I keep thinking I should be making a list of things to do or setting goals as we look down the barrel at 2016, but I’m not sure what they would contain other than what I already have on the wall behind my laptop.
Back in October, I spent several weeks rewriting my business plan. This is something every self-published, freelance writer should have. Writing is a business, and creating a plan puts things into perspective and helps plan for the future.
A few things I include in my business plan are…
- Products: Includes books already published.
- Production Schedule and Writing Plans: This is where I schedule which books will be written and edited up until the fall 2017. In 2016, four books will be completed and published. In 2017, another four books will be completed and published. This time next year, I’ll schedule my writing for 2018.
- Marketing and Promoting Plans: I plan to do more of this in 2016.
- Long Term Goals: These include goals for one year, five years and ten years. As you can see, I’m in it for the long haul.
My biggest project for 2016 will be publishing Scattered Stones, the second book in the Castle Keepers series. At approximately 150,000 words, it’s going to take time. But I’m not starting from scratch. I’ve already completed three extensive edits. The edit I start next week will take the longest, as I work with each sentence to make it the best it can be.
My other two projects for the year include…
Roots to the Past – The First Year: October 2015 marked the tenth year of my genealogy column. In the next year or two, I want to release the columns, one year at a time, in book form.
They Came from Down East: A collection of biographies for veterans of Guysborough County near the Halifax County line who served in the First World War.
I’ve been editing the work of other writers for about two years. In 2016, I’ll be actively seeking clients to work with. I’ve wanted to do this for a few years, but time was not on my side until now.
I plan to attend several markets starting in April. I’m going to expand my area and attend different venues I didn’t get to in 2015. I’ll also return to a few of my favourite venues.
My Roots to the Past genealogy column appears weekly in three newspapers—Times & Transcript (Moncton), The Citizen (Amherst), Lunenburg County Progress Bulletin—and I will continue to write these.
Writing New Material
I’m not sure I’ll be able to write a novel while I edit Scattered Stones. I was toying with the idea, but I’ve found that once I enter the fantasy world, it’s difficult to write other genres at the same time. The Castle Keeper Vignettes will have to satisfy the need to write new stories for the next six months.
Perhaps the odd short story will come to life. Who knows? Not me.
I am never at a loss for ideas. The list on the wall of books I want to write in the near future includes four Castle Keepers novels (not including Scattered Stones), six fiction novels, six youth novels/picture books, eleven Roots to the Past books (columns written, but they all need to be updated and links need to be verified working), six non-fiction books (including one on self-publishing) and one anthology (two short stories already written).
Was 2015 productive? Yes, it was. Will 2016 be busy? Yes, it will.
Happy New Year, everyone. Here’s to good writing, good stories and good health.