2019 has been a pretty great year! In terms of my writing, I accomplished some goals that I am super proud of. In April, I won my first NaNo challenge during CampNaNoWriMo. That was a huge moment for me! I also completed the first draft of my novel, a story and rewrite I’ve been working on since 2007. The story still needs some work and will need another rewrite, but I’m very happy with where it’s all headed.
I also dove into the writing community in new and exciting ways. I completed my first beta reading project for a writing friend. It was so much fun reading her story and I definitely feel a sense of pride knowing I’ve read this story before it’s published. I joined a local writing group and opened up to people in real life about my story for just about the first time ever. And I let them read a chapter of my book – another first!
Now that the year is coming to a close, I’ve been really thinking about what I want this next year to look like for me. In short, it’s time to get serious.
Building My Author Business
When I made the decision to dive back into my writing, I took that opportunity to get my name out there as a writer. I wanted to establish a presence on social media, start a blog, and build a website. I did all that, and it’s something I’m super proud of!
I think it’s definitely necessary to give yourself that presence not only to share your journey but to connect with other writers. This community is so incredible and I’m blessed to be a part of it.
When I began this journey, I looked at it as a business. I do social media for a living, so I’m well-versed in how to build and grow a brand online. I adopted these strategies for growing my author business.
This is great and it worked out well. But there was one pretty big problem. I didn’t leave enough time for focusing on the one thing I was striving to be: an author. I was spending the time I could have spent writing building my business.
I had this dream of using my author journey as a way to be my primary source of income. (Who doesn’t, am I right?) While I did bring in some money, it wasn’t enough to support me and my family. I just didn’t have the time or resources to dedicate to that growth as I wanted, though I did try very hard.
Rerouting My Focus
I was watching a Hallmark Christmas movie recently (because there’s nothing better to do this time of year, am I right?) and I watched one movie that basically seemed to be written for me.
It was about a writer, of course. To save you the context, the main character’s friend told her she was “making excuses for not writing” and told her she was afraid. Like… okay universe, I hear you!
The truth is that I am afraid. Terrified, actually! But I have to stop being afraid.
So this year, I’m rerouting my focus away from my author business. I’m still going to keep running my Instagram page, but I’m going to just take it easy. I’m not going to keep up with a posting schedule and just post what I want whenever the urge strikes me. I’m obviously keeping my website up because I love it! I will blog once in a while, but again not on a schedule and just when the mood strikes me.
This will allow me to focus so much more on my writing and I’m so glad about that.
I’m a Pisces and I’m always coming up with creative ideas to dive into. I’m always thinking about how I can improve and what I can learn. It gets exhausting!
I’m going to give myself the grace in 2020 to just live simply. I have a steady job that I love that makes me exactly what I need. I have no worries about my job so I can rest easy in this comfort. My family is perfect and I’m so blessed to have an amazing husband who supports my dream and will do anything to help me with it.
My family comes first, then comes my job, and next is my writing. When I have free time outside of my number 2 things, that’s where I will focus on my writing.
I have to adopt the mentality I had back in 2007 when I first started writing. Blogging and social media weren’t as huge as they are today. Plus it was just a hobby at the time, so I never even considered making a name for myself. Even in 2013, I had started a blog about my writing journey and then now again since 2018.
It might take a little bit to retrain my mind to the “strategy” I had back in 2007. In the long run, it will be so much better for my writing journey.
When it comes to goals, I’m keeping it open. I’m not going to be too bold and say that I want to publish in 2020. I’m not going to say I will write x amount of words. My only goal is to focus on my writing, in any way that ends up looking.
Now, I want to know your goals! Share in the comments or shoot me an email to tell me what you’re working on next year!