Fellow blogger and author C.S. Boyack found the right word to describe what many might otherwise call a New Year’s resolution (he wisely disavows the concept).
Rather, Boyack puts forward a ‘business plan‘ for the year ahead—which platforms he’ll look to and why, beta readers and critique groups, ideas for the next narrative, etc.
With admiration for his approach, I propose a similar notion myself. This, despite an inherent aversion ‘business’ similar to the aforementioned aversion to new year resolutions.
Following are a few aspirations I have for writing in the year ahead. More importantly, I’m including a few thoughts on the concrete steps I hope might bring me to fulfill them.
- Publish some non-fiction and journalism across several new platforms
- Place one of my three other completed novels for publication
- Zero in on the next long-form narrative I’ll devote months to, whether one I’ve been dabbling with awhile or something out of the blue
Goal one is really the most important to me. I intend it as a means of raising the visibility of my existing work, and broadening my audience reach. I created BenEastBooks with the intent of promoting indie fiction with book reviews, and while the effort proves fulfilling, it simply doesn’t create reaction or stir audience equal to the time and thought it takes. So-called listicles, pumped out in minutes and flagged with the right image, get more traction than finely-wrought, thoughtful essays about other people’s long fiction.
Concrete steps: focus my content more on fresh stories from around the web and the publications I research to place my work. I’ll be posting more about other writers’ blogs, their social media feeds, and upstart journals.
Goal two represents a matter of choice. Which of the existing narratives do I run with? Pitch to agents or to publishers; and the corollary question of Small-house/Big-house? Two manuscripts are middle-grade and the third adult literary. The prospect of querying holds no appeal, so this decision will be deferred a few months. But I’m mulling…
Concrete steps: stop mulling and decide. Query.
Goal three is the wild card. I don’t even know if the next narrative will aim for a middle grade, young adult, or adult audience. In fact, I don’t know if it will be fiction or non-fiction.
Concrete steps: it may be too early to know, but since drafting this some days ago I’ve landed on a potential YA narrative. We’ll see how much line to give this fish. We’ll also see if returning to the doldrums of work (government work during a government shutdown) saps the inspiration that gave this narrator life.
Anyhow, I’ll have Craig Boyak to thank for inspiring a writing plan for 2019, whether it holds or gets pummeled by the waves.