Today seems like the logical day for a post like this. It may get lost in a sea of New Year's Resolutions, but that's okay.
I can't let go of 2015, without sharing this tidbit. There were a lot of great comments on my post about family, pets, and whatnot. It occurs to me that we all have similar things in our lives. It doesn't do any good to dwell on some of this, because I can't do anything about it.
One fun thought occurred to me. 2015 is a lot like the Disney movie, Old Yeller. It was a great year, but it didn't end well. It's time to shoot it through the head and move onto 2016, like the new puppy at the end of the movie.
Things that worked in 2015 will stick around in 16. That means more trips to the writing cabin, more of Lisa Burton and others I write about regularly. Lorelei will certainly be back, I may write about Doubt the Raven, the left side of my brain, and we may even see Red Herring the traveling salesman again.
I want to use the street team concept again to announce any publications I have. This worked well, and I don't see any reason not to repeat that. I'll probably do another paid tour or two, plus another Amazon promotion. I'm going to write up some promotional pieces for volunteers too. These can be from either Lisa or me, and may include artwork with Lisa about the books.
I need to expand my footprint, and Goodreads didn't do enough last year. I won't abandon it, and it certainly didn't take much time, but I need more. This is the year to put the phobias aside and tackle Facebook. I may try another one too, but Facebook is happening. They are the largest social media on Earth. I've seen a handful of sales via Twitter, and Facebook can probably lead to a few more. It might even drive folks to my blog where all the real fun is.
I like a loose business plan for my writing, because I still look at it like a hobby. If I drive myself too hard, it may stop being as much fun. That means Facebook could happen next week, or next November, but it is happening.
I want to release two novels this year. The Yak Guy project is well underway, and I'm closing in on 20,000 words as of this morning.
The Playground is written, and I'm still finding some editing time too. I think late Winter seems about right for its release. I need a cover and will need some beta readers in a few weeks.
The Playground this winter, and Yak Guy next fall feels realistic. I'm still writing short fiction, and love it. There may be another Experimental Notebook, or something similar. There are already 4.5 micro-fiction pieces, and I want some actual short stories to go with them. I'm keeping this idea pretty loose, because it is a second string project. Experimental Notebook sold well, and it worked as a great promotional piece because of its price. How could I not repeat the process?
I also want to start another novel. I roughed out four outlines this summer, and it won't take much to get another one started. It will probably be my science fiction piece, tentatively called Grinders.
Reading has to be part of the plan too. I've benefited from a lot of supporters, and try to return the favors when I can. This means I want to read more of your stories, but I also want to read stuff I pick for myself. On top of that, I want to read another “how to” book. There is one on my iPad right now, and it doesn't look terribly long.
I want to host people, and I want to make guest spots in 2016. There are some fun guests coming soon on my site. Keep me in mind if you'd like to promote something even if it is a service you provide. Maybe a budding cover artist would like to talk about that field over here, or an editor of some kind. Maybe you want to put together an anthology and need writers. (I know some.)
I would ask guests to keep an open mind to the idea of me visiting too. I have stuff to promote on occasion, and will custom write a piece if asked. I wrote one from Lisa Burton's perspective about characters, and another one about my editing tricks last year so keep that in mind. I'm a little bit like a creature from the netherworld. You have to invite me inside.
I need to start at least one more outline too. This doesn't mean it has to be perfect, but something rough. In order to do that, it has to be an idea capable of carrying a novel. I'm writing Yak Guy, I sort of killed the African Adventure because of PC issues. If Grinder is on deck, that only leaves the fantasy about the guy who starts wars for money. I need another big idea to start roughing out.
While all of this is going on, I need to have a life too. This means camping, grandchildren, and being able to drop everything and run out the door on a whim. Having too many goals will interfere with that, so I'm going to stop here.
2015 is in the books. 2016 has a loose business plan. Right now there is a channel running a Twilight Zone festival, and another one with Hitchcock all day. This is like candy to the weird person I am. I have nearly everything on DVD, but not The Birds. Maybe another few chapters of editing, then The Birds around dinner time. I have a micro-fiction about magpies that might benefit from watching this one again.
Happy New Year everyone. Do you have a business plan for this year?