Rhobin is putting us on the spot this month asking: What is on your writing to-do list for this year? Do you have any long-range goals or just wrap-ups?
Where to start? Considering it’s already the 23rd of the month and my goals for the year, prior to writing this blog were kind of vague wishes, it really was time to get serious. I used to make New Year’s resolutions for all aspects of my life and most of the time kept them, but the last few years I’ve slacked off. I don’t want to admit it might be my age, but if I’m honest, it probably is. I’ve been retired for ten years now and finally come to a point where I’m happy just to enjoy each moment of my day without feeling like I have to accomplish something. There’s always tomorrow, isn’t there? Of course, we all know that eventually my tomorrows will run out, but for now, life is pretty good. My personal life, anyway. We won’t get into the contentious politics and outright hostility in my country, or the devastating effects of Covid 19. I’m just thankful to be healthy, active and enjoying life, even if parts of it are via various online entities.
But back to my writing goals. Sort of related to my writing is my reading. As an author, I know how vital it is to have reviews for your books, so my first resolution is to read a book a week and write a review. So far, I’m up on that, having posted #3 and soon to post the 4th.
I got derailed last fall halfway through FRAMED, the second book of my new mystery series. First it was a problem with plotting – I’m a pantser so plotting is a major challenge. Then it was the final days of my furry buddy’s life and his passing that left me feeling lost and aimless. I did a lot of walking and a lot of missing my dog. At first, I said I wasn’t going to have another pooch, it was too hard saying goodbye, but before long I realized this house and my life just felt way too empty. Duffy had been a great dog and his paws will be hard to fill, but I needed to try. So, the hunt was on at rescues and online. I finally ended up on a waiting list for a Golden Retriever puppy that was born on November 30. I will pick her up in two days and I’m eagerly anticipating her becoming part of my life, although I admit Jessi is going to be a serious distraction for a while. But in spite of housebreaking, training and playing with Jessi, I am determined to get FRAMED finished and off to the copy editor now that the holidays are past and I have no more excuses. I have faithful readers asking when my next book is coming out.
I am also noodling on story ideas for another book in my Camerons of Tide’s Way series. Many of my readers have asked if I’m ever going to write another, but my original plan was for 6 books, and that’s how many I put out there. However, in KEEPING HIS PROMISE a secondary character walked on stage about two thirds of the way through the book. It was a character I suddenly realized I needed for the story and hadn’t created before the book began, but here he was, demanding my respect and a place in the story. At the time, I didn’t think too much about where he would go in the future, only what his place was in that book, but since then I’ve begun to wonder how he made out with his project. And, since the series itself is contemporary romance, I’m going to have to find him someone to fall in love with. So, that is another of my goals for the year. Once FRAMED is off to the editor, I’ll start working on Lucas Trevlyn’s story.
I am also entering a short story for the first time in the contest to be included in the annual Florida Writer’s Anthology. Every year, they put one out with 30 or so short stories, the best of all that have been submitted. There is a theme to the anthology and this year, that theme is Footprints. I’ve got my first draft of that and will be working on polishing and getting it submitted.
Then comes the marketing stuff. I am horrible at marketing. I hate it and manage to procrastinate on all the stuff I do take on, and dismiss a lot of options I might do, but choose to ignore. This year, I want to try putting some of my indie books on sale via Amazon. I’m also going to look into Goodreads options. At the start of last year, I planned to walk into shops downtown here in St Augustine that carry books by local authors (both book stores and shops that cater to tourists.) But Covid happened and walking into any place was totally out of the question when BULLSEYE, my first book set right here in St Augustine came out in late February. I kind of thought by fall I might follow up on that, but the next wave of cases and tightening of precautions got in the way. So, now I’m planning to take FRAMED, as soon as it’s out along with BULLSEYE and see if I can make that happen. Hopefully the vaccinations will be well under way and life getting back to normal again on main street here and all across the country.
Lastly, I am going to make a better effort with my newsletters. Last year I totally slacked off after the announcement of BULLSEYE’s release. In the past, I’ve showcased other authors and their new releases as well as my own, had “interviews” with characters from my own books and others, as well as just touching base with my readers.
Those are my goals: two new books written and released, a short story I hope will make the cut in the FWA 2021 Anthology - Footprints, 52 book reviews and a more aggressive marketing effort, including a return to writing newsletters.
Check out what the other authors in our Round Robin Blog Hop plan to do this year:
Dr. Bob Rich
Rhobin L Courtright