Wednesday, January 16, 2019

My 2019 Writing Goals - Making It Work


This might be a little late for a start of the year post about my goals, but that's all right. I'm taking it easier on myself. Last year was rough, and for the sake of my health, I need to be kinder to myself in 2019.

I'm not going to pretend that I will find the perfect balance this year. What I will try to do is be okay with that. Easier said than done, I know!

I've been giving a lot of thought about what I want to do this year. My first instinct is: I WANT TO DO IT ALL! My first instinct is highly ambitious and unrealistic. Someone ought to give it a talk.

Nothing has lessened my drive to want to do all I can do, to make myself better, to release tons of stories into the world. So to satisfy that drive, I will make this the year of little steps. One little thing a day for my career. It might not be writing. It could be just tweeting or blogging or critiquing. They're all small things, but add up a whole year of them, that's huge!

Here are the goals I want to accomplish:

1. Finish writing and publish Of Death and Sorrow. This will be the only major project for my name. I already have 25,000 words down, and it's going to be a big book. I won't be setting a deadline. I will give the story as much time as it needs. I will give me as much time as I need.

2. Write two books for my pen name. Last year I published two. (I wrote 69,000 words in four weeks to be able to release one novel by Christmas!) Writing for my pen name is much easier than what I write for my own name. I'm following tropes, and the stories are light and fun. Two isn't unrealistic.

3. Blog twice a month. While I've been keeping up with posting, I haven't been very good at visiting blogs in the latter half of last year. I want that to change. If I only post twice a month, it will give me time to visit your blogs. That makes me happy.

I'm also happy to welcome writers to guest post on my blog. I already have two terrific guests lined up for February and March. If you'd like to take over my blog for a day, please email me ( christinerains.writer@gmail.com ).

4. Spend less time marketing. I got into the habit of using my entire mornings to work on social media, email, marketing research, etc. I put in a lot of effort and got little back. As proven through my experience with my pen name, I don't need to spend a lot of time marketing to get the same results. Less time spent doing that means more time for writing. Because as a writer, that should be my focus.

5. Get up and move more often. This old body isn't tolerating hours spent sitting in front of the computer anymore. Even if I just go fold some laundry or do the dishes, I'm away from the computer and shaking out the stiffness.

6. Read and review 100 books. I made my goal last year, and I'm excited to do so this year!

I will not say my WANT TO DO IT ALL instinct won't push me at times, but I hope to keep it more check.

Here's to a great 2019 for all of us!

45 comments:

  1. I didn't realize you had a pen name. I can barely keep up with my stuff much less an alter-ego.

    I have also had to stop spending hours and hours in a chair. Stopping to do a load of laundry is a great break. For me, it means a trip to the basement and back. I also found that there are short yoga videos on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Or on YouTube. There's also an app for it. It's a great way to move a little and then get right back to work.

    Balance. It's an elusive little critter, but let's hope we can find it in 2019!

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    1. The pen name was an experiment, and she's doing pretty good. I really should exercise with some yoga videos like that. I recently saw a few ads for a series of videos called Body Groove, and they looked like so much fun.

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  2. Sounds like a very sensible approach to goal setting for the year. Really interesting that you've been able to achieve the same results with your pen name without the same amount of focus on marketing.

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    1. It is interesting and frustrating at the same time. One day I'll eventually figure out what works for my name!

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  3. Smart! There are only so many hours in the day and it's impossible to do it all.
    Now, go move around.

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    1. It's a workout day at the YMCA while my kid goes to swim lessons. My body will thank me for it, I hope!

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  4. I think these are great and totally achievable goals, and your attitude is fantastic. I am totally inspired. :)

    Is it weird that when I think of stories being released into the world I think of a winged swarm - birds, butterflies or, in the case of my dark stories, bats? :)

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  5. Fantastic goals and even better approach! It's true, we can't do it all, and then we're hard on ourselves when we don't do it all. Woot for being kinder to yourself. You deserve it.

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    1. Thanks, Loni! I see you're off to a fantastic start yourself. We can do this!

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  6. Those are still some awesome goals! I love the reading challenge, and I think it's interesting that it's easier to write under your pen name. What genre do you write under a pen name? (you don't have to answer, I'm just curious)
    I didn't put many big goals on my blog this year. My main goal is to take things one step at a time. But then, I still have five things I want to accomplish today. At least I am making myself have to-do lists of 5 or less. I used to create daily to-do lists that had 18-20 items on them. Those lists were way too much and too detailed.
    Hope you have an awesome year and renewed health!

