I always like to take a look back at the past year and see how far I’ve come, and plan for the year ahead to give myself something to aim for. Though I think it’s important to be flexible and allow for plans to change as life unfolds, it’s good to have a basic guide to propel you forward.
So first of all, let’s look back on 2013, a huge year for me as it was my first year as a published author…
There were many firsts: seeing my first cover (I can’t tell you how exciting and surreal that was!), taking part in my first book club as author guest, seeing my book advertised on websites and in catalogues, getting reviews for my book, getting my First Sale ribbon at the RWA conference (and dancing like a lunatic at the awards dinner). Overall it was a great year, though there were some challenges and sadness too: my amazing Nanna passed away at age 94, and we lost our old home that my son grew up in, in the Blue Mountains bushfires (my parents had only just sold the place and moved out). Life is a rollercoaster, as they say.
Here are my writing and publishing achievements for last year:
Overall I wrote 3 complete manuscripts, did 1 intensive revision, wrote 2 partials, and 4 outlines.
Here is the breakdown:
- Wrote I Dream of Johnny – 15k words
- Wrote The Delta Girls book #1: SIGHT – 52k words
- Wrote February or Forever (Tarrin’s Bay book #2) – 84k words
- Wrote partial (3 chapters & synopsis) of secret NA/YA project set in Salem
- Wrote partial (3 chapters & synopsis) of You Know You Want To
- Revised existing outline for The Bucket List Club
- Wrote brief outline for Christmas novella
- Wrote brief outline for Lovestruck in London
- Wrote brief outline for a New Adult dance-themed novella
- Revised The Life Makeover Club intensively (twice).
- The January Wish was contracted (didn’t release till recently, 1st Jan 2014)
- Debut novel Fast Forward was released in Feb.
- I Dream of Johnny was contracted and released in Sept.
- Starstruck in Seattle was contracted and released in Oct.
- February or Forever was contracted.
- Signing with a literary agent after querying The Life Makeover Club to 70 agents.
2013 BLOG HIGHLIGHTS:
- Views: 13,000 views in 2013 (over 5000 more than last year!)
- Top 3 posts for 2013:
1. How To Choose A Pen Name (same top post as last year)
- Top / interesting / funny search terms:
1. Most popular search term that brought people to my blog: ‘How to come up with a pen name”
2. Other popular search terms were: romantic comedies 2013, contemporary women’s fiction, pen name generator, setting the scene in a story.
3. The interesting, funny, and bizarre: Cooking novels, Johnny Castle, tango, covered in spit (I actually did have a blog post with a similar title so I’m not that surprised, but why would someone search for it?), Mexican table decorations, me affair with Trisha, birthday cake too many candles, spiritual experience post 9/11, great halls in medieval castles, Help I‘m haunted, Miss chatterbox, raunchy birthday for woman, the neverending sentence, Eat Pray Love dinner party (that’s actually a cool idea!), Juliet is spit on by stranger full length (???), hopjulikit (????),what happened at the end of the fast forward by juliet madison (um, read it & find out!), please don’t disturb.
- Top 3 commentors:
2. Iris B
3. Mary Preston
- Top visitors from:
2. United States
3. United Kingdom
- Top referrers to my blog:
1. Search engines
So yes, it was a big year! What’s in store for 2014? Hopefully more contracts and books out!
Here are my goals for this year:
Overall I aim to write 4 complete manuscripts, of varying lengths:
- Write Haunted Housewives, a romagic comedy novel.
- Write a romagic novella, haven’t decided which one yet out of a choice of three.
- Write Miracle in March, the third book in my Tarrin’s Bay series.
- Write The Delta Girls book #2: SOUND, the next in my YA supernatural series.
- Write a partial of The Bucket List Club (and as much more of it as possible!).
- Read more books! (See my TBR list here). I won’t try to read a certain amount as I want reading to be relaxing and fun, not another deadline. But I will aim to make reading more of a priority and read at other times during the week, not just at bedtime.
What are your goals for the year ahead?
I read an interesting article recently that said goals can simply be things like: write for one hour a day, five days a week, rather than: I’ll complete a book by June. Sometimes people do better when their goal is more of a system to follow than a defined outcome. In my case though, I know I need to have certain books finished by certain times, so personally I need the specific outcome as a goal. Then I break it down to figure out how much time I need to devote to achieving it.
Hope you have a happy and successful 2014 everyone! 🙂
At the event you can make a wish for 2014 in the virtual Wishing Fountain, share a wish for your friends, and answer fun questions to go in the draw for prizes! Lots of opportunities to win, and we are having a ball! I’ll be popping in and out throughout the whole weekend, posting questions and pics and giveaways periodically. You can drop in anytime and scroll through the list of posts that have already been made and enter as many of the prize draws as you like. Just remember to confirm your attendance to the event by clicking ‘join’.
Here’s the link to the event and further details, I hope to see you there! https://www.facebook.com/events/180315825501113/