So, January of the new year is almost over and I’ve been doing quite a bit of self-reflecting of what to fix in my writing for the new year.
I’ve started a business plan with a month-to-month printed calendar of goals and sales and tactics on how to accomplish each goal. However, there are still a few things in the way of reaching these goals, so I’ve decided to come up with this blog post to not only have them written down (or typed, read it how you like) but also to do a bit more self-reflecting on how to resolve my mistakes and create a more solidified plan.
1. Stick to my Time-Blocking
This has been a feat of mine for the past year. Each week, I time-block out my life and each week, more life happens. Time-blocking has helped me become a bit more focused and refined on how and when I work on my writing business, but incorporating my family, my 9 to 5, and Byron into that time-blocked schedule is definitely a challenge.
For this year, I’m going to stick to the time-block to time-block. Sounds redundant, but in a busy life, you have to make time to plan. This piece will remain the same for me. I usually have an hour blocked out on Fridays.
Setting up more alerts on my calendar of when to work and on what. I am becoming a bit more active with things like blog post ideas, podcasting and working on my fiction. With each alert, I’ll know what it is I am supposed to be working on. If you’re anything like me, a writer who also has a 9 to 5, you know that when we sit down to work, it often becomes haphazard attempts at writing, social media networking and/or going down a rabbit hole with no productivity.
I use Google Calendar for time-blocking, simply because it’s attached to my email, and well, let’s face it, Google apps own my phone.
2. Follow a more detailed plan of gaining followers
I’ve been listening to other podcasters for a few reasons. One reason is to listen to their overall production for my own podcasting, the other is for the content. Kirsten Oliphant puts out a great tool that I’ve downloaded and spent an entire Saturday filling out my goals for each month of this year, 2019. You can find the planner here: Kirsten Oliphant’s Planner
With my schoolwork (yes, I’m still working on that MFA), I’ve been reading “Build Your Author Platform” by Carole Jelen and Michael McCAllister. A great read, if you haven’t read it. The focuses in this book are for the very beginner in marketing your platform. This blog post is a result of some of the tactics I’ve learned so far.
While reading this book, I’ve realized that I needed to go back to the beginning. I’m still an unknown writer, like some of you, and well, people need to know who I am in order to gain some exposure to my works.
3. Create and personalize my workspace
Well, well, well. This one is huge. I may even post a separate blog on how I transitioned my work space. I get a lot of “squirrels”, and yes, you know what squirrels are! They are the little buggers that get in the way of you being productive.
I recently moved to a bigger apartment (or flat if you’re in the UK), and I literally separated my work space off from the rest of the apartment. Granted, it’s not sound-proof, but my wife and I have come up with some rules for my work space. You’ll have to subscribe to this blog to hear that funny story later. Just know that I’ve taken over the dining room and there is a giant curtain that when closed, is a “no enter” zone.
Here’s a pic of what I’m starting with….
4. Continue picking the brains of other writers, published and unpublished.
My podcast, “Write Mistakes” is all about the mistakes, screw-ups, and embarrassing tactics I’ve used and failed. Some of those might be writing mistakes, marketing mistakes, or even mindset mistakes. You should give it a listen. Write Mistakes
But as Write Mistakes evolves, I find myself learning about other writer’s mistakes and picking their brains on what to do with my own. It’s truly an inspiring thought process. I talk about mistakes I’m making, and my guests bring about a different mindset of how to attack and cure the mistake in a way I never thought possible.
5. Find more business partners that can aid in a more polished publication.
Another big one. If you didn’t know, my wife, April, does all my head shots and book covers. She’s a student in graphic design and well, I am more than willing to be her guinea pig for her coursework.
So, step one is complete: find a talented book cover designer that will listen to your ideas. Here are some of April’s contributions so far:
Step two: find an editor that will not butcher your work just to get their name on amazon. (almost complete, still interviewing). This process is in exchange for the same services in return. In other words, I need another fantasy writer to edit my books, and in return, I’ll edit his/hers. No money exchanged, simple credit in the book and on amazon.
Step three: Formatting takes a lot of my time for each book. I have tons of files in my computer that are different versions of each book; eBook, paperback in different sizes, hardcover if needed. My files not only need to be a bit more organized, but I would also like to have someone take a look at each of my formatted works and provide feedback of not only how it reads, but aesthetically.
Overall, my business plan needs to be tightened up. Expect more blog posts, podcast episodes on all these topics on what I’m doing to fix my Writing Mistakes. Be sure to follow me on this blog and your social media of choice.
You can find me on your favorite social platform here: Follow Me
thanks for reading,
Nicholas, but you can call me Nick