I Hereby Resolve...Resolutions for 2013

Happy New Year! I just love the start of January, and the fresh feeling that anything is possible. I know it's just a mental construct, but the part of my brain that craves organization loves the symbolic end of one year and beginning of another.

This is a long post - my resolutions for 2013 are below with a bit of explanation below each section. Yes, I make resolutions - goals, if you prefer, but whatever you call them, I like to have a sort of outline to start each year with. So many people make unreasonable resolutions and then feel like a failure for not reaching them, which is sad. My rules for making resolutions is that each resolution *must* be completely within my control (ie, a true "goal" rather than a "dream"), and that I must have some sort of reasonable plan/infrastructure in place that will facilitate my reaching them.

In other words - "Write 1,000 words per day" is a reasonable goal only if I have a plan in place to make that goal reachable. In my case, that means a place and a time scheduled and set up for daily writing 5 days per week (one that is unlikely to be affected by things that go wrong during the normal day or flow of things, but still within a time that your brain will actually function - in my case, that means very late at night). Just "write 1k words per day" without the supporting plan wouldn't be a reasonable or attainable goal for me - it's too easy to let it slide that way.

Similarly, "lose weight" isn't a reasonable goal unless I have a set workout time, place and workout plans built into my schedule, plus a supporting nutritional/eating plan as well.

The point I'm trying to make is, if you don't have a decent plan for *how* to reach your goals, or if your goal is not completely under your control (ie, sell x amount of books per month - I don't care how much promo you do, you can't control buyers/readers), odds are against you and you *will* fail. The key to making resolutions is to make goals that are within your control, and then *plan* to succeed. Otherwise, there's little point to the exercise.

That said, let's move along to my resolutions for the year:   

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Writing

- Serialize only published or waiting-to-be-published work
- Minimum of 1k words per day, 5 days per week
- Writing time 11pm - 12am Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri, & while the dog food "incubates" on Weds
- Publish at least one story every month
- Write one short story/novelette per month along with other drafts.

I love serializing drafts. But I've had a couple issues with them over the past year. One of which is that some of the central plot points from a few of my serial drafts have shown up elsewhere throughout the year last year, and while it seems egotistical/paranoid to think that someone might be reading my serials just to turn around and use my ideas elsewhere, it's hard not to draw that conclusion when it keeps happening. If I'm not posting draft work, it will be much easier to assume that when my ideas show up elsewhere, it's just a coincidence instead.

The second issue is that while the serial schedule originally provided hard deadlines to keep me moving forward daily, now it's constricting me in the sense that if I feel like I need to move forward more quickly on one draft than another, I can't - because my writing time is limited and with a hard serial deadline, the scene that's "due" is the one that *must* be done. I feel like I have enough discipline/motivation to keep writing daily now, and the freedom to choose which draft to work on based on where I am with which story at any given time will help me to manage my writing time (and publishing schedule) more efficiently, I think.  

My other writing goals are pretty straightforward, and really should be easy enough to hit with daily attention during the week.

Business

- Get accounting in order and maintain monthly bookkeeping schedule
- No Anthologies
- Cut blogging back for all blogs (schedule out serials/excerpts so content is largely automated)
- Once monthly BSB newsletter, newsletters for author names on new releases only.
- Light promo, review copies, site updates, formatting & cover art evenings while watching TV.

That whole accounting thing? Ugh. And so very, very necessary to get done, and get done right. And there's no other way to get cover art, site updates and other minimal promo things done except to multi-task in the evenings...I just don't have any other time to give it. So I really need to focus better on this area in 2013.

The no more anthologies resolution comes from two things:  new policies Amazon has instituted that may eventually require me to produce hard proof that I have rights to the stories I publish - which I can provide, but since I don't have a traditional contract, it would be difficult and time consuming. On the flip side, it would be time consuming (and expensive, as I'd need a lawyer to look it over) to come up with an actual traditional contract for authors to sign as well, in order to protect myself. The other reason is that it's time consuming and expensive to produce books that don't make the money back that I put into them. I think my time and money are better spent on books that should eventually produce enough income to pay for themselves, and I just don't think there's a big market for anthologies at the moment. Maybe later if those I've already done start selling, I'll rethink that decision. For now, no more anthologies.

Personal

- Make time on the weekends for hobbies
- Keep up with housework weekly
- Continue morning yoga workouts
- Workout at least 3x nightly per week - focus on strength & toning
- Reorganize morning routine for better efficiency
- Reactivate tea & nail blogs in a very casual manner/schedule

I feel like I've achieved a sort of balance with personal stuff, and my overreaching goal this year is really more about maintenance than new things. I need to focus on the writing and business, so personal goals need to be maintained alongside those, so I stay healthy and keep things running smoothly at home. It shouldn't be too difficult until summer hits...but here's hoping I can keep up even through the summer/fall months.
***

Those are my resolutions for the year...and I'm excited to jump in and get started! I have a tentative schedule laid out and infrastructure in place to make them as easy and achievable as possible, so I'm optimistic about these.

Do you want to make yearly goals, but struggle to make them work? Never fear. I have three more posts this week all dealing with how I set myself up for success at the beginning of the year, and perhaps some of my methods will work for you too. It does take a little effort to set up, but you won't regret it. Or I never have, anyway. 

In tomorrow's post, I'll share my new tentative schedule for moving forward with these, and how I came up with it. I hope you'll join me!

Did you make resolutions this year? If so, feel free to share in the comments...

**Please note - If this is your first time posting, your comment will be moderated. Once you have been approved, future comments will post automatically.

 
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  • January 1, 2013 Ardee Eichelmann wrote:
    Jamie, I admit that I have a hard time keeping up with the serials even though I love them. That being said, I am going to hate the fact that you won't be serializing your stories the way you had been doing because of people stealing your plots. That is so tacky and just plain wrong for them to do.

    I understand not serializing stories to make YOUR schedule flow better and that I am all for but to feel you shouldn't serialize because of story thieves just "rips my shorts."

    Hugs,

    Ardee-ann
    Reply to this
    1. January 1, 2013 Jamie D. wrote:
      Well, to be clear, I don't *actually* think people are stealing them (it's just basic ideas, not my interpretation)...but that's mentally where I go when I see it elsewhere. So really, it's more to prove to myself that I'm just paranoid, not because I really think anyone is stealing them on a logical/intellectual level.

      I do think I'll write faster this way though, and that's never a bad thing!
      Reply to this
  • January 2, 2013 Dolly Garland wrote:
    As ever, totally organised Jamie )

    I wish you all the best in 2013. Hope it's a super productive year, and I don't see why it wouldn't be.
    Reply to this
    1. January 3, 2013 Jamie D. wrote:
      Thanks Dolly! And of course, much luck to you in all your new adventures...which I want to hear all about, of course.

      Reply to this

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