Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year, New Goals

Happy End of 2012.  

Well, we survived the Apocalypse, and all the trials and tribulations of the last 12 months. Whew!

A year ago, I set a set of insane writing and production goals for 2012. I was prompted, in part, by the advice of long-term professional writer Dean Wesley Smith, who also had set himself impossible production goals.

At the time, I knew it was a stretch (well, impossible really), but I wanted to challenge myself and do more than I'd done in all the years before.

And I did. Although I fell far short of my stated goals, I accomplished and published more in one year than some writers do in their entire careers.

First goal- produce a book a month, 12 in all.
This included novels and story collections. I had a backlog of many stories, and learned how to put these into collections and sell them as books, producing both ebooks and print versions.
7 of these story collections got published, and my second novel, for a total of 8 books. Short of the 12 goal, but still a great output. Am I happy to have met "only" two-thirds of an impossible stretch goal? You bet.

Second goal- produce a story a week for sale in ebook format, 52 total.
I quickly found that the time and resources to do this was at a level that could not be sustained. You need careful editing, a good cover image, formatting, descriptions, and adding the links everywhere.
I did the first four stories, and stopped, realizing it was more important to produce new material. So I really fell far short on this goal. Am I happy to have abandoned this goal? Nope. Would love to have over 50 stories up for sale, but it'll have to wait.

Along with all that came other writing milestones.

I wrote new stories, and had modest success, with sales and publications.

I finished writing most of the third Zack Taylor mystery novel "A Shadow on the Wall." That'll be out soon.

One past story was selected by Every Day Fiction to be in their upcoming "Best of" anthology.

One new story appeared in the charity anthology Nightfalls, where I'm in with some pretty good new writers.

I was selected as one of "50 Great Writers You Should be Reading" by the national radio program The Author Show.

I'm a weekly guest on WUML (91.5) radio, speaking with host David Tierney about writing.

I've had numerous talks and signings, attended shows, and made many new contacts in the writing world.

All this-- plus publicity-- has to be done when not at my day job.
So no excuses for not writing!

For the coming year of 2013, here are my new writing goals.

Again, from the advice of Dean Wesley Smith, I'm going to shoot for an average of 5000 new words a week, for a grand total of a quarter-million by year's end.

That's the equivalent of four good novels, and 4 is the number of books I plan on publishing in 2013. Still pretty ambitious.

So what are your goals (writing or otherwise) for the coming year?

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