Looking Ahead to 2020

Where did 2019 go? I blinked and it was gone! I swear, the older I get, the faster the years go by. So as we stand on the cusp of not only a new year, but also a new decade, let’s invoke Janus, god of doorways, to look at the year gone by and the new year ahead.

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

How did I do with my writerly resolutions for 2019?

Complete all instalments of the Mythical Menagerie series

Done! Sort of. I still need to edit the final instalment of Book 1, which I anticipate to have ready for beta readers around the end of January 2020.

Compile the completed series as a single novel to be published wide

Fail! I wanted to get this done before my 40th birthday, which was in June 2019. Things didn’t work out as planned, but I’m hoping to get it published early 2020, before my next birthday, which still sort of adheres to that milestone.

Continue writing a monthly flash fiction piece

Done! I have quite the collection of flash fiction pieces now. Not yet enough words for a novel, but maybe by the end of 2020 it will be enough to either set up for sale as a collection, or give away as a freebie for subscribers.

Write bi-weekly blog posts as part of a content marketing strategy

Sort of… I do try to write at least twice a month, but sometimes this falls by the wayside. Certainly something I can be better at.

Complete the first draft of a full fantasy novel

Fail! Not even close. I am a glacially slow writer and Ambrose’s adventures are taking up all my writing time. Still something to aim for.

Grow my email list to 1000 subscribers

Fail! My strategy has changed since I made this resolution. My list was close to 700 subscribers at one point, but is now down to just over 650. I’ve come to the realisation that it’s not quantity but quality that matters here. Instead of forcing lots of freebie seekers to subscribe in exchange for a free read (which just languishes unread on their TBR pile in any case), I’m letting the list grow organically now. I’d much rather have someone on it who is there willingly and of their own accord, and who enjoys what I write. Having ten people email me to tell me how much they enjoyed my story is infinitely better than having 700 people who just ignore my unopened mails.

Release an audio book version of one of my short stories

Fail! Let’s finish one format before we tackle another one.

I also had the following secondary objectives:

Increase followers and their engagement on my Facebook page

Fail! I currently have 77 Facebook followers, most of which are family and friends.

Use Instagram more effectively to engage with the book reading community

Fail! I have around 165 Instagram followers at the moment, pretty much the same as last year.

Create a monthly video for my (much neglected) YouTube channel

Fail! This is not something I focussed on in 2019. I’m still a little camera shy…

Create some sort of writing or reading course for passive income

Fail! I’m in two minds over this one. Of course, passive income would be fantastic, but who am I to give writing advice? There are literally thousands of people out there more qualified to do this than me. Maybe in the far future.

Well, it seems like I’ve really been slacking in 2019 with only 2.5 of my goals actually achieved. This is the reason why I find roundup posts like these so invaluable – so I can get motivated again to pick my socks up and get my act together.

What did I achieve this past year?

  • I wrote 3 instalments (2 of which are novelette length and the third is novella length)
  • I changed tactics from releasing each instalment to keeping them and compiling them into a novel length “Series 1” in a longer running novel series
  • I made Beginner’s Luck free on various platforms and unpublished both Banshee’s Wail and Asrai’s Curse so as not to confuse readers
  • I had a new book cover for the complete novel designed by a talented cover designer (cover reveal to come soon in the new year)
  • I changed email provider from Mailchimp to Mailerlite
  • I created Strawberry Moon Press, my own publishing imprint
  • I decided on a publishing strategy for when the novel is finally finished
  • I travelled through Slovenia and Croatia for 3 weeks and came back inspired!
  • I attempted NaNoWriMo again – and finally made peace with the fact that it’s just not for me
  • I completed Neil Gaiman’s Storytelling Master Class
  • I completed a Udemy course on Social Media Marketing Mastery
  • I read 48 books

So I did manage a few things at least, even if I didn’t deliver on most of my resolutions.

Here’s what I have in mind for 2020:

  • Complete and publish Series 1 of the Mythical Menagerie Series
  • Write and edit 3 instalments of Series 2 of the Mythical Menagerie Series
  • Continue writing a monthly flash fiction piece for my email subscribers
  • Compile a flash fiction collection novel
  • Write bi-monthly blog posts for my author blog
  • Write bi-monthly blog posts for my travel blog
  • Read 1 non-fiction book per month

Additionally, if I have enough focus and energy left, I’d like to also do the following:

  • Complete the first draft of a fantasy novel
  • Engage more and grow my following on Facebook
  • Engage more and grow my following on Instagram
  • Create some content for my YouTube channel

2020’s list looks a lot like 2019’s, I see. However, I do believe that it’s doable and, with my eternal optimism revving at high speed, I’m ready to make it happen this year.

What are your plans for the new year? Did you achieve any of your resolutions for 2019?

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