Happy New Year everyone. First of all, best wishes for the next twelve months. And that goes double to you Bill Murray and all our other international treasures who didn’t die last year.
Okay. This is a short post about productivity, what I did with my 2016 and what I hope to do with my 2017 in terms of creative stuff and getting things done. Hopefully this post doesn’t come across as being all about me (it’s short anyway as I mentioned!) and it’ll make you think about your own plans for this year – whatever it is that you do and hope to get done.
If you’re an author then I’m sure you’ve got your own productivity schedule mapped out for 2017. That doesn’t just include what you’re creating bookwise but also other things such as what you can improve on in terms of marketing and promotion. Things that’ll make you make better art. Things that’ll help more people discover who you are and what you do. Maybe you need to implement some changes to your lifestyle, cutting out things like TV or socialising in order to be more productive. Yep that might sound harsh but this writing lark is all consuming (especially if you’re indie).
Increased productivity requires a sacrifice of some sort. Usually it’s the fun stuff that has to go but more often than not it’s worth it. I’m not saying don’t watch TV or go out with your mates but couldn’t you cut back on it just a little? How much is entirely up to you. Maybe you’ve been dying to start work on a novel for ages but can’t seem to find the time. What about cutting out some sleep? An hour? Forty minutes? Where there’s a will there’s a way. Who needs eight hours anyway? I average on six and it’s plenty.
We can all improve. We can all become more focused. This is the time of year when we’re most likely to implement changes in our lives. But sadly in the months to come, a lot of us are going to blow it. We’re going to get distracted, burn out or just lose interest in the changes we’re thinking about now.
That doesn’t have to be you though.
2016 was a productive year for me personally. I released four titles and I’m proud of them all. That makes a total of five books (the first was published in December 2015.) For the most part, I’ve just completed my first full year as an independent author (late 2015 to late 2016). And it was hard bloody work I can say that much. The good news is that it’s only going to get harder.
So I’m putting it down here on the website. My writing goals for the next twelve months. This is what I’m going to produce in 2017. And I’ll be back at the end of December to check up on myself:
March 2017 – Release the final book in the FAB trilogy. This is what I’ve been working on over Christmas and New Year.
May 2017 – Produce and release a FAB box set.
June 2017 – Release the third book in the Future of London series.
September 2017 – Release the fourth book in the Future of London series.
November 2017 – Release a box set of the first four Future of London books.
December 2017 – I plan to be in Scotland next Christmas and New Year. But I’m hoping to get the last original release of the year out before I go – the fifth book in the Future of London series.
Right, I’ve done it. Made plans, published plans. Four original releases and two compilations. Six releases. It’s down and I have to do everything I can to stick to these goals. That doesn’t mean I’ll be skimping on quality or taking shortcuts though – I’l continue to work with a professional editor, graphic designer and formatter.
Obviously if I get hospitalised for a long stretch then my plans might have to change. Same thing if I meet my maker in 2017 but fingers crossed that doesn’t happen. To those authors who crank out a book a month (what are you on?) it probably looks like I’m slacking in 2017. To those who write one (or less) book a year, you must think I’m a sadist.
Each to their own.
Best of luck all to you all. Work hard, have fun and happy writing/creating/living.