Yes, we all do them, and how many times are they the same as last year? Eat less and take more exercise seem to be my perennial ones. I ought to be a stick insect, but I’m not. This year I’ve given some thought to what I should be doing and I’m committing to them by telling you about them. I hope you’ll like them!
- Make a proper marketing plan for the books. I’ve developed a strategy, thanks to some help from people who blog great tips for indie authors, and I’ve learned a lot from doing so. Now I need to really think about how to promote the books and get them to the right audience. And I need to do it this week. Ok, I’ll allow it to be finished by the end of January.
- Read 30 books this year. That’s more than one every two weeks. I’m not sure how many I read last year but I don’t think it was that many. I can’t count the number of times I read my own books, after all! Goodreads does a counter which I will sign up for. I have 99 books on my kindle at the moment, including my own. I haven’t read half of them, that’s for sure. Although if I check the number of reviews I have on my book review page (36 but that includes some from 2011), I haven’t done too badly.
- Sign up for the A to Z Blog Challenge again. This is where you do a blog post working through the alphabet, starting with A on the 1st April, and finishing with Z on the 30th (most Sundays are days off). Last year I did an A to Z of Princelings World which I enjoyed a great deal. Not only that, but it was really useful for developing ideas about the background to my world, some of which have developed into themes in the later books. This year I will pick up something from my Creative Writing course and write a short story on a word or phrase that starts with the letter of the day. It may be Princelings related, but then again, it may not.
- I don’t think my new year’s resolutions should include publishing the new books in April and November, since those belong in the marketing strategy. Writing them shouldn’t be resolutions either. But writing in a committed and disciplined way is probably something I need to work on. I found Camp NaNoWriMo very useful for that and I learned from it – just keep writing and you can write yourself out of the ‘stuck’ point. I may do Camp NaNoWriMo again, although August isn’t usually a good time for me to be stuck in front of my computer. So, the resolution is to write in a professional manner. That means every day. And I think it had better be the first thing I do every day, before getting sidetracked with emails and tweets and FB messages.
- Take proper time off. Are you a workaholic? It’s easy to become one, especially if, like me, you work from home. The computer is your friend and connection with the outside world. And while you’re sitting at it, you get involved in work. Or… the books must be promoted, so I’ll stay here till midnight because that’s when the US market might be online. I do actually keep a time log. It’s something that hung over from a job where my boss understood, really understood, the need to give ourselves permission to take time off. In 2012 I did 30% more hours than I scheduled myself to do and didn’t take my allocated holidays. And that was after I rescheduled the hours to make the over-run not so bad!! This year I will schedule myself more days since I know it’s my main job now, but I will not over-run. Well, not by more than 10%. Should that be 20%? And I will take holidays.
- Eat less and take more exercise. Since I won’t be sitting in front of the computer so much, I will be able to take more exercise. And if I stop that creeping back bad habit of bringing food up to the computer I’ll eat less too. Keeps the crumbs out of the keyboard as well!
That’s it! Never more than six, that’s quite enough for anyone. And the marketing plan will have a lot more things to do in it. Good luck with your own resolutions, and happy new year!