I don’t make resolutions, I make adjustments.
Publishing: Last year, I tried to publish 3 books and only published 2. This year, I adjust the goal to publish 2 books: Chokepoint (Kagent Series: #3) and The Obesity Conspiracy. If I get 3 published, great.
Writing: I’m splitting up tracking of writing to new fiction and editing. Too many days most of my writing came from rewriting, which I was happy to count at the time, but that’s really not the spirit of the thing. Last year I wrote over 300,000 words of fiction, but less than 200,000 of that was on new projects.
That’s always how it happens, right? You measure something for the first time, take your best guess on how to measure it, and then are disappointed/horrified by the results. You realize that you chose the wrong metric, or you need to dig a lot deeper to be accurate.
So, the goal for 2015 new fiction writing is 200,000 words, about 550 words a day. I have an entire trilogy of novels to be written from almost scratch (I have about 15,000 words of rough draft going into 2015). The other two Obesity Conspiracy books and the space pirates trilogy are in the pipeline to be edited and published after 2015. 550 words/day is a lot less than the 824 words/day I aimed for, and exceeded, in 2014.
I’m also stepping up the number of chapters I edit per week. (I tried measuring words edited last year and stopped because measuring words edited is stupid.) I don’t have a numerical goal for chapters edited, because some chapters are harder than others to edit. Some need rewriting, some only have typos, and most fall in between.
Marketing: Yes, there may be a smidge more this year. I’ll build on the email newsletter. I will try to sell some short stories to increase discoverability. But the main thrust is still to produce more books. I’ve seen a lot of authors, traditional and independent, doing lots of marketing of various kinds, and no one seems to have any idea if it works. Even getting interviewed on NPR doesn’t seem to move books, according to authors who have experienced it.
- Video games: Ha, no goals, adjustments or anything here. I finally finished Mass Effect 3 a week or so ago, so I’m taking a breather before I dive into (Uncharted 1 & 3). (I still have LA Noir and Lego Marvel to finish). I may get a PS4, and I may not.
- Vacations include New York/Jersey and cruising the Alaskan coast.
- The Lair: Lego sorting will be finished and I’ll begin building my own unique Lego sets. I may add some more standing desk furniture, so I can write/draw/Lego-build on my feet.
- This blog: I am behind on some big-think post follow-ups from 2014. I also want to do shorter posts that highlight cool stuff I see elsewhere.
- Tracking: I’m doing the Jerry Seinfeld technique of building streaks of things I want to do or avoid. The idea is that as you build a streak of consecutive days of not missing whatever the goal is (for Jerry, it’s writing jokes) you pressure yourself not to ruin the streak. I have written new fiction every single day, without missing, for over 2 years now. For 2015, so far I’ve had no red meat, no soda, no fries, no potato chips, no cookies, no milk chocolate, and eaten veggies every day. Meditation, exercise, and eating fruit have been spotty or I’ve only missed once or twice since 2015 began.