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    1. I write fantasy romance with the subgenre of reverse harem. Her name is Morena Silver, if you're curious. :) I think 5 is a very realistic number. Woot!

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  7. I like your goals. They're specific and sound doable. Before I started watching my granddaughter, I used to waste the morning on social media too. Same results as you.

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  8. Marketing is such a crap shoot anyway. And always changing, which doesn't help.

    Good luck with your goals this year.

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    1. Thanks, Diane! It is such a gamble. I'll be trying a few new types of promos next month for my pen name (February is big for romance!), and see how those work out. They'll take very little work too.

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  9. You're right. It's never too late to set goals and the smaller they better. The small ones are attainable. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  10. I like your approach to the year—especially where you say that you're going to give the story/you the time it needs. And reading/reviewing 100 books is totally impressive. I've only managed to do that once in my lifetime. Now I struggle to get half that accomplished. As always, you inspire me!

    Best of luck in 2019!

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    1. Thanks, M.J.! I only manage to get to 100 because I include books I read with my kid. We just finished reading the second book in the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl novel series. Awesome stuff. Very Whedon-esque.

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  11. I like your goals. I think what you get done is awesome. 2019 is going to be a busy year for me writing. I am co-editor with another writer and the response to our anthology call out was amazing. I already feel overwhelmed.

    We are going to do a volume 2. We also have plans for several more together and have started our own publishing name just for anthologies. It will be interesting to see how all this turns out.

    You are inspiring in all that you do. Happy Writing.

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  12. Well done Christine - sounds like you've worked the daily life out ... doing a few gentle exercises should help too - just bending over, stretching out the arms and legs, neck, twisting gently ... it all helps.

    It sounds like your pen lady could help your real self ... once things really take off - keep going ... and just enjoy life - you've excellent goals here.

    A* to the reading goals! Cheers Hilary

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    1. Some days the stretching is all I can do, and yes, it definitely helps. Have a great weekend, Hilary!

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  13. I agree with you about marketing. No matter what I do and how much time (and sometimes money) I sink into it, ROI is limited. The best thing a writer can do, I think, is keep writing and producing quality work.

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  14. LOL, your first instinct sounds a lot like me. Am always tempted to do it all, but...that's just not possible.

    And your goals for 2019 all sound fantastic--best of luck with 'em! Very excited for Of Death and Sorrow. And whoa, I'm beyond impressed you're able to write so quickly for your pen name stories. That's amazing!

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    1. Our first instinct think we have clones or something! :)

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  15. You have lots of great goals. I don't think it's ever too late to set some goals or to revise them after the year starts and you see how they are going.

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    1. Exactly. You never know what the year might bring! :)

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  16. Wow! That review goal is weighty.

    (I have a few you can start with :)

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    1. Sometimes the reviews are just a few lines, but I try to say something bigger for each.

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  17. Sounds like a great approach to the year. Thanks for sharing!

    www.ficklemillennial.blogspot.com

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  18. I'm trying to blog at least twice a month, too. And I also got slack with going around to visit other bloggers. The only time I did that was for IWSG Day. I always returned comments, though. :)

    Good luck with all of your goals!

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    1. Thanks, Chrys! I do my best to return comments. It's easier with fewer posts. It gives me time to spread it out. :)

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  19. Good luck in keeping that voice who wants to do all the things in check! I think your goals are quite reasonable.

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    1. Thank you, Cherie. That voice is currently yelling at me to get TSS done and ODaS at the same time. I told her to figure out how to make clones and then we could talk. :D

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  20. Those are all great goals. It's hard to know how much marketing to do. I feel like that's almost a daily job, especially when you have a new release.

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    1. Thanks, Sherry! Definitely when you have a new release. That's when it's a little crazy!

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  21. One thing a day. I like that! Your goals are awesome and I wish you the best of luck. I have found that I do/feel better when I take frequent breaks from computer work (though it can be hard to do ;)) and move--yeah, folding laundry, doing dishes, those mini-breaks work well.

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  22. I'm getting more serious about my diet and exercise. It will mean even less time for writing, but we have to stay healthy. I look forward to your upcoming releases! You write great stuff.

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