Setting Priorities

No, I’m not talking about the dreaded New Year’s resolutions. I’m not too ashamed to admit I suck at them. What I am talking about it setting priorities to help me reach my writing goals for the year. This means not only putting butt in chair but finding better technology to help and figuring out the dreaded promotional issues that have confounded me from Day One.

Looking back, I pretty much hit my output goals for last year. I published five new titles and re-released another with new material. However, looking over the releases, I discovered I had dead time in there, time when I should have been putting out shorter titles if I didn’t have a novel ready to go.

So I’ve spent the last several weeks since surgery looking at how to avoid those down times. I have a handful of short stories that are no longer available or were never released that I’ll be putting out in those months when I don’t have a new novel or novella ready to go. That’s important right now since my keyboarding is still limited as my shoulder continues to heal. This is another post done using my iPad Pro and its handwriting to text conversion. It’s helpful but slow and tedious because my handwriting is not the best.

And that brings me to my next step. Part of my problem writing has always been there are times when I simply need to use pen and paper to doodle out a plot problem. Sometimes it only takes a few minutes. Sometimes it requires pages and pages of writing. When the latter happens, I will then drag my feet about inputting the handwritten notes using a keyboard. No, I don’t use my iPad then because as good as the Apple pencil and iPad Pro are, they still don’t feel like I’m writing on paper. There is something about the drag of a pencil or pen against paper that seems to help break the creative logjam I run into at least once on every project.

So I dipped into savings and ordered a ReMarkable tablet last week. No, not the ReMarkable 2. I went with the original version for a couple of reasons. The first is the cost difference. The second is because I am always hesitant to buy something when it first comes out. So, I will see how I like the ReMarkable and watch the reviews over the next six months or so for the ReMarkable 2. If I wind up using it as much as I think I will, I’ll then upgrade to the newer version.

For those of you not familiar with the ReMarkable, here’s a video.

We’ll see how that goes. I’ll admit, if it does what I’m hoping, it will make all those times I have to sit in waiting rooms or wait as Mom has her hair done much more productive.

I’ve made a schedule for what I want to put out this year. Now comes the debate over whether I should go ahead and schedule each of the books/novellas or not. There are pros and cons for both ways. The pros include knowing I have a schedule I need to keep as well as having actual product pages I can link to when I do promote the upcoming work. The cons come down to hitting those deadlines because of real life interference and Myrtle the Evil Muse. She just loves hitting me with stories I didn’t have planned. But, if this is a business, and it is, I need to pull up my writer’s pants and get it done.

And, as I said, doing so allows me to do more promotion. Not that that is hard since I do little promo as it stands. That is what I need to change. The question becomes how. Social media platforms like FB are splintering and none of them are really great for actually drumming up sales. So I need to look at other methods and that means studying.


So, what’s the publishing schedule look like?

Remember, this is all tentative right now.

Jan: unnamed short story

Feb: unnamed short story set in the Nocturnal Lives universe

Mar: Foil of the Gods (working title), Book 3 in Sword of the Gods series

April: Honor & Duty short story

May: Magic Rising (Eerie Side of the Tracks book 5)

June: unnamed short story

July: Reprisal from Ashes (Honor & Duty series)

Aug: off (or another short story/novella)

Sept: Unnamed Nocturnal Awakenings novel/novella

Oct: Demonsbane

Nov: Eerie Side of the Creek holiday novella

Dec: unnamed project

Now, that sounds like a lot and it terrifies me looking at it. Then I remember that most of the short stories are already written or at least roughly drafted out. The same for the novels. I have either fully developed plot notes or rough drafts for about half of them, if not a little more. There’s still a great deal of work to do, but it is more than feasible. But, in order to do so, I need to make sure I have all my ducks in a row and that includes having the tech I need to be able to make the best use of my time, no matter where I happen to be.

So wish me luck. It is time to put butt in chair and see how Dragon works for me this morning. But that comes after taking out the trash. The joy of living the glamorous life of a writer. LOL

Oh, here’s the cover draft–and yes, it needs work. I did it one-handed yesterday–for the first short story coming out this year.

(Image credits: Long Red Coat by Andrey Kiselev and licensed through Adobe Stock.)

And now to work. Until later!

Featured Image by Daniel Hannah from Pixabay

6 thoughts on “Setting Priorities

  1. One of the things I really need to do is go through all my files and inventory all my stories, so I can get everything from each ‘verse together so I can find it (as opposed to wondering if I lost my notes for one story, only to find them with some completely unrelated things) and list them with information on how far along they are (I’ve got everything from jotted notes to stuff that got stuck in final revisions). Then I can start sorting out priorities.

    However, I definitely want to make 2021 the year when I finish projects and get them out, either to magazine/anthology markets or on KDP. This past year has been far too much wheel-spinning, doing a little on this and a little on this, but only two stories finished for submissions and one novelette up on KDP.

  2. My goals begin with “Create a writing routine that works.” Followed by a few iterations of “do some stuff.”

  3. I’m ducking, because already I’m “behind” due to Day Job and technology snarls. (New OS update broke the printer drivers. HP no longer supports the printer, so no drivers, so to print from the Day Job laptop requires two extra steps and three extra pieces of equipment.)

  4. Many years ago, I made a resolution not to make resolutions. I’ve kept it ever since!

  5. I haven’t tracked her publishing schedule, but Pam puts out quite a few novellas and some short story collections “in between” the major Wine of the Gods novels. I like this – although I will admit that I buy them without looking at the price and I’m sometimes surprised when I hit the end so quickly.
    I admire your ambition – and gumption for publishing your schedule to the world! I am NOT a pre-order fan – I think I’ve done it once – so carving that in stone by creating pre-order pages would have no effect on me. I see no point in it. If I finish book 2 and book 3 is pre-order-able, why would I buy that? Book 4 is still in the indefinite future, so having book 3 magically show up in my Kindle one day doesn’t really gain me anything – I’ll still be waiting for “the end” and I will miss anything short that comes out before book 3, regardless. I’m more than willing to admit that I am not a representative audience sample, though.

  6. Just a note on Dragon. I’ve found having a desktop microphone (mine is a Buffalo mic that plugs into USB) helps a lot. I have used headset mics and other arrangements, but this works best for me.

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