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The plan for this year

Posted by Shannon Haddock on January 1, 2015 in No More Lies, Once A Hero Always A Hero, Short stories, Writing process |

So, 2014 is over.  I edited and published a novelette with an attached short story.  I very heavily revised, changing such intrinsic things as POV, and republished a short story.  I finished and started editing a novel.  I pieced together three semi-related vignettes into a short story and started editing it.  I edited a novel for a friend.  I read, according to Goodreads, 67 books.  That’s an inaccurate count though as I read a couple of things that weren’t listed on there that I’ve been too lazy to add and I read some fanfics which, obviously, aren’t listed on there, and articles, and blog posts that were probably longer than some of the short stories that were on there, etc.  I read a lot, as usual, in other words.  I reviewed most of those books.  I made a lot of blog posts.

And that’s not getting into the stuff that didn’t involve words.

All in all, 2014 was a pretty busy year.

For 2015, I’m planning to concentrate more on writing and less on the other bits of the writing business.  I spent months this year following the advice that said getting reviews and networking and stuff like that was more important than writing, and, well, I covered how well that worked in a previous blog post.  If you haven’t read it, the short version is:   I made some mistakes and tanked my sales.

My plan for this year, in order (And yes, some of this is more notes to myself than anything relevant for my readers, but if I have this somewhere public I’m less likely to change it on a whim just because I encounter a bit of difficulty.  Even if you aren’t holding me accountable, for good or for ill I’ll feel like you are now.):

  • Edit my wife’s story she wants to submit to Queers Destroy Science Fiction, if she decides she wants to expand it.
  • Submit it for her.
  • Finish editing my own story for Queers Destroy Science Fiction.
  • Submit it.
  • Alternate between writing Blaughk on Earth, Intertwined Lives, and editing No More Lies, not becoming slavishly devoted to any one work, but keeping in mind and tracking my monthly word count goals.
  • Publish No More Lies.
  • Devote a month to marketing it.  Just a month.  No more.  After that, it’ll sink or swim on its own.
  • Alternate between writing Blaughk on Earth, Intertwined Lives, and editing the leytgeleshi short story collection, with the same caveats as above.
  • Write remaining leytgeleshi stories.
  • Alternate between writhing Blaughk on Earth, Intertwined Lives, and editing the Dagger short story collection, with the same caveats as above.
  • Write remaining Dagger stories.
  • Edit remaining leytgeleshi stories.
  • Publish leytgeleshi story collection.
  • Devote a week to marketing it.  It’s going to be a free short story collection (or 99 cents, I can’t recall what we agreed on now.)  There’s no sense in devoting a lot of time to marketing it.
  • Edit remaining Dagger stories.
  • Publish Dagger story collection.
  • Devote a week to marketing it.  See above for why only a week.
  • Alternate writing Blaughk on Earth and Intertwined Lives.

Word goals, which I think I will track on the blog to hold myself accountable to my readers as well as myself:

MINIMUM, BARRING ILLNESS:

10,000 words a month written; 10,000 words a month edited (20,000 a month written when not editing)

AIM:

15,000 words a month written; 15,000 words a month edited (30,000 a month written when not editing.)

I know I can do 50,000 a month.  I’ve won NaNoWriMo twice, after all.  But I also know that about 20 to 25,000 a month is a more natural pace for me.  It’s slower than I’d like, but given that only a few years ago I was amazed when I wrote 7,000 in a month, I expect that number to keep going up, hence the shooting for 30,000.

I tracked my numbers for December, as an experiment more than anything, and I wrote 9,462 words, which is not far off my minimum goal at all.  However, I only edited 2,247.  Christmas and my spouse finding out she’s laid off as of January 17th made me lose some time though, so I’m cool with this.

So, in short, my professional plans for the year are to write two novels, edit one novel, write some short stories, edit some short stories, and try to get a short story professionally published, and do a total of six weeks of marketing.  This should be less stressful than this year’s attempt at trying to do marketing, writing, and editing every single day was.

This blog will be getting more focus than it has the past couple of months, but less than it was a couple of months before that.  Instead of at least two posts a week, I’ll be making at least one.  For the next few months at least, starting this week, one week will have a short story, the next a five star review, and the next a WIP update of some kind.  Other blog posts will be made as whim and time coincide.  My list of things I want to blog about but haven’t yet still has about a dozen things on it, so I won’t run out of material for a while yet, especially doing it at whim instead of doing one of those every week.

I’ll still be writing reviews of most things I read, and I’m again going to try to read one hundred things listed on goodreads this year, but unlike last year I’m not going to try to force myself to finish every book I start, and I won’t be making detailed notes on everything so I can leave long reviews.

If it’s an indie or small press book I’ve agreed to review, that’s a bit different.  If I agree to review it, it means I’ve read enough of the sample to think I’ll give it at least three stars.  I’m not interested in screwing other indie authors, but I’m not going to glowingly praise works that don’t deserve it either.  It also will get a detailed review because indie books get so few that are.  Little Women is well enough known that I can leave a review that just says “I love this book!”; Love or Lust is not.  I will not be agreeing to review more than one book a month, except maybe when I’m doing the marketing times for my books.  I already have books for January, February, and March, but if you have a book you really want my opinion on, especially if it’s fantasy or space opera, get in touch.  I enjoy reviewing, I just find it too time and brain power intensive to do it the way I have been.  Sometimes I just want to read and enjoy something without thinking too much about it, you know?

So, what are your plans for 2015?

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