Finding an Objective

computerwithcatHello, dear readers, and welcome to December. Soon it’s going to be 2017!  Yeesh.

I always get somewhat introspective at the end of the year, thinking about where I’ve been and where I’m going.  Because of who I am, I also beat myself up for not making as much progress as I think I should have made.  Then, after weeping softly into my pillow, I pick myself up, look ahead to the new year and determine that the next 12  months will be different and better than the last.  They will!  *shakes fists at sky*

This year, I am scrutinizing my author “business.”  I put “business” in quotes because so far it hasn’t been much of one.  But I am determined that’s going to change.  So the next series of blog posts are going to be all about my goals and objectives as I try to move forward, the decisions I’m making, and why I’m making them.  I’m looking at every corner of what I’ve been doing, looking for places I can improve, and trying to see how I can make this dream of being an independent author a reality.

I realize many of you reading have absolutely no interest in being an author, but I thought I would post about this stuff because 1) it’s what I have to post about, and 2) recently a number of people have asked me about publishing a book.  It’s my hope that this series of posts will help by showing some of the decisions that need to be made if you go independent.

If you don’t give a fig about the author biz, well, think of this as reality TV.  Honey Boo Boo tries to be an independent author.

And away we go!

This year I achieved some of my goals by getting out Believing It, and by writing the first drafts for the next novel and novella.  That’s awesome, and I’m very happy to have accomplished those tasks.  But I had also wanted to have at least one of the other two books out this year.  That’s not going to happen.  Why?

At first, I thought it was simply because I didn’t have enough time.   It’s true that I do have a lot of demands on my time – I work full time, am the caretaker for my elderly mother, and, sometimes, I actually have a life.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized time was only part of the problem.  The fact is, the real reason I didn’t hit my goals (or at least get closer to hitting them) is because I was flailing around like a dandelion in the wind, trying to do everything and not focusing on the tasks that I NEEDED to do.  Like, oh, writing. (there will be a future post talking about 80/20 tasks).   I was pulled in all sorts of different directions, flitting here and there, and not concentrating on creating books.  Those other things ate up the time I had.  Then I blamed my lack of time as an excuse for not getting more done.  In truth, I had set myself up for failure.

Which brought me to my first question regarding my authorial ambitions – “is this a hobby or a business?”  Because if I’m trying to do this as a business, I need to change the way I’m working, and I need to be much more dedicated and efficient.  I need to make some decisions I’ve been ignoring and do things differently.

In other words, “what is my overall objective?”  It’s important to know because the overall objective will (and should) drive the rest of the goals and tasks that need to be done.  It needs to be identified first.  And then—and this is important—it needs to be written down.

I’ve been thinking a lot about these questions, and here’s what I think my overall objective is (roughly):  I want to be a reliable mid-list author who makes decent money from my books.  I want to consistently and routinely publish multiple books per year and I want to be paid for those publications.  I want to have a loyal fanbase who enjoy and want to read my books (people other than friends and family – LOL).  I do not necessarily want to be a famous author, or even exceedingly rich–those things each have their own price.  I want to be the workhorse writer you can count on with an actual backlist of titles and series you can dive into.

In other words, I want to have more than three books out in the world.  I want this thing to be a viable business.  Most importantly, I am ready and willing to do the work to make it happen.

Okay.  Awesome.  So, what’s next?

Yeah.  Good question.  I think this is where the individual goals come in.  What needs to be accomplished to make this objective a reality?  What time frame do they need to be done in?  What can I realistically do, and what changes do I have to make to what I’m doing to meet my goals?

And that’s what I’ll be working on this week!

Stay tuned, friends, for the next installment of….”As The Writer Turns”





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