I Hereby Resolve…Resolutions for 2013

Happy New Year! I just love the start of January, and the fresh
feeling that anything is possible. I know it’s just a mental construct,
but the part of my brain that craves organization loves the symbolic end
of one year and beginning of another.

This is a long post – my resolutions for 2013 are below with a bit
of explanation below each section. Yes, I make resolutions – goals, if
you prefer, but whatever you call them, I like to have a sort of outline
to start each year with. So many people make unreasonable resolutions
and then feel like a failure for not reaching them, which is sad. My
rules for making resolutions is that each resolution *must* be
completely within my control (ie, a true “goal” rather than a “dream”),
and that I must have some sort of reasonable plan/infrastructure in
place that will facilitate my reaching them.

In other words – “Write 1,000 words per day” is a reasonable goal
only if I have a plan in place to make that goal reachable. In my case,
that means a place and a time scheduled and set up for daily writing 5
days per week (one that is unlikely to be affected by things that go
wrong during the normal day or flow of things, but still within a time
that your brain will actually function – in my case, that means very
late at night). Just “write 1k words per day” without the supporting
plan wouldn’t be a reasonable or attainable goal for me – it’s too easy
to let it slide that way.

Similarly, “lose weight” isn’t a reasonable goal unless I have a
set workout time, place and workout plans built into my schedule, plus a
supporting nutritional/eating plan as well.

The point I’m trying to make is, if you don’t have a decent plan
for *how* to reach your goals, or if your goal is not completely under
your control (ie, sell x amount of books per month – I don’t care how
much promo you do, you can’t control buyers/readers), odds are against
you and you *will* fail. The key to making resolutions is to make goals
that are within your control, and then *plan* to succeed. Otherwise,
there’s little point to the exercise.

That said, let’s move along to my resolutions for the year:   

***
Writing

– Serialize only published or waiting-to-be-published work
– Minimum of 1k words per day, 5 days per week
– Writing time 11pm – 12am Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri, & while the dog food “incubates” on Weds
– Publish at least one story every month
– Write one short story/novelette per month along with other drafts.

I love serializing drafts. But I’ve
had a couple issues with them over the past year. One of which is that
some of the central plot points from a few of my serial drafts have
shown up elsewhere throughout the year last year, and while it seems
egotistical/paranoid to think that someone might be reading my serials
just to turn around and use my ideas elsewhere, it’s hard not to draw
that conclusion when it keeps happening. If I’m not posting draft work,
it will be much easier to assume that when my ideas show up elsewhere,
it’s just a coincidence instead.


The
second issue is that while the serial schedule originally provided hard
deadlines to keep me moving forward daily, now it’s constricting me in
the sense that if I feel like I need to move forward more quickly on one
draft than another, I can’t – because my writing time is limited and
with a hard serial deadline, the scene that’s “due” is the one that
*must* be done. I feel like I have enough discipline/motivation to keep
writing daily now, and the freedom to choose which draft to work on
based on where I am with which story at any given time will help me to
manage my writing time (and publishing schedule) more efficiently, I
think.  

My other writing goals are pretty straightforward, and really should be easy enough to hit with daily attention during the week.

Business

– Get accounting in order and maintain monthly bookkeeping schedule
– No Anthologies
– Cut blogging back for all blogs (schedule out serials/excerpts so content is largely automated)
– Once monthly BSB newsletter, newsletters for author names on new releases only.
– Light promo, review copies, site updates, formatting & cover art evenings while watching TV.

That whole accounting thing? Ugh. And
so very, very necessary to get done, and get done right. And there’s no
other way to get cover art, site updates and other minimal promo things
done except to multi-task in the evenings…I just don’t have any other
time to give it. So I really need to focus better on this area in 2013.

The no
more anthologies resolution comes from two things:  new policies Amazon
has instituted that may eventually require me to produce hard proof that
I have rights to the stories I publish – which I can provide, but since
I don’t have a traditional contract, it would be difficult and time
consuming. On the flip side, it would be time consuming (and expensive,
as I’d need a lawyer to look it over) to come up with an actual
traditional contract for authors to sign as well, in order to protect
myself. The other reason is that it’s time consuming and expensive to
produce books that don’t make the money back that I put into them. I
think my time and money are better spent on books that should eventually
produce enough income to pay for themselves, and I just don’t think
there’s a big market for anthologies at the moment. Maybe later if those
I’ve already done start selling, I’ll rethink that decision. For now,
no more anthologies.

Personal

– Make time on the weekends for hobbies
– Keep up with housework weekly
– Continue morning yoga workouts
– Workout at least 3x nightly per week – focus on strength & toning
– Reorganize morning routine for better efficiency
– Reactivate tea & nail blogs in a very casual manner/schedule

I feel like I’ve achieved a sort of
balance with personal stuff, and my overreaching goal this year is
really more about maintenance than new things. I need to focus on the
writing and business, so personal goals need to be maintained alongside
those, so I stay healthy and keep things running smoothly at home. It
shouldn’t be too difficult until summer hits…but here’s hoping I can
keep up even through the summer/fall months.
***

Those are my resolutions for the year…and I’m excited to jump in
and get started! I have a tentative schedule laid out and infrastructure
in place to make them as easy and achievable as possible, so I’m
optimistic about these.

Do you want to make yearly goals, but struggle to make them work?
Never fear. I have three more posts this week all dealing with how I set
myself up for success at the beginning of the year, and perhaps some of
my methods will work for you too. It does take a little effort to set
up, but you won’t regret it. Or I never have, anyway. 


In tomorrow’s post, I’ll share my new tentative schedule for moving
forward with these, and how I came up with it. I hope you’ll join me!

Did you make resolutions this year? If so, feel free to share in the comments…

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4 comments on “I Hereby Resolve…Resolutions for 2013

  1. Ardee Eichelmann

    Jamie, I admit that I have a hard time keeping up with the serials even though I love them. That being said, I am going to hate the fact that you won’t be serializing your stories the way you had been doing because of people stealing your plots. That is so tacky and just plain wrong for them to do.

    I understand not serializing stories to make YOUR schedule flow better and that I am all for but to feel you shouldn’t serialize because of story thieves just “rips my shorts.”

    Hugs,

    Ardee-ann

  2. Jamie D.

    Well, to be clear, I don’t *actually* think people are stealing them (it’s just basic ideas, not my interpretation)…but that’s mentally where I go when I see it elsewhere. So really, it’s more to prove to myself that I’m just paranoid, not because I really think anyone is stealing them on a logical/intellectual level. 😉

    I do think I’ll write faster this way though, and that’s never a bad thing!

  3. Dolly Garland

    As ever, totally organised Jamie :-))

    I wish you all the best in 2013. Hope it’s a super productive year, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t be.

  4. Jamie D.

    Thanks Dolly! And of course, much luck to you in all your new adventures…which I want to hear all about, of course.