Ahh, January. I have an ongoing messy relationship with the first page on the calendar. I love the thrill of a fresh new year. But I hate saying goodbye to our Christmas decorations–especially this year because we got a light-up yard llama to commemorate our recent trip to Peru. Our front porch was such a fun place thanks to our llama buddy, but now he is gone and I am sad. And I haven’t even gotten to the chill of the freezing cold, which doesn’t usually include snow for my part of the country. Sigh.
Yeah. It’s no secret around here. The earlier months of the year are good to me for basically one thing. That’s right, baby. My hustle.
But first, a recap!
2017 was a pretty fab year, if I do say so myself. I crushed three of my five goals:
- I published both Born Wolf and Blood Wolf;
- I made lots of new writer and reader friends online; and
- I read 42 books, which was awesome because I planned my Goodreads challenge around only having time to read 12.
So what didn’t I do?
- I didn’t attend a writing conference; and
- I didn’t do a book signing.
My goals on both those counts changed during the year and those things both fell off my radar completely. I did get my books into several libraries, though, which wasn’t on the list but was a nice thing to accomplish.
So, what’s up in 2018?
2018 is going to look a little different. Okay, a lot different.
Real Life Talk
Up until the middle of December, I was still working a limited part-time Real Job with a law firm. I didn’t discuss it around here because I felt it was important to maintain privacy–both from clients leaking into my Writing Life and from my Writing Life leaking into my job. I had a fabulous schedule that gave me so much time on the side to devote to my craft. Even after my husband and I moved to a new city two years ago, I was able to take the job with me because technology is awesome and my boss was the coolest.
Which brings me to this: we were blown away by a call several weeks ago from my boss’s family, alerting us that he had passed away. It was so sudden–a total shock. He and his wife had become very dear to my husband and I. They had taken wonderful care of us over the years and we loved them as friends and family. I credit them with giving me the ability to get back on my feet and regain my independence after I fled my abusive first marriage.
I found myself sitting in my home office the next day–a room that was one-half law job and one-half writer’s paradise. I didn’t want to think about the question ringing out in my personal life: what now?
My husband had the obvious answer, though it took me a while (hello, I’m stubborn) to accept it.
I should focus solely on my Writing Life.
So, yeah. 2018 is going to be an interesting and unusual year. I’m thinking it will be a year of trial and error.
Here are the big things I’m hoping to accomplish:
- Publish Book Four of The Black Wolf Series–This is the top goal since it’s the continuing journey of my seminal series. If you read Blood Wolf, you know which characters it’s going to focus on. I’m beginning to understand this one is going to be even harder than I expected, but I’m in outlining mode now and loving what I’m learning about this story.
- Publish one erotica short each month–I did manage to finish drafting my twelve erotic shorts in December. Confession: I did the first four at the beginning of the month and didn’t write the remaining eight until the last three days of December. But I set a new personal word record of 20,542 words in one day. (And yes, I did dream of drafting a 120,000-word novel in 6 days. You know me too well.)
- Marketing–Oh, what a broad concept.
Here’s the thing. All my book sales and social media followers so far have been pretty organic. I haven’t run any ads. I haven’t done any collaborations. I wanted to see how well things could do, purely on their own. In truth, they’ve done better than I expected. This is, hopefully, good news. If I start putting forth actual business plans and real effort, my readership and followers should increase, right? Well, let’s hope.
Marketing includes a wide expanse of categories from bettering my brand identity and ramping up my advertising to meeting sales numbers and hitting follower goals. It’s all over the place and I’m hoping I can narrow it into a more precise focus during the year.
- Read more–Yeah, this is always on here. I’ve joined the 2018 reading challenge on Goodreads and ambitiously set my goal at double what I’d set last year. So, I’ve got 24 books on the challenge, but I’m hoping to read closer to 60. I didn’t know how much I missed living between the pages, so this is a goal I’m extra excited about!
I’ve got a handful of smaller goals that I might pepper in throughout the year, depending on how things go. When, and if, I decide to drop a new goal into the mix, I’ll be sure to let you know!
So, the grand and glorious plans for 2018 are here at last. There you have them! I’m looking forward to making them happen.
And now, it’s my turn to hand it over to you. What are you hoping to accomplish in 2018? Comment below and come back soon 🙂