I’ve made a decision: this year, I’m going to start treating my writing as a full time career. Meaning, I’m going to start taking it seriously, spend the time and work towards some goals. Disclaimer: this is not financially courageous on my part – I’m not leaving a paid job. I am fortunate enough to be retired and supported by superannuation. But it does feel exciting nevertheless.
So 2020 will be a Year of Words. I’ve done the title page in my journal, so now I have to follow through, or it will mock me for next 11 months.
I was partially inspired to take this decision by the Writing Goals section of Jeff VanderMeer’s Booklife, which I’m currently reading.
If you have goals, you immediately know if you should take advantage of an opportunity. You can easily recognise when an opportunity is not for you.
This resonated with me. There are so many things I could do as a writer, but it feels like it’s time to focus on what’s important to me, and goals are a way of defining that.
So, I have made a 5-year plan and a 1-year plan. Here is the plan for 2020, broken into 3 sections: Writing and Publishing Goals, Engaging with other Writers, and Engaging with Readers.
- publish Book 1, Greenhaelan, in February
- draft, revise and edit Book 2, Skalsinger
- publish Skalsinger in November
- outline Book 3, Charm Shaper
- write 6 short stories and enter them into the Australian Writers’ Centre Furious Fiction competition
- write 2 other short stories
- submit best short story to anthologies/ magazines
- write and publish 24 blog posts
- attend 6 local author events at my library or bookshop
- attend 2 larger festivals/conferences
- actively engage at these events
- support other writers on Twitter, WordPress, Goodreads, etc
- offer beta reading to at least 2 other writers
- write a review for every ARC and newly published book I enjoy this year
- launch author website and mailing list
- grow mailing list to 50 this year
- recruit launch team
- engage with readers on social media
- garner 50 amazon reviews for Greenhaelan
- do at least one author interview in any format
Some of these are completely doable, some will stretch me a lot, and the rest depend on other people and are to some extent out of my control. But I wanted to be ambitious and dream big.
In all of this, there is still the human element. The simple truth is: no one reaches all of their goals, and no one has the inhuman ability to stay on task all the time. But making the attempt to articulate your dreams in this way means you will accomplish more than you would otherwise.Booklife, Jeff VanderMeeer
So, here’s to my new career! Fellow writers, what are your goals for 2020? Let’s do this together!