2018: The Creative Goals

I fell sadly behind on my writing goals last year. I’d planned to publish another two novels and also two astro ebooks – and sell loads of them – and it just didn’t happen.

I drew up my production schedule and, because I didn’t pin it anywhere, promptly forgot about it. I told you the other day how my attention to detail and focus is a tad like Dory’s didn’t I?

That doesn’t, however, mean that 2017 was a lost cause…

What I wrote in 2017

I wrote most of the first draft of I Want You Back – about 60,000 words worth – before ditching the lot and starting again at the end of April. The story just wasn’t working. You can read the post here.

I’ve instead split it into three novels. I’m calling it the Careful What You Wish For mini-series. I Want You Back is the first, then I’ll do Tiff’s story and tie everything up with Alice – completely wrapping up what I started with Baby, It’s You.

That essentially put me about four months behind schedule and I finally completed I Want You Back towards the end of last year. It’s been re-worked, edited, copy-edited and proofread. All it needs is a blurb and some formatting. Don’t ask me why I haven’t released it yet because I wouldn’t be able to give you an honest answer – and that’s mainly because I don’t know myself.

While I was figuring out the story I also wrote a good chunk of Tiff’s book and a few chapters of Alice’s.

Finally, on the novel front, I used nanowrimo to write the first 60,000 words in something new and more grown-up. It has the working title Happy Ever After, but I daresay that will change. If you’ve ever wondered about the trials and tribulations of writing and publishing a novel, I’m blogging it weekly…well, there was a break for Christmas and I’ll be back with an update next week. You can find all the old posts here.

In addition:

  • Between this site, and anyways and the astro site, I wrote over 350 blog posts.
  • I wrote a 3000-word feature article for Wellbeing Astrology on mid-life transits and,
  • I spent most of April and some of May writing 2018 horoscopes for the astro diaries I contribute to.

That’s a lot of words.

What’s in store for this year?

  • Release I Want You Back on all the normal platforms
  • Complete and publish Happy Ever After – or whatever it ends up being called
  • Complete and publish the Tiff book
  • First draft the Alice book
  • I’ve set aside November for nanowrimo and the first in a cozy mystery series I’ve been wanting to write for ages – The Rambling Rose Mysteries. It will be set in Queenstown and brings back Max and Richie from Wish You Were Here – as well as a whole heap of other characters.
  • I’ll also finally package up blog content from the astro site and pop it into a series of ebooks
  • I’ve built in 3 weeks in April and May where I won’t be doing any writing at all. I’m off to France with my husband to visit a friend and have a mosey about…maybe for more ideas? This will be the first decent stretch of time I’ve taken with no writing commitments in I can’t remember how long.

Because I can’t help myself I’ve mapped it into a project plan of sorts. This year I’m printing it out and pinning it where I can’t miss it.

Naturally, dates etc will be dependent on my editor’s and cover designer’s availability, but I tend to hit a certain percentage of a target, so I might as well make the target a big hairy-arsed one!

What about you? Do you set writing or creative targets for the year ahead?

2017: The Writing Goals

2017 goals word abstract on napkin

So that was 2016. Tomorrow night we’ll be raising a glass to it and sending it on its way. There’s no denying 2016 was difficult – for me personally, and for many of you too. Yet it was also a year that brought with it some pretty big highs. I guess, though, that’s what you need – a mix of highs and lows. It’s what gives the year texture. Plus, it’s the lows in life that make us uncomfortable enough to change what isn’t working.

Another thing I’m a believer in is setting myself goals. Aside from the fact that if you don’t know what you want to get done, you’re unlikely to get it done, I’m not great with boundaries. Having a set of goals and deadlines helps me not only remember what it was I declared so confidently on the stroke of midnight last year, but also keeps me on track. It can somehow help to balance out the highs and lows – or at least bring the lows more into your favour. As an aside, my resolutions are usually declared confidently somewhere before midnight as I’m rarely still awake for the main event.

2016 was a big year – even if my output doesn’t show it:

  • Published Wish You Were Here (in October)
  • Released Wish You Were Here to print on demand – and got so busy with selling the house I didn’t tell anyone about it
  • Revamped the cover of Baby, It’s You so it aligns with the other two
  • Wrote a 3000 word feature article for Wellbeing Astrology in April
  • Spent much of February and March writing 2017 horoscopes for these astro diaries.
  • Between each of my 3 websites (Jo Tracey Astrology, And Anyways and this one), I wrote over 280 blog posts.

Put it all together and that’s an awful lot of words – and doesn’t count re-writes and edits…and boy were there a lot of them for Wish You Were Here.

Anyways, I’m keen I have to continue the momentum. This, the writing, is what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. That means that if I have to continue to do the juggling thing in order to afford to live and pay the mortgage and other essentials like location scouting trips (ahem) until I have enough of a back catalogue or enough of a following to make a living, then that’s what I‘ll do*.

Which leads me ever so neatly into my writing goals for this year:

  • Publish another two chick lit novels.
  • Publish the first two astro workbooks in the Tuesday Toolbox series
  • Release Baby, It’s You and Wish You Were Here on ibooks and kobo
  • Release Baby, It’s You and Big Girls Don’t Cry to print on demand.
  • Sell loads of all of them (and yes, I have a number in mind)

Because I’m a project manager, I did, of course, pop everything I need to do into a project plan. Yep, I’m sad. I’d print it up and stick it on the wall, but I think my real estate agent would frown at that.

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Of course, the dates will be dependent on whether my editor and cover designer etc can fit me in, but that’s ok, I have contingency built in.

To make sure I wasn’t losing track of it all, I also filtered the tasks to whoe when I’d actually be writing. It looks like below – and, all going well, frees me for a completely new project at the end of the year.

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What else?

The key to all of this is increasing my mailing list, so I’ll be working on that this year too. I have the same sign-up form over at and anyways, so if you signed up there, you don’t need to do it here as well.

So, that’s my year taken care of- what are your writing goals for 2017? Go on, let’s get them out there- so loudly that the Universe has to take notice!

*It doesn’t follow that I won’t whinge or dramatically declare just how totally stressed I am from time to time.