OMG. It seems like just yesterday that I was watching Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and anticipating a nice afternoon of football. Now we're finished with Christmas and it's almost time to think about those pesky New Year's Resolutions. Maybe I'm masochistic to make them at all, since they often fall by the wayside along about February, but somehow I just can't seem to resist. So, anyway, here they are, the 10 things I want to accomplish as a writer in 2016.
1) Get a New Computer. I'm not saying that my computer is old, virus-ridden, and slow, but the "Original Property of Thomas Edison" welcome message must mean something. Seriously, my technology is so far out of date that I can't even Skype, and my memory is strained to the breaking point with out of date files and pictures I'll never use again. It's time to upgrade.
2) Publish. In this new world of online publishing, "publish or perish" isn't just a phrase for academics anymore. Right now I'm working on two books: one is a book of Halloween/horror stories for lesbians, and the other is a nonfiction compilation of lists for writers. My goal is to publish both of these books by the end of March. Then I'll start on two more.
3) Update My Website. It's been almost three years since my wonderful and talented website designer Doranna Durgin gave up doing web design to focus on her fiction writing. Next year my goal is to find a new designer who will work with me to give my author site a much needed overhaul.
4) Read More. Between my Kindle and my bookshelves, I have hundreds of books yammering for my attention, and more books that interest me are being published every day. Because I know reading makes me a better writer, I plan to set aside 30 to 45 minutes each day to relax with my nose in a book. The first book on my list of "must reads" is Stephen King's newest collection of short stories. Next up is Exodus by Leon Uris.
5) Participate in NaNoWriMo. I don't know what sadist decided November was the perfect month to write a 50,000 word novel. Not only is it a short month, it's a holiday month as well, for Pete's sake! It's been a couple of years since I tried NaNoWriMo and longer than that since I actually finished it. Next year, however, I want to put in my 50,000 words even if it means writing with one hand and shoveling turkey into my mouth with the other.
6) Keep a Journal. Journaling helps me capture writing ideas. It's also a valuable tool for managing the ups and downs of my bipolar disorder. My goal is to write in my journal at least three times each week. Perhaps I'll make it part of my bedtime ritual.
7) Organize My Files. I don't mind being surrounded by piles of books and papers as I write. In fact, I find it rather comforting. It's getting to the point, though, where I can't find the documents I need, and that's just bad business. I need to create some sort of filing system to keep track of research and business. The key is, it's got to be simple to use, or I'll give up on it before the Superbowl.
8) Become More Savvy About Social Media. I have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, but I rarely use them. Pinterest and Google+ are barely even on my radar. Next year, I want to read up on using social media to promote my books and my writing services.
9) Learn to Manage Money. I love words; numbers, not so much. However, I understand that part of running a successful business is keeping a close eye on what's flowing in and what's leaking out. My accountant also likes me a lot better if I don't just hand her a box full of crumpled invoices and receipts. My goal is to find a simple program that helps me with money management. In the meantime, I'll just use pen and paper. Maybe my new filing system will also be helpful.
10) Build a Mailing List. A mailing list, used sparingly, is a great way to update people who are interested in my newest articles and publications. An opt-in mailing list will be part of my website updates.
Do you have any writing goals/resolutions for 2016? What are they?