Questions for a New Year
I can’t believe it, it’s a new year and I’m already falling down on the job! I just discovered that I never posted the post I wrote for last week!
Well, it just means that this week you get two posts! So sorry about that!
Also, pop down to the bottom of this blog post for a moment and you’ll see something NEW! Yes, it’s an audio version of the post! I recorded myself reading this blog post. This is something new I’m going to try. If you like it, tell me!! If you don’t, tell me!! If I don’t hear from you, I’ll do this for as long as you download the audio. So, download it! Check it out! And tell me what you think!!
Welcome to 2020, my dear friends! It’s a new year and a new decade!
I don’t know about you, but I am more than happy to see the twenty-teens go. I read an opinion piece in the newspaper that referred to the decade past as the Terrible Teens. I have to say, although the decade wasn’t 100% horrible, or even 60% bad, I am more than happy to say goodbye to it.
So, with that in mind, I’m going to answering some fun New Year’s questions here on this blog this month and I’d really love for you to join me in this.
Although these are larger questions that can be answered in so many different ways, I am going to be keeping my answers confined to the professional: to writing and publishing because that is the focus of this blog.
There are four Sundays in January, sadly I’ve got five questions! Oh, well… It almost worked out perfectly. Sorry about that. But here are my questions—you get them in advance so that you can think about how you’d like to answer them.
- What are you are looking forward to in 2020?
- What is one thing you are going to change in 2020?
- What is one thing you want to try in 202?
- What is one thing you want to leave behind in 2019 and would be happy to say good riddance to?
- Do you have any new year’s resolutions? And what is your word for the year?
You might think that I should start with number five, but I’d like to think about that one for a little while. Most people give up on their resolutions by the end of January, so I’d like you to think about yours and see if there isn’t any resolution that you want to really try to keep going, that you think and hope will last longer than simply the first month of the year.
So, on to our first question (we’re starting off easy here): what are you looking forward to in 2020?
Personally, I’m looking forward to getting better at what I’ve already begun. In 2018 and 2019, I started a few things which I’d really like to continue with and get better at.
First, I started writing faster. This didn’t happen deliberately, actually. It kind of just happened, which is odd, but there it is. I realized that if I really kept myself in my story day to day that I could write more than one scene a day. Before this—basically for most of my writing life—I simply had the goal of writing one scene a day. I would write my scene (usually 1000-2000 words) and then call it a day and go on to other work. Last year, and even part of the year before that I stopped putting that break on my writing and instead tried to get more than one scene, possibly even two or three scenes written.
I’m just trying to analyze it now because, honestly, I haven’t given it much thought but I stopped having a scene goal and started having a time goal. Instead of saying that I would write one scene, I started saying that I would write until 6 pm (I always write in the afternoons). I made it a point to sit down to write after lunch and tried my best to not stop until it was time to start cooking dinner. No matter how much I wrote, I would start and stop at certain times. That allowed my mind to open up to writing more than just one scene.
Once that freed me from my self-imposed stopping point, I began to try to write a minimum of 2500 words a day. Sometimes I would exceed that, sometimes I had trouble getting to that number, but that became my goal. With that, and the new addition of my writer’s journal where I now keep track of what I’ve written and what needs to be written the following day, I am able to get a lot more words done every day and therefore my book finished my more quickly.
I want to continue doing this in 2020 because I’ve got a lot of stories planned!
Second, on my list is my coaching. I began coaching other writers last summer and I’d really like to continue doing so. The hardest part of my new coaching business isn’t the actual coaching (which I have absolutely no trouble with), it’s the marketing. I’m terrible at marketing in general and coaching isn’t exempt from this inability.
My formatting business has always simply relied on word-of-mouth marketing. I make sure that I do the best job I can when I format an author’s books and then ask that author to spread the word if they’re happy with my services. I was hoping that coaching would be the same way.
Sadly, I learned after one experience that authors aren’t necessarily willing to admit to other authors that they’ve needed coaching. With people not wanted to tell others that they’ve been coached, they’re certainly not going to tell others about what I’d done for them or how I helped. I’ve got to figure out a way to market my coaching business and find clients. I’m dedicated to doing that in 2020.
Lastly, toward the end of 2019, I shared with you the advice I received on how to market my books. I’ve been putting this advice into action. I’ve signed up for various newsletters, I’ve joined in a number of promotions offered by different people (there’s a romance author who puts together very creative promotions for other romance authors and I’ve also been working with N.N. Light). I’m determined to continue with this trend in 2020 working in, if not a methodical way, then at least a determined way to see which newsletters and promotions work.
I’ve always been rather haphazard about the way I market my books. Last year I spent a lot of money and effort in trying Facebook ads, Amazon ads, and Bookbub ads. They all failed spectacularly. This year I’m going to be putting my efforts into these newsletters and privately created promotions. We’ll see how they do. We’ll see if I will merely lose a lot of money for very little return or if my efforts will be rewarded.
So, now, what about you? What is it that you are looking forward to, professionally, in 2020? Is there anything that you started last year that you’d like to build on like I have? Is there something entirely new that you’d like to get started with? I would love for you to share!
Here is the audio of this blog post: You can either press the button to go to a link where you press the three verticle buttons to download the audio
or listen to it here: