I’m not a huge believe in New Year’s Resolutions, mostly because I think if you want to do something, you should do it or plan to do it NOW and not on January 1st. That said, I do set annual goals, b0th personally and professionally, which I suppose is pretty much the same thing. Here, in no particular order, are some of my professional goals:
2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge: I’ve committed to read 48 books, or 4 per month. It’s ambitious, but not unrealistic, and Goodreads keeps track of my progress. You might wonder why this is a professional goal, but reading really is the best teacher.
Short Stories: In 2016, I completed two short stories and started a few others. The completed stories were accepted in a blind judged competition through Sisters in Crime Toronto, and are included in a fine collection titled The Whole She-Bang 3. This year, I’m planning to write and complete four short stories. You might think writing short stories is easy, and I suppose for some people they are, but I find them incredibly challenging to write. Doubling my previous year’s output is ambitious for me.
Sequels: I’m hard at work on the sequels to The Hanged Man’s Noose and Skeletons in the Attic. It’s a challenge, working on two series at the same time, especially since the Glass Dolphin mysteries are written in third person, alternate POVs, and the Marketville mysteries are written in first person. But what a wonderful problem to have.
Conferences: Malice Domestic in Bethesda, Md. (Washington, DC) at the end of April and Bouchercon in Toronto in October. The Canadian dollar is really weak right now (about .75 US) so Malice was a real debate for me, but something inside me said “you must go.” As for Bouchercon, I’m on the volunteer committee, which is a wonderful experience in itself. My current task is gatekeeper/coordinator for the Passport to Murder anthology.
School: I’m a graduate of Gotham Writing School’s Fiction Writing Program. This year, I’m planning to take their introductory course in writing scripts. This is a bit of a dabble approach to see which, if any of the disciplines, is something I’d like to try more seriously. I haven’t decided WHEN this year, but it’s on the docket.
Audiobooks: Skeletons in the Attic will be release in audiobook format in 2017, date TBD. I’m hoping to get a contract for The Hanged Man’s Noose with the same publisher. Cross your fingers and toes!
Novella: I have an idea percolating for a novella comedic mystery series. Not sure how far I’ll get with this, but I’m jotting down notes now.
Support Other Authors: One of the best things about being an author is that it gives me a voice to support other authors. I already have New Release Mondays assigned out through March, as well as several author interviews on alternate Fridays. I hope you enjoy these, and that you find new great reads as a result. Authors supporting authors. It doesn’t get better than that.
Newsletters: I don’t have a schedule for these, but I do send out three or four a year, if I have news to report. If you haven’t signed up, you can do so here. Note: if you have signed up to receive my blog by email, that doesn’t mean you have signed up for my newsletter. Anti-spam legislation requires separate sign ups. I NEVER sell/give out your email address.
Will I achieve every goal? Maybe, maybe not, but I do know that without goal setting, I would have never taken that first creative writing class, written that first short story, or taken a leap of faith and left my corporate day job to become a successful freelance writer and editor, and eventually, an Amazon International bestselling author. The sky, as someone once said, is the limit. Believe you can and you’re halfway there.
Happy New Year!