Thursday, December 31, 2015

An Author's Resolutions for 2016

For my past resolutions, see 2012 and 2013.

As 2015 comes to a close and 2016 takes her first bow, I'm going to do something I haven't done in a few years: I'm going to make certain resolutions for my writing which I'm planning on keeping throughout the calendar year--and hopefully beyond.

I will use my time more effectively in 2016.

Notice I didn't say "I will write more" or "I will publish X number of books" in 2016. Even though I've hit those two particular goals in the past, I have to say my time management skills have rather atrophied, especially as 2015 developed. The lure of the Internet and Facebook and Twitter and (insert your favorite sites here) have contributed to my ADHD, and I always find myself behind the eight ball when it comes to my word counts. I have to scold myself to get back on track. That being said...

I will significantly reduce my time spent on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media in 2016.

Always a toughie, especially when us authors are expected to cultivate a following and need to breed our relationships with our readers, interacting with them through social media. And I have to be honest (and my wife will agree with me): I spend way too much time on social media. I've started to limit my time on my sportswriting Twitter (there's a reason for that), but I'm not seeing an increase in my writing productivity. I resolve that I will spend only a few minutes on social media, then get to work. And when I'm on it too much, I resolve to whack my ass with a boat paddle and do something constructively with my extra time, i.e. start brainstorming other projects instead of whittling my time away on Facebook. (We'll see how this one goes.)

I will blog more in 2016.

I wrote 40 blogs in 2015, which is the most I've written under this account (my John Fitch V account, well... I blogged a lot. Whether or not it was anything of substance, well....). I will provide more raw snippets of my writing, more thoughts about the industry, more food (I supplied readers with four tasty dishes in 2015), and just about anything else that tickles my fancy in 2016. I try to stay away from blogging about my favorite sports teams a la George R.R. Martin does, since I'm a New England/Boston sports fan, and right now New England/Boston sports fans are a rather hated group of people. I want to draw potential readers in, not turn them away simply due to my sports allegiances. Simply put: I resolve to write 52 blogs--one a week--in 2016.

I will look into other avenues to spread the word about my books in 2016.

I've blogged about it in the past, and we already know the hard truths of publishing in the current state of things: I've recently realized Facebook's organic reach is at minute levels, and the platform has done its best to squeeze out small businesses from reaching their customers. Facebook was, at my peak, the best way to reach readers. Nowadays, hardly anyone sees my links even on my personal page. I'm looking into growing my newsletter mailing list and doing a more direct route to readers, letting readers who want to know about the books know about them; after all, isn't that why I went indie? To reach readers directly, without a middleman? I resolve to reduce my reliance on just posting links to Facebook--however, I do plan on taking out Facebook ads and hope to grow the mailing list with a free novella tease at some point in 2016. It's working for others, so I have to really test the waters. I've stuck a toe in, but I need to dive further in. I will do this in 2016.

Thanks for being with me in 2015. I resolve to do better in 2016.

Happy New Year, everyone.