goals / writing

Writing Wednesday: How ‘Bout Them Goals?

It’s a new year, and it’s time once again to review how I did with my goals in 2016, and post my goals for 2017 (As I mentioned in a  previous posting, we really shouldn’t just lay out our plans at the beginning of the year – but this is a tradition, and since some of the goals are year-based, there needs to be a line of demarcation for the start and the finish. Just don’t forget to update and adjust throughout the year; you should always be learning – especially about yourself.)

I encourage every writer (well, everyONE, really) to set down concrete goals for the year, AND TO DO IT PUBLICLY in order to harness the extra incentive that comes when you know that others are going to know if you fail to reach them. It has served me well – if you’re not doing it already yourself, please try it.

Looking back on my 2016 Writing Goals, I had a lot of falling short. It would be very easy to lay it all at the feet of our slab leak, and the ensuing 100+ days of disruption, but I really don’t want to make excuses, and the fact is I believe I could have still done better. You have to roll with the punches. Play the hand you’re dealt. When the going gets tough…, well, here’s how it went:

  1. 3000 words/week

I ended the year with a pitiful 1055 word/week average – my lowest since 2011.

  1. 12 new stories written and out the door by end of year

This goal represented fewer stories than I have written in a year since 2011, and was only reduced because I planned to devote time to Swordsmaster. Even with that in mind, I fell short – only ten stories went to market (“L-O-V-E Among the Stars”, “Some Kind of Luck”, “The Collective is All”, “Out of Place”, “Immortal”, “Killing Them Softly”, “Hard Times”, “Goddesses”, “All the News That’s Fit for You”, and “Cellfishness”) – not a TOTAL failure, but I could have done better.

  1. 1-week turn-around or less on getting rejections back into rotation (until purchased or lined up as next indie)

I deliberately let this slip for the first month of the slab leak, then resumed the rush to as many rejections as I can get J.

  1. Indie publish SOMETHING every 4 weeks (keep to exact schedule)

I was perfect on this one (eleven stories and two more collections) – it really helps to have firm dates on the calendar

  1. At least 3-week preorder and promotion campaign

A sub-goal that I didn’t manage – this was due to a mismatch in my procedures – I don’t decide what’s going to be ePubbed next until the previous release weekend has completed, and then I look for the story that has cycled through the most markets. Sometimes I’m waiting for multiple candidates to return from market, and don’t know which one will ePub for a couple of weeks, and then I still have to format the book and create a cover. And since I repriced almost all my stories to 99-cents, and that’s the minimum price allowed on the preorder, there doesn’t seem to be much meaning to the term preorder. I’m dropping this goal for non-collections in 2017.

  1. PROMOTION
    1. Blog every day. Will need to phase into this; #/week=# of month
      1. Miscellaneous Monday (Humorous ideation, sniglets, puns & wordplay)
      2. Topical Tuesday (not sure about this one – maybe Tropical Tuesday?)
      3. Writing Wednesday (current experiences writing & publishing)
      4. Thinking Thursday (Ideation / intellection)
      5. Forecast Friday (near and far future; funny and otherwise)
      6. Selling Saturday (introduce new item for sale, or put up a promo)
      7. Sum-It-Up Sunday (the week’s events – one-line commentary?)

I ramped these up pretty quickly, but once I reached five / week (M,W,F,Sat, Sun), it became difficult to maintain, and interfered with my fiction writing time, so I decided not to expand further. I wasn’t able to keep the schedule for a number of reasons, but I’m happy with what I did manage to accomplish. This goal will be modified for 2017.

  1. Swordsmaster – complete it

I never even started working it. BIG disappointment.

  1. Read six novels I haven’t gotten to on the list of David Pringle’s 100 Best Sci-Fi Novels

Once again a fail – a combination of lack of reading time and, quite frankly, a lack of personal interest. I’m going to drop the David Pringle part (since the point is supposed to be to see what’s BEEN done AND is BEING done in Spec Fiction) in favor of reading 6 novels.

 

NOW – FOR MY 2017 WRITING GOALS:

  1. 3000 words/week
  2. 12 new stories written and out the door by end of year
  3. 1-week turn-around or less on getting rejections back into rotation (until purchased or lined up as next indie)
  4. Indie publish SOMETHING every 4 weeks (keep to exact schedule)
    1. 3-week preorder and promotion campaign for any eBook priced over 99-cents
  5. PROMOTION
    1. Blog at least 3 times / week with these possible days / topics:
      1. Miscellaneous Monday
      2. Writing Wednesday
      3. Forecast Friday
      4. Selling Saturday
      5. Sum-It-Up Sunday
    2. Be more active online outside my own postings (as a metric, 5 comments/week)
  1. Swordsmaster
    1. First revision (add missing scenes, rewrite others)
    2. Complete it (still anticipating a finished product of 80,000 words)
  2. Read six Spec Fiction novels
  3. Make more $$$ than last year (actually, that’s more a milestone than a goal, but there has to be SOMETHING I can do to impact that…)

I’ll be posting quarterly updates on my progress as usual (except, of course, Q3 of last year), so we’ll ALL see how this year goes (thus taking advantage of the undeniable power of PUBLIC HUMILIATION!)

Just saying…

<<<>>>

collectivecoverMy next story is all prepped and ready for ePub.

The Collective is ALL! At least that’s what Abbe’s been told, but events lead him to wonder if there might just be some intelligent life “out there.”

“The Collective Is All” is a short, speculative fiction that anthropomorphizes (that’s worth some Words With Friends points) the internal processes of our… processors. The release date is January 13th, but you can preorder now at all the usual places, including, but not limited to:

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/693331?ref=NoTimeToThink

<<<>>>

collection8ebookcoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing, including his latest publication Some More, And Yet Still Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND , can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):  https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress:  https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

 

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