If you’ve been hanging with me long, you know I’m a pretty devout resolutionist (and if you didn’t, now you know). I don’t get all the backlash with regards to making resolutions…because resolving to do something is merely making a goal to do that thing, nothing more, nothing less. I’ll be successful with some of them, and some not so much, but even those I’m not successful at will give me something to think about at the end of the year, and help me to refine my goals going forward.
I spent the better part of December working on my list for 2015, mainly because I always over-reach, and while that’s fine, I wanted to really refine the list this year and only include things that are definitely doable. So I’ve been going back and forth among my daily/weekly to-do lists, my proposed writing/publishing schedule and my proposed resolutions, refining, re-organizing, paring back, and in some cases, adding in. It’s not something I take lightly – I ultimately want to give myself the best chance possible for success, and to do that, I need to make realistic goals that will fit with my schedule and the time/energy I have available.
At the same time, I do *want* to overreach a little, just to push myself and make it just a little challenging. If you’re not being challenged, you’re not growing…and stagnation is the enemy of life.
All that said, here’s the list I’ve come up with for this year, with a few explanatory notes added as to why/how I plan to work on certain items.
– Journal weekly: To get anything I might be stressing/obsessing over out of my head, so I’m less distracted overall (mental health).
– Monthly mail exchange: To further my stamp collecting hobby, and rediscover the more personal connection of snail mail and short, hand-written notes.
– Go hiking (summer): For better health, and to broaden perspective/stay connected to the natural world.
– Dedicated weekly hobby time: I’ve learned to do this over the past year, but with the higher emphasis on writing/publishing this year, it needs to be on the list so I don’t let that part of my life slide. Important for mental health.
– Write better books: By which I mean, keep working consciously to make my writing better with each draft I start (don’t let myself fall into a rut just because my writing schedule is quite challenging this year)
– Maintain a more disciplined writing/working habit: 2k words per day, 5 days per week, or at least 10k words per week, no matter how that shakes out (my normal output is around 800 – 1200 words per day now).
– Release a book or collection every other month: I had very few releases in 2014, and my sales reflect that. One of the best ways to stay visible is to publish often.
– Monthly newsletters: Often touted as the absolute best way to keep in touch with readers and keep book sales steady, this is something I’ve been incredibly lazy about, because I feel newsletters should have some content other than just “hey, I have a new book out – go buy it!”. Yes, this is perfectionism, but I think in this case, it has merit. So I’ve devised a plan to give newsletter subscribers new, original, exclusive content every month, which will add to my release list at the end of the year.
– Weekly blog posts for author blogs & writing blog: I’m already doing this for two of my author blogs (this one and my Alex alter-ego), but I’d like to get a weekly post going on the Trinity blog as well, and also at The Drafting Desk for writers/writing-related posts).
– Adopt the donation/patronage model for web site downloads for the whole of 2015: All books except new releases will be available at the BSB site for whatever price the reader wants to donate, or nothing at all. This is a carrot, both to draw readers to the BSB site regularly, and also to give those who may not be able to afford regular price for my books a way to get them for what they can afford, even if that’s free. Also, to entice people to try my work in the hope that if they like it, they’ll pay for the next one. This will be the *only* place to get my books for free or discounted prices, and I’ll be revisiting my pricing structure through the other distribution sites (ie, prices will probably be going up on the other sites). I’ll revisit this at the end of the year to determine whether it was a successful experiment or not.
If you peeked at last year’s list from yesterday’s post, you’ll see that this one is quite a bit smaller…and that’s by design. There are more things I’d like to work on throughout the year, but only those that I’ve given top priority are actually included as resolutions. I have a few day job resolutions too, but those aren’t relevant here (and don’t need to be online).
So those will be my priorities this year…and with any luck (okay, more just a lot of hard work and focus), my book sales will be on the rebound by this time next year, and I’ll be a better writer, as well as in good shape physically/mentally. A lofty goal, to be sure, but certainly worthwhile.
Are you a resolutionist, or do you prefer to just see where life takes you and call it good? If you do make goals/resolutions for the year, what is your biggest one for 2015?