Monday, December 05, 2016

Goals, Part 1

NaNo is over!   I have two lovely finished first drafts, both of which are now put aside for a few months.  I have learned not to edit too soon.  I need everything to be cleared out of my head so that I can see the story for what it is and not for what I expected to find there. I'll write another novel or two 

So here we are in December.  Lots to get done right?  Holidays and all of that stuff piling up around you.  School stuff for some, worries about winter for others -- and over us all the realization that 2017 is only a few days away.

I do not do resolutions.  Instead, I do goals.  Goals are things to work toward, not some sudden 'resolution' to change immediately.  My goals are almost always writing-related.  One of next year's goals, for instance, is to get more of my ebooks into print format at CreateSpace.  That's a nice little goal.  It means a chance to edit because books can always use another edit, and every time I make a breakthrough on some writing front, I want to go back and apply it to everything.  It also means new cover art, either expanding on one already done or an entirely new cover.  There is also all the formating that goes into the work. This isn't just a matter of grabbing an ebook version and slapping it between a couple covers.

That is a good goal.  How many should I do?  One a a month might be possible -- ah, but then there's November and that wouldn't work.  I think 8 to 10  might be a better goal, and include in that the new ebook/print combinations I publish since I now usually do the print version at the same time as a new release.

How many new releases?  Maybe four to six.  I am only certain of one (Raventower & Merriweather 2: War), but I have several others in the queue that might make it.  That means more editing, more cover art, more formatting, this time for both ebook and print.

Marketing?  There's a goal I need to work into this insanity.  I am horrible at marketing.  I know it.  I'm reading more articles and books, but I simply can't seem to make the right connection to what I should do.  Work harder at marketing in general is about as far as I can go with that one because I have such trouble figuring out what to do.

You may have noticed that so far I haven't said anything about actually writing. This is because writing is so natural to me that I don't have to make a goal of it.  Instead, I need to make goals that direct me to things other than the actual writing of new stories.  Those stories will happen.  I write every day.  I have for decades. 

If you need writing goals, though, there are simple ways to ease into a pattern of regular writing.  Don't suddenly think you're going to write thousands of words a day, every day.  That rarely ever works. When I decided to first start writing every day, I began with 250 words.  I was able to write every day, but some of you might want to limit that to Monday-Friday instead.  There is no reason you have to write every day.

250 times 365 days = 91250 Words
250 times 261 days (no weekends) = 65,250

In both cases, you will have gotten either most of or all of a  novel done if you stick to the story.  The truth is that by mid year you'll probably be writing more than 250 words because it starts getting easier once you write more often.

There are things that will keep you from writing, though, too.  I'll discuss some of the pitfalls of solid goals like this in my next week's blog!


Deb Salisbury said...

I need to add marketing to my goals. Right now my marketing 'plan' is to write more books and hope to get noticed. Besides, I can't stand social media.

I'm on a writing binge (for me; I still don't come near your daily output). I intend to chug along adding words until I run out of steam. :-)

Zette said...

I just can't get the feel for what to do. Despite attending and taking part in release parties, I can't decide how to approach one. I've gone with the 'put out a lot of material and hope for the best' approach as well!