Well, it's that time again, time to reflect on the successes and failures of 2015, and time to be full of of optimism and enthusiasm for 2016. Yay me!
My philosophy remains to enjoy life, to better myself, and to leave this world a little better off for my being here. As far as writing is concerned, in 2016 I want to continue to promote and sell my current novel more, get my other novels (5?) edited, find an agent or a publisher, get some of my Flash Fiction out there, keep writing (of course), and improve my writing skills.
So, what was 2015 like?
- Kirk's Landing - novel #1 - is now in 12 libraries across Canada. This means more fans, I hope, as well as a bigger cheque from the Canada Council for the Arts. I also sold maybe 20 more copies to friends and family. I think I've pretty well saturated that market. I sold some at Prose in the Park also, as well as networked with many other authors.
- Return to Kirk's Landing - novel #2. I finally finished my editing. I think. My new girlfriend (more later) has also been an editor at one time, so made some good suggestions. Chizine Publications had expressed interest in it, or maybe my other books, but is silent now.
- Writing - yet another NaNoWriMo story completed. It's sci-fi, about a semi-retired revolutionary and his battle against the spread of identity implants and their ever growing list of 'features'. I also started writing again, finally,for the Flash Fiction Friday challenge. Plus I'm in several writers groups, for feedback, and follow (too many) writerly sites.
- Volunteering - I tried to avoid where possible.
- Reading - I read 33 books last year, according to Goodreads.
- Still followed various series online, mostly through Netflix.
- I have a new/old girlfriend. Meaning a friend I had known for a few years, that had to finally grab me for a lip-lock to wake me to the possibility of more than friendship. She's pretty, smart, and fun, but lives about a five hour drive away. We visit and phone a lot.
- My son got me into gaming, which meant a newer and better pc, to start off. First it was WarGame: Red Dragon, then it was Train Simulator (new graphics card) then it was Euro Truck Simulator (new Logitech G27 wheel and pedals). An expensive recreation, but loads of fun as I careen around Europe in my Scania truck, listening to BBC Radio 6 on my headphones.
- I managed to throw my back out less. My doctor's solution has been to KEEP doing my exercises, so now they are not just something I do after I hurt myself. Now, as my coffee steeps, several times a day, I'm down on the floor strengthening my back. Unless I'm in the coffee shop.
- Less pub visits toward year end. Expensive and not always that entertaining.
- Not enough walking.
For 2016, my long term writerly goals are the same:
- be a better writer
- make money at this
- be a mentor
- stay healthy enough to enjoy it all
And my SMART objectives (with some repeats) are:
- Continue with the FB writing groups I'm in, as well as some local critique groups.
- Keep reading about writerly things, but cut the writerly blogs.
- Write one Flash Fiction per week. Don't worry about polishing them, just treat them more as a quick draft. a chance to play.
- Attend CanCon this fall.
- FUP with Chizine
- Blend in the latest editing for Return to Kirk's Landing by end of January.
- Compile an agent/publisher list, so I can start submissions in February.
- Get six Flash Fiction published online this year. This ROW80, review my existing Flash Fiction to see which might be expandable for short stories.
- Promote Kirk's Landing more. This ROW80, send out to four more. Do a mass email to friends in major cities asking all to buy/review/borrow - whatever.
- Attend Prose in the Park.
- Other media - Consider audio books and a screenplay for Kirk's Landing. Perhaps a TV series. An agent would help here.
- Read a book a week, with a review on Goodreads. Read in my genre (whatever that is) but try the occasional non-fiction.
- I hesitate adding 'watch online series' because that can easily turn into binge watching.
- Continue to help other in my writer groups and oonline
- Less visits to the pub. Cheaper, healthier, and often it's not that interesting.
- Walk more. Keep up the exercises
- Less Facebook.
- Girlfriend - of course.
- Gaming - try to avoid the temptation of playing until 4am!
Scheduling all this is a challenge. The Pomodoro method works well for me for writing. I've also started using IFTTT to do a blank journal template for me every day, in Evernote. It works well for daily planning/tracking.