Resolutions for 2013

In another post I outlined my roadmap for 2013. I talked about my current projects and what I plan to accomplish next year.

Now I want to talk about something else for 2013. A personal roadmap, if you will.

I’ve spent a lot of time on this blog talking about how amazed I am that people are buying my books. Most days I still am. I’ve talked a lot on this blog about marketing, promotions, KDP Select, and all that jazz.

But lately I’ve been thinking less about sales and marketing and more about simply writing. I mentioned it here and here as the notion progressed. I found that obsessing about sales and analyzing to the nth degree isn’t exactly how I want to spend my writing time anymore. I want to write because it’s fun. Because it’s a challenge. I want to create. I want to entertain.

I’m tired of figuring out what promotional technique is going to bring me an extra sale or two. I’m no longer concerned about fretting over a theoretical lost sale. For the past couple of months I’ve been focused on producing. I’m convinced that what really sells books is writing a good story. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, and that comes when you write a good book. (And Amazon’s “also bought” list is simply another form of word of mouth. A person liked a book and ponied up the cash for these other books, conveniently located below and available for purchase with a single click.)

So here are the resolutions I’ve been following for a some time now, but will place front and center as I wade through 2013:

  1. I will not obsess over sales.
  2. I will make my books available on as many platforms as I can. All eReaders, in paperback (and possibly audio). I want to leave no reader behind.
  3. I will improve my writing through self-education (how-to books, style guides, and critical reading of peers).
  4. I will write 1,000 words per day of new fiction.
  5. I will ignore the things that don’t add value in my life or cause unwanted distractions.
  6. I will not rewrite my books to death.

Will I check sales reports? Sure, but I’ve already stopped obsessing over it. I check a couple times a week now, only after I’ve hit my word count for the day.

I’ve opted all my books out of KDP Select. (The Desolate lapses on December 31st.) No reader left behind.

I’ve read three how-to guides on writing in the past month. I’ll read more in 2013.

In November I averaged 1,700 words per day. Since then I’ve managed 1,000 pretty easily. No reason I can’t keep that up in 2013.

I spend virtually no time on Facebook or Twitter, I don’t watch the news, and I don’t spend time with people who don’t make my life better. I will not ignore the important people in my life, those are distractions I want (and need). But people who don’t enhance my life? See ya later.

I released a novella and a short story in December. That’s because I didn’t spend months rewriting them to death.

Don’t get me wrong, I still want to self-publish. I want creative control. I still want to handle the business end of things. But now I don’t need to spend so much time on that. I already learned what I need to know. Now I can spend 90% of my time writing and 10% of my time on the business.

I’m committed to finishing two novels in 2013. With the changes I’ve already put in place I’ve been extremely productive and much happier. Writing is more enjoyable and less like a chore. And it better be, because if it stops being fun then I stop doing it. My time here on this planet dwindles each day and I’m not about to waste any of it doing something I don’t enjoy.

So if you don’t hear much from me here in 2013, it’s because I’m busy writing and living my dream. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know when the books are ready. 🙂

I hope 2013 is a wonderful year for you. I look forward to seeing what you create.

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2 thoughts on “Resolutions for 2013

  1. glenkrisch December 27, 2012 / 10:52 am

    I totally agree with your goals for the coming year. One of my goals is to spend more time on what’s “real.” I spend way too much time in virtual worlds that having little bearing on the quality of my life. So, more time spent with the wife and kids. More time spent in nature. I fully expect to not match my 2012 sales in 2013. I won’t be pushing for every sale. I’ll be spending my time writing a ton more, completing projects, etc.

    • Brian J. Jarrett December 27, 2012 / 12:11 pm

      Exactly. Lately I’ve been working on my focus. In other words, when I’m with my wife and kids, I focus on them. When I’m with friends, I’m focused on them. When I’m writing, I’m focused on writing. I’m not trying to do one or more of these things at the same time.

      What I find when I try to mix these things is both suffer.

      Most evenings now I carve out an hour and a half, put my head down, and I meet or exceed my word count quota for the day. Then I stop working and spend time with my family or friends, or do whatever else needs to be done.

      I suppose it comes down to being deliberate with my time and intentions.

      Take care, man. I’m looking forward to your next book.

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