My Annual Writing Goals Progress Report
Reading Time: 6-minutes and 47 seconds
For quite some time, I’ve been sitting on the fence about whether I should share my writing goals progress report with you. I had initially planned on sharing this on the authorpreneur podcast, but as you’ll soon discover, I’ve made a few changes to the format of the season two episodes. Part of the reason for my indecision was the first half of this year didn’t go as planned. The first six months of 2019 were filled with some distractions, getting back into writing, and the editing process not going the way I had expected.
So, nothing out of the ordinary for me anyway.
Every time I share my writing goals and progress reports, there seems to be a familiar theme; things didn’t go as planned.
If this is something you can relate to, then you’ll feel right at home on this blog.
But first, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane.
What I’ve Achieved During the First Half of 2019
Smarter Goal Setting is finally ready to be submitted to a professional editor.
I finished writing the first draft of Missing. While we’re on the topic of Missing, it has been revised and is now with a professional editor. During the middle of July, I received editorial feedback, and I’ve started revising what I’m referring to as the fourth draft of Missing. If you’re interested in knowing how I’m getting on with managing and applying the editorial feedback, then check out this episode of my weekly writing vlog.
Towards the end of June, I finished setting up my patron account for The Authorpreneur Podcast as a way of monetising the podcast without turning to sponsorship. Just a side note, I turned to Patron to cover the costs of creating the podcast in a way that felt like I was giving back to my audience.
In the first half of 2019, I ticked off a task that I’d been sitting on the fence about. And that was making the transition from life coach to book coach by creating a one-to-one coaching programme. The coaching programme is designed to help writers finish their first draft. This task was an item that was no a part of my original list of goals. And, that’s the issue I have with sharing my writing goals, I quite often pivot and pursue other things.
My Writing Goals for the Second Half of 2019
In light of my success and the vast number of goals that I stopped working towards, I decided to start the second half of 2019 with a fresh set of goals.
Goal #1 – Change the structure of my day so that I’m more writing focused and author business second.
Looking back over the first half of 2019, I realise that part of why I haven’t achieved my publishing goals is due to my habit of getting distracted by the business side of writing and creating other streams of income. In order to combat this habit, I need to change my focus. And that focus should be on writing first then business and administration second. As a result, I aim to divide my working day in half. The first half of the day will be focused on writing, and the second half will be focused on business administration and coaching other writers.
Goal #2 – Revise, Edit, and Publish Silence and Immunity in 2019.
As I’ve shared in my Behind The Scenes Podcast Diary, I wrote Silence in a hurray during NaNoWriMo, and as a result, the novel needs a change of setting. Basically, I was deliberately lean on the setting description in Silence. And now I have to go back and change a few setting to make the story a little more enjoyable. But, it won’t take as long as you think because it’s not every scene in the story.
The third book in my series, Immunity needs one final round of revisions before I can submit it to an editor. Looking back, I believe there might be scenes in Immunity that need to be cut because as I wrote this book, I felt the need to include everything. In an attempt to create the best possible product, I want to send Silence and Immunity off to a Professional Beta Reader to get the perspective of a reader. I believe this is a crucial step to take before sending the story to a professional editor.
Goal #3 – Rapid Release Missing, Silence, and Immunity
Inspired by reading Release Strategies by Craig Martelle, I have decided to leave four to six weeks between releases to give readers time to digest the books. As a part of this strategy, I will use the pre-order features of the many ebook retailers. Between the release of Silence and Immunity, I want to publish a Prequel omnibus edition for Missing, Silence and a bonus short story. The bonus short story will be The Lawn, so that means I’ll need to write another short story as an email list sign up.
Due to scheduling with my editor, I may not be able to publish all three books this year. I may have to release the books as they are ready and abandon my rapid release strategy altogether. But, to be honest, I may have to see how things go with this writing goal.
Goal #4 – Outline and Fast Draft the first book in my Maximilian Nicholls Archaeological Thriller Series.
Dependent upon editorial feedback from Missing, I need to start outlining the first book in the Maximilian Nicholls series. As of July, I’ve outlined the first act of this book up to the first few scenes in the second act. I paused the outlining process because I needed to wait until Missing had gone through a few rounds of professional editing. The reason for this pause is because if anything changes in regards to plot in Missing, then it will affect book one in my archaeological thriller series.
Both of these books are interconnected to encourage readers to try out both of these series, just like J.F. Penn did in her novella, Day of the Vikings. If you find the title of that novel intriguing, you can get it free by signing up to Penn’s email list, or you can buy the ebook or paperback from Amazon and other online booksellers.
Goal #5 – Write a Prequel Short Story to the James Lalonde Thriller Series to Give Away as an Email Sign up.
The good news is this story is already outlined. And, the first draft is almost finished. In terms of word count, I cannot tell you how many words I have left because I’ve abandoned my word count target and I’m focusing on telling a great story instead of hitting a target. As I wrote the first draft, I realised that the story wasn’t complicated enough for me to hit the 10,000-word mark. Realistically, it may only be 5,000 words once I finished. And, that’s okay.
At present, I have two scenes left to write. I plan on writing these two scenes over the coming weekend. If you’re curious, follow me on Instagram, where I will be sharing daily writing and editing updates.
Goal #6 – Relaunch Smarter Goal Setting Between October and December 2019, or Sooner.
Over the last few months, I’ve been deliberating over whether I should add a list of actionable steps at the end of each chapter of Smarter Goal setting. I was seriously considering following through with this task until I read a non-fiction book that had this feature. As I look back at my reading experience, I noticed that I skipped these pages purely because I was writing notes and highlighting sections of the book as I went along. And, realistically, that’s what readers do when they read within the self-help genre.
In light of, this new-found knowledge, I’m going to skip that step. Due to the number of changes in the second edition, I want to do one final line-edit before a professional proofread before hitting publish on Amazon and the other retail platforms.
Goal #7 – Outline and Fast Draft the First in a Cozy Mystery Series
As you’re most likely aware, this is the third series that I plan to start.
So, why am I doing this?
I get bored quickly and to stop me from becoming too familiar with my James Lalonde series, I believe that alternating between these series will help me to combat this boredom. The cozy mystery books will be a series of five short novels of around 50,000 words each.
Just in case your curious, the five-book series is set in the ’90s before mobile phones and the internet and will be focused on the events that occur within a book club in a small English village. As of the time of publishing this blog post, I have an outline in progress, and I’ve figured out how the crime occurred in real-time. But I haven’t started writing this book.
Goal #8 – Read 40 Books in 2019
I’m currently three books behind schedule, so I need to catch up on this goal. And I’ve read twenty books so far. At present, I’m reading a mixture of fiction and books on publishing and writing craft. For the sake of honesty, not all of the books I’ve read are full-length novels, some of them are shorter reads and mainly non-fiction.
So, those are my writing goals for the remaining months of 2019. In the remaining months of this year, I want to focus on achieving a few writing and publishing milestones. As a consequence, I took a hard look at what I did and did not achieve and figured out why. This process led me to start again with my goals by setting a few new targets that focused on creating good habits to help me reach certain publishing milestones.
As always, I have an important question for you. What are your goals for the second half of 2019? I want to hear from you. Share your goals with me in the comments section below.
Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing with such enthusiasm.
I’m Amelia. I write Mystery Novels under the pen name A. D. Hay. And, I’m the author of Missing, the first book in the James Lalonde series. On this blog, I help new writers to finish their first draft, prepare their manuscripts for professional editing, and when they get stuck in the first draft phase or are confused about the revision process. Right now, I’m editing and preparing my soon to be published mystery novels, Duplicity, 24 Hours, and Immunity for publication.