Friday, January 2, 2015

The Checklist, Round 3

So, as I wrote last week, I met and at times exceeded my goals for last year, some of which I had rolled over from 2013. What’s next?

Obviously, I want to continue to post weekly on this blog and conduct monthly interviews for New Books in Historical Fiction. Last year, we galloped across much of the globe: Afghanistan, England from the Saxons to Austen, Italy, Russia, the Wild West, ancient Egypt, Spain—even the far reaches of the eighth-century Silk Road. This year starts out with Germany and Gutenberg, then zips off to medieval Scotland, first-century Israel, Colonial America, an alternative medieval universe, and beyond. I already have more books than slots, which is a wonderful place to be.

Although last year’s challenges were fun, I don’t think I’ll sign up for any this year. Between the NBHF books and group reads on Goodreads and research, I have a full plate as it is. Pile on to that, and reading starts to feel like a chore, instead of the escape it has been since the day I learned to recognize the letter A. And having published five books in the last three years, I probably will not have a new one in 2015, unless The Swan Princess goes so much faster than expected that I can bring it out in December. Five Directions Press is set to expand, though. Production will soon begin on Courtney J. Hall’s Some Rise by Sin, which should be ready by the end of January. With luck, we will add a couple more titles, and perhaps a new author, in 2015.

My main goal is to write—part of which involves clearing more time for writing than my current schedule allows. Otherwise, I waste half my weekend getting back up to speed, only to crash into a ditch when Monday arrives. Two hours a day would be ideal, with more on weekends. Three days a week would be a good alternative. We’ll have to see what the market provides. Last year it took away income without freeing up time. Let’s hope that 2015 proves better in that regard.

So, not necessarily in order of importance, and not including the truly vital parts of life such as family and friends, my goals for next year are to:

  • find more time to write, without having unpaid bills;
  • use that time to finish at least the rough draft of The Swan Princess;
  • copy edit and typeset books and maintain the website for Five Directions Press;
  • read twelve books and interview their authors for New Books in Historical Fiction;
  • maintain this blog on a regular weekly schedule; and
  • learn more about marketing—the weak link in most authors’ education, and certainly mine.

Shouldn’t be too hard, right? After all, I would do most of these things anyway. Except for the marketing, I even enjoy them. So let’s see how it goes. As usual, I’ll be back at the end of the year to report how I did.

And in the meantime, Happy New Year. May 2015 bring peace and prosperity to you all!

Image created by me in Adobe InDesign, using clip art from MS Word.

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