Tag Archives: Goals

Reflection on 2014 goals and renewal, revision and recreation of Goals for 2015.

How do I follow up a year like 2014? To finally be able to call myself not only a writer, but a published Author, has been a dream for decades and a goal since 1991. That was one small part of 2014!

2015 looks to be a challenging year for all authors, as the industry continues to flex and flux to maximum capacity. My overarching goal for 2015 is to beat all the records I made for myself in 2014: get more words written, more stories and books published on more platforms. Develop my web presence more to increase my discoverability. All of these are within my locus of control. I must have confidence that the sales will follow and keep to the long view [As opposed to the Longview] of success.

Doing some end of the year accounting I discovered that I have paid for all the printing costs of books I purchased: 600 copies of the paperback, 50 copies of the hardcover and another 10 copies of the Advanced Reader Copies. My cost in books, shipping and tax? $3935. My estimated income for 2014? $4037. Now, I haven’t paid for the cover art, editing or advertising yet, but I also paid the bulk of those in 2013! So, I very nearly broke even this year! When I have to order a second printing, I will have covered those costs.

So, onto the goals. In 2014 my original goal was 150,000 words [I actually raised it to 182,500 in a fit of optimism and then got very little writing done for the first four months after releasing All Is Silence. Not counting what I may write in the next two days, I hit 127,551 or 85% of my goal. I’d give myself a solid B for writing. 102,055 of those words were fiction and the other 25,000+ were blog-posts. So for 2015, my goal is to write 150,000 words of fiction and 32,500 words of blog posts and other non-fiction activities for a total of 182,500 words, averaging 500 words per day. Not bad for a father, partner, teacher.

I intended to complete two on-line writing courses I purchased from Holly Lisle. I got partway through both. No goals for writing courses in 2015 except for finding advice as needed.

How I did on other Writing Goals 2014 [and how I’ll adapt them in 2015.]

  1. 26 submissions – No. 3 publications and 1 submission. 2015: 12 publications of novels, novellas and short stories.
  2. Complete Final Draft of Straight Into Darkness before October. – No. Finished a really, really rough draft in early December. 2015: Finish Final rough by 48th birthday, February 15, 2015. Complete Advanced Reader Copies by April 1st before Norwescon.
  3. A three day novel writing weekend (outside of NANOWRIMO) – No. 2015: Renewed.
  4. NANOWRIMO – 4th Deserted Lands novel – No. 2015: Write 50,000 words in November 2015. Probably Grace I or Charley I.
  5. Break record of 6054 words in one day! [using TEK article] YES!! 11/15/2014. 6,238 words. 2015: Rebreak record. At least 7,000 in one day.
  6. Complete 2nd Draft of Oppositions, my second novel, fantasy – No. 2015: Tentatively renewed. Only if I finish a 3rd Deserted Lands novel draft before November.
  7. [added 5/4/14] Blog once a week [added 7/10/14] Blog longer, more content. YES!! 63 blog posts, averaging 386 words each up from 143 words each in 2013. 2015: Aim for 64+ posts averaging 500 words each. Focus not on writing.
  8. [added 5/4/14] Publish Toils and Snares novella in late summer/early fall. – No. Perhaps I should have set a goal to write it first! It was going to be 22,000 words. It’s going to finish at about 40,000. 2015: Publish in January of 2015.
  9. [added 7/10/14] Publish at least one Kindle Single [this summer?] YES. Published Just Desert and One Tin Soldier on KDP. 2015: Publish 8 short stories to Kindle Direct Publishing.

Additional goals for 2015

  1. Read and decide whether to rewrite first novel, Jack and the Beanstalk for YA/MG or not?
  2. Record all unrecorded, written/remembered songs.
  3. Complete at least 2 short Deserted Lands stories TBD: 10,000 words total.

My reading goal was 14 books and I hit it, not certain that I didn’t read a few more on e-readers! Oh, and not counting the three books I read to my daughter putting her to bed! I’m aiming for at least 15 in 2015 [not counting my own books! I read All Is Silence twice in 2014].

Hope your new year is a good one.

Write on,
Rob

Slater is Streaking in Seattle (and Salt Lake City).

Sick of Seattle by the Smithereens. Sleepless in Seattle. Stuck In Seattle with Slater’s Airport blues. And now, streaking in Seattle. Basically, alliterating all over.

So, after screwing up parking and missing my flight, I logged onto the SeaTac Airport wifi and discovered that I’ve sold a book a day on Amazon for three days, a book a week through Neilsen Bookscan for three weeks [Brick and mortar bookstores that report sales] and I’ve written at least 500 words of fiction a day for nine days. I wrote 800 on the flight to Vegas. So, that’s what I mean by streaking.

Looking back from the Salt Lake City airport 9 days later. I got good news in Vegas. My three days in a row, became 4 in one day. Then a day of no sales. And another and another. 3 days. No sales. Not the streak I want. Then 2 and 1, 2 and 1… Hhmmm, another streak except this time with alternating single sales and double sales? Or a steady rise? Either would be great.

The difference between all these streaks? I can only control one of them—writing 500 words or more each day. I figure if I can run a streak while traveling and get 500 words a day in short bits and pieces I can hit my annual writing goal which is 182,500 words for 2014, which is equal to 500 words a day for 365 days. At the moment I am way behind, but this streak gave me a big month so far. 13,000+ words bringing my fiction total for the year to 22,000+ words. If I average only 870 words a day for the rest of the year I will still hit the 182,500. My streak of 500 words a day stopped at 11 days, when I only wrote 258 after a big travel/ALA day. Those 258 words I was not even happy with. They may eventually get cut, but my aim was to move the plot forward by the next definitive action and hit 500 words. I did half of it. So, I decided that the important component is writing everyday and wrote those 258 words after everyone else had gone to bed. The writing everyday streak is now at 15 21 and the 500+ words/day streak is now at 3 8. Even with the short day, I have averaged 676 words a day for the everyday streak.

In November of 2012 when I was writing All Is Silence for NANOWRIMO, the third novel I’ve written and the first published, I wrote over 58,000 words in November, Nearly 2000 words a day. In November 2013 I managed 1000+ words a day for NANOWRIMO. Since releasing All Is Silence, my word counts have been abysmal. No words of fiction in February. And minimal words in Jan/Mar/Apr. In May, I realized I had written more words of non-fiction: blog posts, guest posts, and marketing materials than fiction—10,000+ compared to 9,000.

How did I turn things around? Two tools. The tools I used? Scrivener and Google calendar. I’ve started scheduling writing time to hold myself accountable. If it’s on the calendar, I’ll be able to tell people, “No, I have an appointment.” Yes, the appointment is my butt in a seat and my hands on the keyboard, but it is more than a hobby. If I don’t schedule it, it is even less likely to happen.

The second tool is the writer’s software Scrivener. Scrivener’s Project Goals lets me set a word count goal and then as I type a bar of color moves across the box. It starts out red and gradually turns to orange to yellow and finally to green as I reach my goal. In addition, I have been keeping two Scrivener projects open and each day I have been setting goals in both. Usually 500 words per project, or 250 words if I don’t have scheduled writing time and the day is likely to be chaotic. I’ve proven to myself that I can write 1000 words per hour IF I know what happens next in the story. My goal for July and August is at least 1000 words a day. I will write for four hours each workday morning Monday-Thursday in the summer] or until I hit 2000 words, whichever comes first. On the non-work days, I’m planning on at least an hour each morning.