Looking Ahead to 2019

It’s that time of the year again when most people invoke Janus, the god of doorways, of beginnings and endings, and reflect on the year past and plan for the year ahead. My feed reader is inundated with end-of-the-year round-up posts, and while some might think this tedious, I find it fascinating to see what others have been up to or are striving to achieve. I believe that we can only grow if we have goals to aim for and, even if we don’t achieve those goals, they are what spur us onwards to greater heights.

Janus, Roman god of doorways | Adolphe Giraldon, Wikimedia Commons

So, how did I do with the writerly resolutions I set for myself in 2018?

Complete the free magnet story to be sent out to email subscribers

Done! And it’s been an incredible success, I’ve had nothing but good feedback for Keeper of Exotic Animals. If you’ve read it, I’d be enormously indebted to you if you’d leave a review on Goodreads. If you haven’t yet – you’re missing out 😊 Sign up for my email list to get your free copy now.

Complete the second (and subsequent) instalment(s) of my Mythical Menagerie series

Done! Sort of. Banshee’s Wail (Part 2) and Asrai’s Curse (Part 3) have been published on Amazon and are available for free to KU readers. The first draft of Part 3.5 has been completed and is awaiting revision. The rest of the series will continue to be a 2019 project.

Redesign this website to be less generic and more personal to me

Done! I shudder to recall the original design, which was bland and boring. This site now has Una the unicorn as its main feature, and I love it!

Publish one short story every two months

Err… I didn’t quite manage this. I am a slow writer it seems, plagued by self-doubt and writer’s anxiety, and I have a two-year old son who takes up all my time when I come home from the day-job. So no, this didn’t quite happen as I’d hoped.

Blog one piece of flash fiction every month

Done! I still write a flash fiction story every month, although I no longer publish it here on the blog. These stories go out to my newsletter subscribers as an exclusive thank you for their support.

Finish the first draft of (one of) my novel(s)

Nope, this didn’t happen either, since all my efforts went into the Mythical Menagerie series this year. I hope to rectify this next year.

Increase my email subscriber list to at least 500 readers

Done! My list reached just under 800 subscribers at one point, although they have been slowly unsubscribing as the months pass and currently I have just under 700 subscribers. I found it incredibly disheartening at first, but I’ve come to realise that quality is much more important that quantity. I’d rather have fewer people on that list who truly enjoy my writing than loads who are just there for the freebies.

Additionally, this year I also achieved the following:

  • Hit the Top 1 position on Amazon with Beginner’s Luck for free reads in its genre during a release promotion
  • Created a book trailer for Spirit Caller, a fantasy short story
  • Optimised my email subscription auto-sequence
  • Implemented Book Funnel for freebie and ARC delivery
  • Attended webinars about Scrivener and book marketing and creating courses
  • Read 63 books (and counting)

I’m quite pleased to say that generally I did very well with 2018’s goals! I hadn’t realised that until writing this review, so I’m enormously chuffed with myself right now 😊

There are so many things that I still want to get done in 2019 though. These are my main objectives:

  • Complete all instalments of the Mythical Menagerie series
  • Compile the completed series as a single novel to be published wide
  • Continue writing a monthly flash fiction piece
  • Write bi-weekly blog posts as part of a content marketing strategy
  • Complete the first draft of a full fantasy novel
  • Grow my email list to 1000 subscribers
  • Release an audio book version of one of my short stories

I recently listened to an eye-opening podcast by Yaro Starak about FREEDOM (of finance and time and mind), which is ultimately my main objective. One of the things he mentions is that you should focus on one thing and do that very well, and outsource the rest. I think that’s very valuable advice.

My one thing should be writing, and I should always focus most of my time towards getting words on the page. However, once that’s done, and I’ve created something I can be proud of, I need to find a way of letting people know about that. I don’t have the financial freedom to outsource anything just yet, and to be honest, I quite enjoy all the marketing-related activities that come with being an indie author, although it’s a continuous learning curve.

To that end, I also have these additional sub-goals that may fall by the wayside if I decide they detract from my main focus:

  • Increase followers and their engagement on my Facebook page
  • Use Instagram more effectively to engage with the book reading community
  • Create a monthly video for my (much neglected) YouTube channel
  • Create some sort of writing or reading course for passive income

Wow. I think I may just have my hands full next year! I’d better get started on some of these right away…

Do you set make New Year’s resolutions or set goals for the year ahead? Did you achieve your 2018 goals? What are some of your plans for 2019?

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