Before I dive into my literary resolutions for 2017 in next week’s post, I’m going to recap my goals for 2016 and discuss how I achieved them (or not). If you want, you can check out the details on the original post here.
All in all, I did pretty well, but there were several goals not on the list that totally fell by the way side. Halfway through the summer I was supposed to start drafting Strangers (Nel Bently 3) and Blood and Mercy (Reforged, 4). November’s NaNoWriMo was also set aside for drafting the first book in my Polyamorous Pirates romance series (written and published under the name Victoria Spencer). None of these things happened.
There’s also the quality to consider. While I did achieve most of my goals, I totally could have done it better and more throughly. My failures on both counts were certainly due to poor planning and lack of energy for writing. Most of this was due to what a terrible year this was in regards to my personal life (which I go into in our “When Life Hits the Fan” post). I was focused on more important things and when I did find time for myself I wanted to spend it among the support of friends rather than the isolation of writing. Not to mention when I did sit down to write it was forced and I had to trash most of it afterward.
I’m taking all these into consideration as I plan my goals for 2017. I need to set reasonable goals, but also push myself and not get too complacent. Goals are there to challenge us as much as to make us feel accomplished when we check things off. To help with this I’m not only going to write my goals down, but revisit them often as my work and life change throughout the year. Cameron and I are going to help each other stay accountable as well.
Did you set goals for yourself last year? How did you do, and what did you learn that you’re applying to 2017?
For 2017 I have greater ambitions then 2016. I also made sure to put measures in place to help me not only remember my goals (yeah I forgot about half my 2016 goals probably not even a month in) but to succeed in reaching them. So here are my goals and how I intend to achieve them.
Those are my writing goals. You'll notice all of them should be done by or before the end of March. The first quarter of the year. At which point I will evaluate where I was successful and adjust. Hopefully coming up with all new goals for the second quarter. Second quarter will be the hardest for me as far as writing because I will have a new baby girl. I plan on taking time off to be with her and help my family and myself adjust to the new addition. As a result I doubt my goals for that time will be very ambitious.
So those are my business goals, for now. They will expand as I complete pieces of them and will be affected by this baby's arrival just as much as my writing goals. I will post an update in March to help keep myself accountable. Happy goal setting!
Last December I sat down to write out my goals for my first year of publishing. It's kind of amazing how little I knew about something as simple as setting goals. Here's the link to my post from last year. I will go over each piece and why I was successful or not and how I plan to change that for the upcoming year. I will post my new goals in January.
In the first paragraph I talked about how making sure our goals are attainable and that in reality I'd like to just make any money at all. For those of you who don’t know, 2016 was my first year in publishing. I learned so much. I spent so much time studying indie publishing and the publishing world in general I thought I was ready to kick this business off without a hitch. Boy was I wrong!
Here are 2016s goals with my notes in red:
1. Complete and publish the first season of The Starsboro Chronicles: I completed and published 5 of the ten. The sixth one was well on it's way when my life imploded. I had family drama and emergencies followed by an impulsive pregnancy that landed me in the hospital with a massive blood clot. Do you know how tired blood thinners can make you? I have to nap every single day!
2. Complete and prepare the second season: I have a vague outline of most of season 2. This one goes in the failure column for sure.
3. Complete and publish at least 1 full length novel: I have one full length novel about half way done and a novella that just needs a few finishing touches. This is also a fail for me. I should have focused more on one project. And I should have made that the project I was most interested in writing at the time instead of forcing myself to write something I wasn't really into.
4. Earn enough money pay off my credit card debt: I made... wait for it... $30. Don’t get me wrong, this is still pretty awesome considering people were buying my books! Still, not quite what I had in mind. To make this more of a reality I will be setting specific monetary goals and building my audience (email list!) to ensure I can attain those goals.
5. Outline all twenty-three novels that are bouncing around in my head: I outlined a lot. But I'm pretty certain it was not all twenty-three. Sadly, at this point I'm not even sure what those twenty-three were... So next time around I'll throw the working titles in here at least for my own benefit.
6. Write a few of those outlines into first drafts: I wrote the Chronicles into drafts. And half drafted the full length one. So Again. Didn't happen.
7. Write two blog posts and create two vlog posts every month: I never started the vlog but totally rocked the blog. As you can see by how many posts we have one year later. During my health issues I slipped a bit but that's to be expected when you're puking your guts out and in so much pain you beg anyone who will listen to either cut your leg off or put you out of your misery.
8. Read 12 books by Indie Authors: I read 6 (8 if I can finish the two I'm currently reading before the 1st! I know I can finish at least one)
9. Give honest reviews of those books: And left reviews for all 6. So, I will renew this goal for next year. I think it's still attainable, even with baby on the way.
So, the number one mistake I made with these goals? It wasn't not planning for disasters/life. It wasn’t that I made too many or that they weren't attainable. It was that I never actually looked back at them after I posted this. I completely forgot about the outlining goal. I made new goals for myself halfway through the year and I never checked in on my progress.
To help myself in 2017, I will be doing quarterly check ins with V and by breaking each goal into pieces. For example If I want to read 12 books in 2017 and I know after I have this baby I'm going to need some time before I'm ready to dive into fiction again so I will try to read four before she is born instead of just three.
It's also important to see the things I achieved that were not goals. I won the New Apple E-Books Award for Excellence in Independent Publishing in the humor category. I have made great strides towards growing this business (Helping authors) and I five titles published under my name. These are all great feats that I may never have completed if I hadn't started 2016 full of optimism and hope.
Don't look at unreached goals as something to be ashamed of. Use them to learn and make your new year even better. I will post my new goals and how I plan to achieve them next week.
A while back I had a conversation with a group of authors about language in books—and I know what you’re thinking: books ARE language, V. But I’m talking about the other kind of language, the kind your parents told you to watch, or that might have gotten your mouth washed out with soap.
Now that we’re all adults it's not such a big deal, except when you’re producing a product for others. Like, say, if you’re an author. Now I know some people have moral issues with foul language, and I’m not going to discuss that here. I’m only tackling the subject from a business perspective.
There are four things you must consider when deciding whether to change that four letter word.
I hope this clarified some of the issues that arise when considering curse-words in your writing, and as always, reach out to us if you have any questions or comments!
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