First of all, a very Happy New Year to all of you! Here’s to health and prosperity!
The last three months of 2019 were quite stressful with one thing and another, but I managed to clear my desk of all overdue work. I’m officially not back at work until Monday, but I have been doing some thinking and planning.
Since breaking up for Christmas, I’ve been reading a lot of planning books, time management books, goal setting books, and I’ve been learning more about Excel spreadsheets.
The result is I now have 10 projects for 2020 and, thanks to the poet for some technical help, I also have a nice, shiny, colourful planning spreadsheet to help me pace myself a little better over the next 12 months.
The plan isn’t cast in stone, though, and can be flexible. I’ve done some major planning for 5 of the projects, and I’ll see how they go before expanding on the others. And I’ve done some minor planning for a project that’s complete, it just needs a look over.
The 10 projects I have planned for 2020 are:
- The Fool (pocket novel/novella)
- The Beast Within (Marcie Craig book 2)
- Catch the Rainbow (historical novel)
- Twee Tales Too (anthology re-release)
- Diary of a Pussycat (writers’ guide book 2)
- 12 x 2,000-word short stories (at least one per month)
- The Alphabet Adventurers: Yorkshire (local travel book with DVD of videos)
- 52 Books in 52 Weeks (writers’ guide book 3)
- Mardi Gras (steampunk novella)
- Diary of a Novella/Pocket Novel (writers’ guide book 4)
I have so many more projects half-started or in various stages of completion, but I have to draw the line somewhere and try and focus on SMARTER goals. Here are my own versions of the famous goal-setting acronym:
S = Specific
M = Meaningful
A = Achievable
R = Relevant
T = Time-bound
E = Evaluateable (!) (Evaluate)
R = Rewardable (Reward)
The 6 projects I’ve already mapped out are:
1. The Fool
This is my first ever attempt at a pocket novel and will, hopefully, be the first in a series. I was working on this before I suddenly got Very Busy last year, and I really want to finish it. It will be around 40,000 words long, and I hope to have the first draft completed by the end of February 2020. Then it will go into the revision process.
2. Twee Tales Too
Towards the end of 2019, I re-released Twee Tales on Draft2Digital and removed it from Amazon KDP. It’s currently an ebook, but the paperback will follow, either 3 or 6 months after the new publication. I want to review Twee Tales Too and then get that one into the system there too. This job is just a revision job on a page basis. I have 77 pages to revise by the end of January 2020.
3. Diary of a Pussycat
This 2nd book in the writers’ guides series is actually complete. What I need to do first is go through and add in the exercises for readers to join in with at the end of each chapter. I want this writing work finished by the end of March 2020. Then I will add this to the revision planner and re-evaluate when I think it is most likely to be finished before giving myself a deadline.
4. 12 x 2,000-word short stories
By the end of the year, 2020, I want to have completed at least 12 new short stories, each of around 2,000 words. These stories, as they are finished, will go off on their rounds before, ultimately, landing in Twee Tales More, which will be the 4th volume of collected short stories.
5. The Alphabet Adventurers
We have given ourselves 12 months to complete our alphabet adventures of Yorkshire, so that’s the end of December 2020. That’s less than 2 per month, as we just completed the visit for ‘K’ is for … today. (We still have the blog post to write and the video to produce for K.) Roughly half-way through the year, i.e. at the end of June 2020, I’ll start to look at a book proposal/synopsis and to collect possible publishers to target – I already have at least one in mind, two if you include my current publisher.
6. 52 Books in 52 Weeks
This is the 3rd book in the writers’ guides series and, again, is virtually complete. I have the last few books to finish reading and write reviews for, get them onto the blog, and then into the collection. This book will probably be a freebie as there won’t be anything new that readers can’t already see online for free (until I unpublish them, of course – if I do). I have given myself until the end of March 2020 to get this first draft completed. And then it will go into the revision process.
Aside from all of that, I also want to properly plan my blog posts, and I’m aiming at writing at least 500 words per writing day on those. Today isn’t officially a working day, so whatever today’s comes out at will give me a bit of a head start on that particular goal.
I have a couple of loose ends to finish for the Richard Cadbury biography, I want to squeeze in a few “confidential” assignments (can’t really say anything about those on here), and, of course, I’ll be editing and proofreading for those clients who would like me to.
Here, then, are my first two spreadsheets: One for the year, and one for January. I’ve based them on a free version that’s available online, but to suit my own workload and preferences. Aren’t they pretty?