After delving into my 2019 successes and failures in last week’s post “Did I Win 2019?” it’s finally time to get out the crystal ball and gaze into what my writing world holds for 2020.
Oh, and in case you missed it, be sure to check out “My Top Rated Reads of 2019.”
But enough of looking backwards, it’s time to jump into the future.
–Finn, are you jotting all this down?
–Hmmm, should I be suspicious that he’s being so helpful?
Or maybe I should set a goal to be less suspicious because he does look rather productive….
Anyway, while I’ve got your and his attention, here’s what’s coming up in 2020 in a nutshell…
- Publishing Goals: I’ll be releasing one “book” every month.
- Writing Goals: I plan to complete the drafts of two novels and get two more novels underway.
- Scary Goals: I plan to start a podcast. Maybe two.
- Easy Goals: I’ll probably be doing even less on my already-anemic social media accounts while increasing my presence on Goodreads.
- Boring Goals: Of course, there’s plenty of business matters to tend to, including a few changes to my blogging topics and schedule.
- Numeric Goals: I have specific goal numbers for and increase in book sales, royalty income, mailing list numbers, and Bookbub followers compared to 2019.
- Happy Goals: And most importantly, I plan to reward myself if I meet my goals each month.
I won’t bore you with all the business and numeric hoo-haw, but let’s dive deeper into a few of those bigger goals that might have left you wondering about my sanity.
Publishing Goals: Releasing One “Book” a Month
Don’t have a sympathy heart attack for me. This isn’t as insane as it sounds.
After spending most of 2019 working on them, the final two books of The Osteria Chronicles are nearly ready to launch into the world. That gives me two months of publication (March & May).
To generate a little buzz for those launches, I’m releasing a box set of the first three books of The Osteria Chronicles in February. So see, I’ve already got a quarter of the year covered.
If I stick to my writing plan, later in 2020 I should have the first two books of my zombie/magic/mystery trilogy ready to go. There’s two more months accounted for.
And the remaining months? Remember all those short stories I wrote last year? Yep, I’m putting them to use.
In my “non-novel” months, I’ll be publishing those stories on Amazon and making them part of the Kindle Unlimited library (which means you can read them for free if you’ve subscribed to KU).
Why am I doing this? It’s basically a ploy in the Amazon game to gain attention by our algorithm overlords. The more frequently you can release, the more attention they give you. Since I’ll never be a book-a-month writer, I figured this strategy would be a good way to satisfy the Amazon gods…it was either this or sacrifice a goat.
Anyway, January’s release just hit the Amazon shelves yesterday (more on that soon). So…one month down, eleven to go!
#2 Writing Goals
As I get closer and closer to the completion of The Osteria Chronicles, I’ve been spending a lot of time pondering, “What’s next? Where do I want to see my writing go?”
This has been a long thought process. I love the creative aspect of imaginative fiction (aka “fantasy”), but my big dream/goal/yearning is to write historical fiction.
However, because I’m absolutely gaga over my zombie/magic/mystery trilogy, I will be spending the greater part of the first half of 2020 getting that in shape for publication (as noted above). I also have an outline for another stand-alone fantasy adventure that I’m itching to write (but maybe not until next year)
As for the historical fiction, I’ve started a few historical novels (one of them turned into Domna) and I’ll go into those more some other time, but I have decided 2020 is the year I commit to traveling down my historical fiction path. I’ve even got a story picked out that I want to tell (a good start indeed).
There’s some business decisions to be made regarding this, mainly whether or not to take on a pen name to not “confuse” my fantasy readers.
Also, while I usually just write whatever idea strikes my fancy, this is the first time I’ve considered the marketing aspects of a project before ever laying down one word, which does feel like a “career” shift for me.
I’ll be seeking your opinions on a few of these matters in a survey soon, but in the meantime, I’m bursting with enthusiasm for all my new projects!!
Oh, and I’ll do my best to crank out a new short story every other month.
#3 Stepping Way Out of My Comfort Zone
My biggest, newest, scariest endeavor for 2020 is to start a podcast. This feels insane since I hate speaking and I hate my voice, but the podcast world is calling to me.
The only trouble is that now that I’ve decided to do a podcast, ideas are flooding in for my show’s focus. I may have settled on one, but there’s still plenty of internal debate going on.
In fact, by the end of the year, I may be doing two podcasts. One would be a passion project, while the other would be a bit of a marketing strategy for that historical novel I mentioned above. The passion project one will also help me achieve another of my aims for 2020, which is attending a few local literary events.
Once I make a decision and start recording, I’ll be sure to let you know!
#4 Reward Myself for Meeting Monthly Goals
Besides cracking open a bottle of wine now and then to rinse my brain clean after completing a draft of a book, I really don’t reward myself for anything I achieve. I simply cross off items on the to-do list and plow onto the next chore.
Since there’s no one patting me on the back or praising me in a quarterly review, it’s high time I tell myself, “Good job!” for the mountain of work I put in each month.
Luckily, during my trip to France last October, I found a new obsession: Asterix & Obelix bandes dessinées (comic books). I picked up a couple and not only find their adventures funny, but the books are also a great way for me to practice and improve my French. (I also picked up a used Schtroumpfs (Smurfs) book that I loved!)
A search on ebay revealed a fair number of super affordable copies of the 38-book (so far) Asterix & Obelix series. Most of these were in English (no thanks), but many were in French (yes please!) and, provided I meet my monthly goals, will hopefully soon be added to my collection.
Alright, this post has gone on long enough. I’ll be back in a couple days to tell you all about that new(-ish) release.
What about you? What are your goals/dreams for 2020? I hope you’re successful in anything you try, or that you can at least find an appropriate meme for your efforts!