If there’s one word that I could use to describe 2017, it’s unsettled. Chaotic would be another good one. It was a year full of disruptions, from moving and everything involved with that, to emergency oral surgery (my husband, not me) to our dog’s illness and a flurry of vet visits. Looking back, it feels like I didn’t accomplish much, even though moving and downsizing our home was in and of itself a pretty major undertaking. I easily forget that I launched two books in 2017, and also wrote a third. But it took me all year to write that third book, which feels ridiculously slow.
Which is why it feels more than a little bit crazy for me to set a goal of writing not just one, but three(!) new books in 2018. But this year is starting from a much more settled place, and barring any more major disruptions (which I wouldn’t rule out entirely; after all, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, the only thing that’s certain in life is uncertainty, and things rarely go according to plan), I don’t think it’s an unrealistic goal. At any rate, here is my rather ambitious writing and publishing To Do list for 2018:
- Revise Bound Spirits and turn it in to my publisher
- Handle subsequent publisher edits
- Launch that book in August
- Write and publish a non-fiction book on book marketing for people like me who really, really hate book marketing
- Outline the final two books in the Restless Spirits series and draft the next one
- Outline the rest of the Dominion of the Damned trilogy
- Write and publish the second book in that series by end of year
That looks like a lot, and that’s not even counting the fact that I still need to make slight tweaks to all of my indie books and publish them on other platforms now that they’re no longer enrolled in Kindle Select, or the fact that I still hope to send out at least one short piece of original fiction to my mailing list each month. But over the last couple of months I’ve settled into a routine that has let me be pretty productive, and I should be able to write about 2,000 words of fiction every morning and still have plenty of time in the afternoon for blog posts, freelance articles and other non-fiction projects.
The real question is, do I have the stamina to keep that up all year? I guess we’ll find out. I’m kind of counting on the likelihood that it will increase with steady practice. I’m also planning to keep up a steady pace here of one post a week (not counting newsy posts), but if I need to slow things down here to keep up my book writing pace, then so be it.
Since I’ve set such a high bar for myself in the writing department this year, I’m embracing a low-bar lifestyle when it comes to everything else. Outside of writing and publishing goals, my only other resolution, if you could call it that, is to be sure I don’t neglect my health by letting self-care fall by the wayside. In fact, if I have an official word for 2018, it’s health. That includes not just physical health so I can keep up my stamina, but also spiritual, emotional and marital health. So while those will all be priorities I’ll also be doing the minimum necessary to keep myself and my marriage in a good, healthy place and saving the rest of my energy for the writing.
This is, of course, all part of a two-year plan with the end goal of being completely done with both Restless Spirits and Dominion by the end of 2019 so I can move on to other things in 2020. But those of you who love those worlds still have plenty to look forward to for the next couple of years.
Happy New Year, guys! I don’t know about you, but I’m determined to make this a great year. And I’d love to hear your goals, resolutions, One Word, etc. in the comments!