That’s impressive! I have just started bullet journalling as a way to keep my tasks under control, and after a week(!), I am finding it really useful. You may like it too ~ coloured pens and textas are a must 😄

    Like

    • TammieLP says:

      I love my colored pens, but I am terrible about keeping a journal of any sort. I did make (handcraft?) my own week-by-week calendar for the year out of an old sketchbook (yes, using colored pens) with pages for notes and goals at the beginning of each month, and that is serving me so much better than any planner I’ve ever had…nothing like custom made, right?! Thanks for popping by and good luck with your tasks!!!

      Like

  2. iemergedinlondonrain says:

    You are so organized! I’m jealous! I got a whiteboard in my office last year and hung it over my desk. It’s not too big, but there’s plenty of room to track short-term and long-term goals, and it lends itself to colorful pens! And kudos to you for being more active on your blog. It’s something I really struggle with, but after reading your comment on mine, I decided to come over and see how you’re doing, and now look at me! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • TammieLP says:

      I always made a mess of my whiteboard, but if it works for you that’s all that counts! I’m actually being a little less active on my blog since I was posting twice a week nearly every week…even while on vacation. 🙄 Hopefully cutting down to every other Saturday instead of every Saturday will give me a little extra book-writing time. Thanks for dropping by and good luck with your goals!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. crawcraftsbeasties says:

    Oooh, those are some precise goals you’ve set yourself there… Busy and creative is right! But I’m sure you’ll find that thinking all this through now will get you on the right track for the whole year 😀 Good luck with it all (not that you need it) and I can’t wait to watch you take the writing world by storm! Oh, and I don’t believe for a second that you have trouble commenting on blogs – your thoughts on my posts always make me smile!

    Liked by 1 person

    • TammieLP says:

      Once I comment and the person comments back regularly, I’m okay, but those first few comments are absolutely PAINFUL to my inner introvert…especially when the blogger doesn’t reply (making me feel validated for not reaching out). I’m a little daunted by the tasks I’ve set myself, but I am amazed that I’ve actually set some defined goals. Usually it’s just like, “publish a book” “tweet more” “write a short story or two.” These defined goals make me feel much more focused, that’s for sure…and hey, they give me a target that, once I reach it, means I get to celebrate, right! 😀🍾🍻🍾😀

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      • crawcraftsbeasties says:

        But of course! Ah, bribery and corruption… Always the best way to get stuff done! Oh, and thanks for the reminder about your new mailing list… The first prompt must have got lost in the madness of Christmas, because I don’t remember seeing it AT ALL. Rest assured that I’m all signed up now, and looking forward to having a spare moment or two to read my FREE BOOK! Cheers 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • TammieLP says:

        Actually, I think your name somehow slipped out of contacts and off the first mailing (oops)….this is another reason why I need a mail system that will keep important like that things from getting lost. Hope the free reading doesn’t steal away too much Beastie-creating time!

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      • crawcraftsbeasties says:

        Well, I have to take a break SOMETIME… Right now, I’m just not exactly sure when that will be! 😆 I’m glad I didn’t slip through the cracks entirely, and hopefully your new system keeps doing everything you need it to! Plus, didn’t they send you those cool socks as a thank you for signing up? Double win!!

        Like

      • TammieLP says:

        They did send me the socks – which will be featured in my next post. I liked them so much I was tempted to open another account with MailChimp just to get another pair!

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      • TammieLP says:

        It couldn’t hurt, but since you seem to (from what I gather) already get most of your customers from meeting them face-to-face or via your blog (rather than relying on Amazon or iTunes to do your dirty work), you’d have to consider/plot/plan what you’d want to communicate to your mailing list. Obviously it could be great for announcing your events and classes. Plus, you already have potential freebies to lure people in (calendar pages, your felt bee pattern, etc). There, I’ve created your first marketing campaign…now go get your socks!!

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      • crawcraftsbeasties says:

        Brilliant! Thank you… You can now add marketing consultant to your not inconsiderable list of skills 😀 Plus, as you say, I now have things to talk about! For a long time it seemed like the only reason I had to have a mailing list was because everyone else had one… And that’s never a good motivation for doing things! Cheers 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. weekesgaehl says:

    I’m not gonna lie, I feel a bit overwhelmed on your behalf, but selfishly I am excited to have so much future Tammie Painter to read! Especially excited and intrigued about the spin-off trilogy. I noticed the revamp of the website before you mentioned it and meant to tell you it looks good! I’m also enjoying the extra goodies that come from being a subscriber of the mailing list–so sign up, people, if you’re reading this!

    Ugh, I so envy the precision in your scheduling… this is EXACTLY

    Like

    • weekesgaehl says:

      Shoot–how did I manage to post that mid-reply??! Looks like I need to work on my commenting too. ANYWAY… as I was saying, this is EXACTLY what I wish I could do with my goals. Unfortunately, mine remain to nebulous and unfocused since I don’t have one main end goal to set my sights on. Blugh. I need lists!!!

      Where are you running these monthly ads? Through social media? I’ve experimented a bit in the past months on Facebook and Insta with mixed results….

      Well done on an ambitious 2018! I feel confident that you will see some serious results from these best-laid plans.

      Liked by 1 person

      • TammieLP says:

        Behold I am the queen of planning! I just hope I can make the plan stick. Thanks for the happies on the mailing list treasures and the new website look. I was going to try a new theme but just couldn’t find one that worked because I’m super picky about how my menus look.

        As for ads, I won’t be doing any on social media primarily because I would never trust Facebook with any of my financial information (and I REALLLY hate facebook’s we’re-not-going-to-show-your-posts-to-your-followers-til-you-pay-us policy. Ridiculous. Amazon supposedly has a really good ads system that’s quite affordable so I’m going to try that, I may do a goodreads ad, and then there are book deal email newsletters like BookBub that you can advertise on.

        So, time to scrape my pennies together and get the word out…oh yeah, and get some books out too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • weekesgaehl says:

        I like the theme–and it’s streamlined now and much clearer that you’re primarily an author. Ah I see re Amazon! That sounds good. Yeah, paid advertising on social media is pretty pointless… besides the allure of just throwing £2 out there occasionally to see what happens. I hope Amazon proves beneficial! Goodreads seems…good… too because of the networking aspect (that is more specific that general social media networking). Like, my friend bought Herc based on my review that she was notified about.

        Ekkkk I’d better let you get back to the writing desk……. good luck!

        Liked by 1 person

      • TammieLP says:

        Hmmm…that’s interesting, I never thought of people getting recommendations based on others’ reviews. I think many many years ago I did an ad for the cheese book on goodreads and it did generate a few sales, but I think the “good” thing about goodreads is that people are in there looking for books, whereas on other social media people are mainly there to, um, wait, why are they there?

        Okay, time for work…it’s all about the big relaunch today…ughhh.

        Liked by 1 person

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