At the beginning of the year, I posted my goals for 2013. I thought I’d check the goals and see where I stand six weeks later with forty-six weeks left. It’s appropriate now because in the past month, I’ve felt as if I’m coming out of the learning curve fog. I’m not professing to know everything about this new Internet-based indie author endeavor I’ve chosen. But at least I feel as if I’m catching on while I’m continually catching up.
Last year at this time, I was in Florida for a two-week vacation with my husband. I remember talking to friends we visited about the next steps for me, which included embarking into the eBook world. I vowed to start my blog and publish Live from the Road. Little did I know how much I needed to accomplish. Here’s the good news: I did everything I broadcasted during that vacation.
Now a year later, I’m returning from another two-week journey back to my former home state of Florida where once again, I recharged my batteries. I’m ready to find out how far I’ve come in six weeks and readjust the goals as needed.
Writing Goals for 2013
- Launch Trails in the Sand. I published it on Amazon and have a print copy ready to proof. I plan to do a big launch for the novel by the end of January.
Six-week update: Trails in the Sand is available on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon. I also published this one with Smashwords, so it is also available on Nook through Barnes and Noble. So far, sales have been dismal despite my best efforts to launch. Advice: Don’t pay to send out press releases. I received only two responses and those were from ones I sent personally. One of the major problems is lack of reviews at this point. Several review copies are out and I’m waiting for more reviews to appear. The good news: five positive reviews have been posted on Amazon. In addition, Trails in the Sand made it through the first round in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. I am very pleased because books are chosen in this round based solely on the pitch for the book. I agonize over my pitches and never think they’re good enough.
- Finish Safe Harbor. I started this novel in 2007 but stopped when I decided I needed to find a wildlife officer to interview. I left for the big Route 66 trip, which led to the creation of Live from the Road. When I returned from Route 66, I took a new job with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and became very familiar with wildlife officers and experts. Now there’s no excuse not to finish the almost completed draft. I start by pulling out the spiral notebook where it’s housed and giving it a read. I always recommend that writers let pieces incubate, but five years isn’t what I meant.
Six-week Update: I’ve pulled the manuscript out of its drawer and started reading the first few chapters. I’m writing out character cards organized by group. When finished, those cards go up on the bulletin board facing my desk. I already have some thoughts about reorganizing the beginning. I did some research and decided the title needs changing. I found nearly a dozen books with the title Safe Harbor.
- Publish a book of essays on my travels. I already have a name: Odyssey to Myself. I have most of the pieces written in various stages. It’s a matter of pulling it all together into one cohesive story of my travels from 2004-2009 as I discarded an old life and moved into a new phase.
Six-week Update: Nothing to report here. Still formulating and stewing in my mind.
- Pull together all of my gardening blog posts from my blog “Living Lightly Upon this Earth” into a book. I see it as a primer for gardening and preserving produce. Again, I have all the pieces here and there, I just need to pull it all together.
Six-week Update: I started organizing and wrote an introduction. I created a template on my laptop so whenever I have a spare moment, I can go to it and do some work. I’m doubtful I can get it ready in time for spring planting, but I should have it for summer. Since I’m dividing it into seasonal chapters, the summer chapter on harvesting, preserving, and eating should still draw interest.
- Read the pile of books on my desk, both fiction and nonfiction. Reading is an essential part of the writing journey. How fortunate for me to have a career that requires reading for improving my craft.
Six-week Update: I read three books on eBook marketing so far. I’ve been a little off of fiction, but I started In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez.
- Establish myself as a bestselling author. Every year this one makes it to my list. Here’s to 2013 being the year it happens. For me, this goal refers to making a living as an author. I want to be able to pay more than the electrical bill each month with the proceeds from my storytelling.
Six-week Update: Working on it all the time. Stay tuned. I’ll let you know when I can pay more than the electric bill.
How’s it going for you in 2013 so far?