Sunday, December 29, 2019

Checking in on 2019 Goals

Each year I write myself a letter outlining my goals for the year ahead.  Then sometime around the middle and at the end, I check in to see how I'm doing on achieving those goals.  So let's see how I did with my 2019 goals, ahead of setting some new ones for 2020.  The original letter is in black, my comments on how well I achieved those goals in purple.

Dear Me,

2018 was a crazy year and while I somehow managed to achieve most of what I set out to do, it feels like it was more by accident than by design.  So my first goal for 2019 is to plan ahead more.  Think about what might be coming up before committing to things and set aside time for the things I really want to do.

I didn't do this as well as I might have hoped.  I got better toward the end of the year, but I didn't start out that way and I think that's why I didn't do as well at achieving everything I wanted to during the year.

I have a book releasing on 1 February and I really want it to sell better than the last one.  So my first goal for the year is to figure out the best way to market this new book, and the other ones, to generate sales.  The subject matter for this one is less controversial than in Stumped, so hopefully that will help with sales, but getting reviews and getting them in the right places is crucial.

This one is a partial win.  Sales of The Sidewalk's Regrets aren't huge, but I have managed to get more reviews for it than for Stumped.  Unfortunately not all of them are as a positive as those for Stumped or An Unstill Life (which remains my most popular book for some reason), but negative reviews are just part and parcel of being a writer.  Overall though, the amount of work I had to put in to get those reviews was intense and I can't help feeling like the time I spent writing to book bloggers and reviewers, pitching my book, could have been better spent writing.

I would like to publish another book in 2019.  I have three that are very close to being ready to go, so I will endeavor to get at least one of these polished and ready to go out into the world.  And send it out.  If I'm lucky, I may even have all three ready to go out at some point during the year.

I didn't do this.  I have sent one book out to a new publisher, but am still waiting to hear back on that.  On the plus side, I now have more books near to being ready to send out.  I just have to decide what I really want to do with them as I really want to reach more readers than I'm currently able to reach.

I also have three or four manuscripts in various stages of completion that I would like to go back to and finish.  I'm not sure any of them are actually much good, but going back and re-reading them will let me know if there is anything worth salvaging in any of them.  And if there is, I will work to finish any of these I feel are worth the effort.

I have done this, and while I haven't got any of these 100% ready to go out yet, I have a priority list of MSs to work on in the New Year and notes from readers to work through on a couple of them to get them ready to go out.

At the moment I don't have any burning ideas for a new book, which is probably a good thing considering how many unfinished projects I have lying around.  But should something come up during the year, I will jump on that idea before it squirrels away again.  And I will write the hell out of that idea.

I did this during NaNo and while I haven't actually finished the book (I'm starting to sense a theme here) I did write 60K and figure there's only another 15K or so to write before I reach the end.  

I was pretty good with my exercising in 2018, so I want to keep that up.  And my weekday intermittent fasting too.  I even plan to buy some scales in the new year so I can keep track of my weight, rather than relying on how my clothes fit to tell me if I've gained or lost weight.  The goal is to lose at least 5kg by Easter.

I kept up with the exercising and fasting, but never lost that 5kg.  Or at least, I don't think I did.  I never bought any scales...  At this stage I feel like my body is just comfortable at this weight because it doesn't seem to matter what I do, I always end up one or two kilos either side of this weight.

And my final goal is to read more.  I'm not going to get my Goodreads reading goal in 2018, which tells me I'm not reading enough.  So I need to get on top of that.

I have done a lot of reading in 2019.  I'm struggling to reach the Goodreads goal, but am only a couple of books behind.  I figure if I do a lot of reading over the next couple of days I might get there...

So, there you have it.  My last year was a mixture of successes and failures in terms of my goals.  Tune in next week to see what my goals for 2020 might be...


  1. As as I'm concerned, you had a good year.

  2. The thing about planning ahead is, life always finds ways to screw things up. And partial completion is better than zero completion, right?

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