I’m not usually one to make New Year’s resolutions—if there’s a change I’d like to make or something I’d like to do, I’ll do it whenever I want during the year. But it just so happens that there have been several instances in the last couple weeks when I’ve said “I really need to start doing ______ again” or “I’d like to do more of ______”. Ergo the timing works out.
1) This first one actually has nothing to do with writing. I want to take more photos. I have a really bad habit of seeing something neat that I’d like to take a picture of but convincing myself I don’t have time or it would be too inconvenient and I’d have to go too far out of my way. More often than not, it’s a matter of “Oh, that’s a really pretty sunrise, but if I stop to take a picture I might be five minutes late to work.” Big deal. Staying five minutes later than I might otherwise have isn’t going to kill me. This picture here is a prime example. I forced myself to pull over one morning on my way to work, and I’m glad I did—It had been cold and rainy all night, so there ended up being this really great gold and purple contrast. I’m definitely an amateur and my phone is like three years old (I know right?) so the camera isn’t the greatest, but I still love being able to capture sights like this.
2) I obviously want to finish Fracture. I know I said that last year, but that was before I’d really gotten my outline/storyboard nailed down and was still floundering around trying to figure out how to clean up the mess I’d made of this WIP. Progress has still been slower than I’d like it to be, but having a more detailed plan gives me a sense of confidence that makes it so much easier to move forward. What would be cool is if I could get this draft done and then start revising and maybe be able to publish by the end of the year, but at this point I’d settle for just being finished with the draft by then. It all comes down to priorities and time management, because I also want to…
3) …read more. Is it sad that I didn’t even finish my Goodreads challenge this past year? My goal was only 12 books in the first place, and I ended up with like…11.5. And at least 4 of those were graphic novels, which, while being a perfectly acceptable form of storytelling, read much differently (and much quicker) than actual books. When I stop and think about it, I think I read the most—or at least on the most consistent basis, if not actually the most books—while I was in college. I was reminiscing with family during Christmas about how much free time I had back then, even if I didn’t realize it at the time. I always carried a book with me at school and read during lunch or between classes, and that summer after graduation when I was prepping Ronan for publication, I read for a couple of hours every evening and got through a good number of books in a fairly short amount of time. But once again, it’s all about priorities, because I was doing that instead of watching TV or playing video games. I feel like I need to start doing that again, perhaps alternating each evening between reading and writing. I have a feeling 2019 will just be another year for mainly reading things I’ve already read, but if that’s what it takes for me to get it done, then so be it.
4) I also want to make a point of being more active in the #writerscommunity on Twitter. I’ve ended up making lists containing people I interact with the most or accounts that post things I find most interesting. It helps keep things organized, but then when I’m browsing, I’m only looking through those lists and I’m missing out on material from basically everyone else I’m following. Every so often I just scroll through my home feed, and in amid all the spammy “buy my book” posts and obviously auto-shared blogs, I’ll find a tweet from another writer with a simple conversation prompt (a couple recent examples were something along the lines of “Name a book series where you actually liked one of the sequels better than the first one” and “Name a movie you thought did the book justice or was maybe even better than the book”). But I look and see that there are already 217 replies and I tend to think there’s no point in responding, even if I have a good idea, because it’ll just get lost in the sea and won’t matter at all. And honestly, there’s a good chance that will actually happen, especially because half the time those posts are a couple days old by the time I see them (thanks Twitter for the non-chronological timeline). But jumping into conversations like that is how you meet and connect with people, and I want to try to find more people to follow who write things similar to what I do. I think it’s a mixture of Impostor Syndrome and me just being a generally self-conscious person, and I need to get over it.
And this isn’t really a resolution so much as it is just something (or a series of somethings) on my to-do list. Throughout this past fall, I’ve been phasing all of my books out of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program, and as of about Thanksgiving, none of them were enrolled anymore. I have of course done this with the intention of making them available across all platforms in the very near future. The thought struck me at the beginning of December that it would be fun to try to launch them on their new platforms to kick off the new year, but I hadn’t done a thing to prepare and definitely didn’t want to rush into something like that and risk screwing things up. So stay tuned for that to happen within the next couple of months.
I also mentioned previously that I’d like to re-do all of my covers to be more in line with The Collection’s updated cover. The general layouts would be the same but I want to make some basic cosmetic changes and try some different fonts to give them a little bit of a crisper, cleaner look. I’d originally wanted to do that before I went wide so I wouldn’t have to update cover art on multiple platforms, but I’m not sure if it’s going to happen. So stay tuned for that as well, just probably a little further down the road!