Nancy J. Cohen
As we begin the new year, it’s time to set our writing goals for 2014. Although this is a popular topic, here’s my take on it. I divide things into two categories: Creative and Business Goals.
Under the Creative category, put your writing projects. Which story do you want to start? What book do you need to finish? Do you want to try something new and different? Have you started writing the synopsis for your WIP yet? Which projects have priority?
Here are my goals for 2014. Whatever I don’t finish this year will get put off until 2015. I envision finishing my current WIP, doing the edits for my next romance, and then taking some time off to launch my self-publishing work. Then I can think about what to write next.
Finish Peril by Ponytail, #12 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries.
Do the edits for Warrior Lord, #3 in the Drift Lords series, when I get them from my editor.
Proofread the galleys until this project is done and in production.
Complete edits on my original mystery that I’m hoping to self-publish.
Implement marketing plan for Hanging By A Hair, #11 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries due out in April.
Complete legal preparation for self-publishing enterprise.
Hire book cover designer and ebook formatter.
Self-Publish my writing instructional booklet in time for SleuthFest. Order postcards.
Consider print and audio versions of above.
Design marketing plan for Warrior Lord once I get a pub date.
Begin prep work for publishing my father’s book, a true adventure of his 1929 hitchhiking journey across the U.S. It’s one of those things on my bucket list.
What goals have you set for 2014? Are you trying anything different for the first time?
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The New Year’s kickoff (other than the Rose Bowl) is usually a time of resolutions, goals, wishes. I’ve had a few of the latter. For example:
I wish I had the body of Steve Reeves.
I wish I could have played center field for the Dodgers.
I wish I had played quarterback for the USC Trojans, won the Heisman, and played my whole NFL career for the Rams.
I wish I could have seen Laurette Taylor on Broadway.
I wish I could sing like Ray Charles. I wish I could tickle the ivories like Martha Davis.
I wish I could have seen Jim Thorpe play football, Babe Ruth play baseball, and Beethoven play the piano.
I wish I could have had dinner with Shakespeare and Winston Churchill at the same time.
I wish I could write as effortlessly as Stephen King seems to.
But after wishing those things, I remind myself that I’ve got my own package to work with. The cards I was dealt. My job is to till the soil, plumb the depths, hose the driveway, paint the ceiling and write the books that come out of my particular package. I have to keep improving what I have, taking it as far as I can, leaving what is out of my hands to the forces that be.
As far as 2010 goes, I wish to make some plans. The overarching plan is to make this year the most productive of my writing life. Not necessarily in quantity–though I do have several projects in mind–but quality. This will be my twenty-second year as a serious writer, my fifteenth as a published novelist. I know a lot more now than when I began. If I don’t use this knowledge, and leverage it, then I’m wasting my experience.
So here’s to 2010 (for many of you, seeing 2009 in the rear view mirror is not a bad thing), and may it be productive for you in the best way possible.
What are some of the things you wished for at one time in your life?
What are your plans for the new year?