2017 is going to be a great year. Why? Attitude. It will be great because I want it to be. Oh, I know it’s not as simple as that. I can have the most positive attitude and something drastic, something beyond my control can happen. Even so, I believe that people who expect the worst will find it, and people who expect good will find that, too.
Each January is like being given a do-over. An opportunity to put the past behind us and restart. So we didn’t accomplish all we planned last year. We get a chance to try again, to do it right this time. For the past couple of years, I planned to release two novels and one novella. In 2015, I released two novels, but no novella. Last year, I released a novella, Mission to New Earth, but no novels. If I considered that a trend—a downward one, at that—I wouldn’t release any book this year. Gotta fix that. The question is how?
I need an action plan. Too many times I let projects that seem overwhelming get me down. Instead of breaking down the project into manageable tasks, I do nothing. Not this year. My first task of the new year is to write a business plan. What do I want to accomplish and how am I going to do it. I will set SMART goals—Specific, Measurable, Realistic, Time-based.
In an online chat group with other writers, we recently talked about how we plan our business year. One writer said she maps backward. She sets the task, figures out how long each step will take then plans what she needs to accomplish each week leading up to the completion. That seems reasonable to me.
If writing were the only thing I needed to do, career-wise, I’d be fine. But pesky things like marketing and bookkeeping also need to be done. So I need to factor in those chores in my plan. Social media, while fun, is also a source of information. I need to plan time for that. Not too much time, mind you. J
Then there’s my family. I’ve written often about the grandkiddies, how when they come over (or we go to their house) my writing stops. Not because I can’t work with them around. I don’t want to. I treasure that time with them. Too soon they’ll be so busy with their own activities they won’t have time to hang out with us.
What about time with the Hubs? Too often he gets short shrift. It’s sad to think I need to plan time with him, besides watching TV together. We do go out to the movies but not as frequently as we’d like. Travel. I need to follow Nike’s ad and “just do it.” Plan a trip each month. Anything from a mini-trip to a nearby town to explore (not just to shop) to a major trip that takes a week or longer.
Writing down what I want to accomplish helps. Hence, the business plan. Maybe I need to make a “family” plan, too.
Being held accountable increases the likelihood of accomplishing goals. Next week, I’ll let you know how I did on the business plan.
May you accomplish all you want to in 2017.
Speaking of things beyond my control . . . If you purchased books at All Romance eBooks, you know they closed their doors (website) December 31st. I only had my books there since August. If you bought any of my books and didn't have a chance to download them, send me proof of purchase and I will replace them. While they aren't paying the authors for 4th quarter, readers shouldn't be punished, too. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, include a copy of your receipt, and let me know what format you want.