Last week, I promised to share with you my goals for 2017. Well while I was reviewing 2016 I wanted some idea of what I spent my time doing. I’m not very good at tracking the time I spend on things down to the minute or hour, but I do know it’s really easy to waste a couple of hours doing something that should take fifteen minutes – if I didn’t get distracted.
I have an app called Rescue Time on my computer which is meant to track how long I spend on each program, but I’m not all that great at actually checking the statistics. So this chart is how I think I spend my time each year. I’d much rather spend it all on writing, but there are emails to read, accounts to balance and marketing to do.
I always set myself a weekly task list, which is drawn from my monthly task list, which in turn comes from my quarterly goals. So I do know if I’m achieving what I set out to do.
So anyway, these are my plans for 2017.
I still need to finish writing my business and marketing plans for 2017. I’m about three-quarters of the way through it and have it on this week’s to-do list. I also want to put together a couple more writing workshops to present.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not great with my finances. I’m good at keeping track of what I spend, but the whole profit and loss and balance sheet part of owning a small business really confuses me. Plus figuring out issues with being paid in multiple currencies does my head in. I’m really going to try and get this sorted one way or another this year.
Marketing is a never-ending learning experience, and I’m constantly experimenting with different ways to make my books discoverable. There’s always a lot to do in the lead up to a book launch, but I want to do more in the in-between times as well and I’m not sure what that will be. My books are going to the London Book Fair this year and so there will be a lot of preparation for that.
This has a couple of aspects to it. I want to learn more about my finances and marketing, but I wouldn’t mind doing some more writing craft workshops. I’m writing romantic suspense this year, so I want to look into how to write a good suspense. I also want to learn a bit more about formatting ebooks. I’ll be looking into specific courses as the year progresses.
Finally, and most importantly, I want to do a lot of writing this year. I have a four book romantic suspense series planned and I want to write at least three of those books this year. I’ve found a couple of short story opportunities that I want to explore and I want to write another two books in The Beginner Writer’s Toolkit series. Then there are a couple of novels sitting on my computer that I want to brush off. My fantasy novel needs a complete rewrite, but the core of the story is good. I might aim to spend an hour on that a day, and by the end of the year I should have a new manuscript. There’s also a contemporary romance sitting there that needs a polish. I think if I spent a week cleaning it up, it would be a good story, but it’s just a matter of making the time to do it.
Aside from this I have some work for my role as committee member for Romance Writers of Australia which will keep me busy. Twelve months may appear like a long time, but my goals for the year make it seem way too short!
What are you goals for 2017? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.