As a goal setter, this is the best time of year for me. This is when we all seem to set our goals. I know most people call them resolutions, but I hate the context of a resolution. It’s something you make but never stick to. It’s a general statement without anything measurable or really specific.
Goals can be the same, but they are different for me. I’ve been trying to focus on not making the meaningless goals like how many books I want to read in a year. What does that gain toward my bigger goals.
With that in mind, here are my 2019 goals!
One of my newest, large goals is to be able to earn at least half my needed income from writing and publishing. The measurable element of it has to do with how much I want to earn a year and what half of that would be. There is a sentiment (and related facebook group) that you can earn about 50K a year if you have a catalog of about 20 books. In the past two years I’ve managed to publish two books a year: a novel and short story collection. If I can maintain this frequency, it will take ten years to get to 20 books. I have the list of books I want to write based on the ideas and plans I already have. This year I’m focusing on finishing and publishing Kraulaak (a short story collection) and Woodhouse Hall (a novel).
There is an increasing chance that I will be adding in a series of four Jewish Holiday novella and short stories, but I’m not making them goals for this year. If only to allow myself the freedom to take a month off from writing every so often. If they get written and published, great. If not, then there’s next year or the year after. I struggle with the difference between busy and productive. I don’t have to be one to be the other and can take time off without thinking I’ve failed.
This year is going to involve drafting the next round of books as I’m motivated to write. With Northanger Parks through the first draft phase, I want to start writing the short stories for both Woodhouse Hall and Northanger Parks. I’d also like to have draft one of The Stash Yarn Shop done. I might even try to get Tilney’s Haunted Farm, which will be the final stand-alone novel in the 21st Century Austen series. I’m not pushing to write that one. Other writing related will include me trying to get short stories into anthologies and the next volume of Mill Pages.
Getting to the income I want also requires evolving my marketing plan and how much I spend to produce the books. This year I’m going to try running a Kickstarter campaign for Woodhouse Hall and moving some newsletter content to a Patreon account. Right now this is all to cover the cost of publishing a book, which can be as much as $3 – 4,000 with all the various elements that go into the process (including fees for the company I use and postage of any physical items). I also want to do more on YouTube and get back into Tumblr as a way to both connect with readers and share book content in more creative ways. I want to make sure I cover the costs so that I eventually have an income.
My publishing financial goal for the year is to double my income while halving my expenses. I made some big purchases this year that I won’t make again for a while. I got a pretty new iPad exclusively for writing and publishing; I bought 100 ISBNs so I could have more control over my books and where they’re distributed; I paid for marketing resources that didn’t work out the way I anticipated; and I did a bunch of traveling for research. I spent more in 2018 than I did in 2017 so I feel I should start shifting away from the spending and increase the earnings.
As per usual, there are health related goals. There’s a long story related to this and I think that will happen in another entry or video. The key to it is that I need to get use to doing some type of daily exercise and keep leveling up. I’ve been seeing a physical therapist since November and now I do daily stretches to strengthen my hip muscles. Between this and walking the dog each day, I need to expand. It’s time to to start thinking about how many calories and carbs are being eaten and burned. This will help me deal with the remaining fat on my body. I don’t put much stock into BMI numbers, even though my doctors all do. I care about my sugars levels, my digestive health, and the clothes I wear. Getting out of plus sizes in 2018 was really motivating and that’s the direction I want to continue to focus my attention. I also want to work with my trainer to consider all my activity and create a workout plan that makes sense for me. The first part of the year is going to be dedicated to learning how to live in a body that has changed drastically in the last ten years. It’s about my posture, my hips, my knees, and my shoulders. It’s going to be a ton of work too.
My library/work related goals are very minimal this year because my career goals are shifting. Considering the first goal, to make half my income from writing, I have to think about how libraries will fit into that other half. I don’t have something I’m working to, but I do need to rethink all of it over the next year. I’m not sure if I want to reach the same goals as I did years ago. Part of this is burn out from the last half of the year and it may take the entire year for me to set new goals.
That’s it for now. What are your goals for the new year? Have you developed some new long terms goals? Tell me in the comments!