We are almost at the end of 2022! As we approach the end of what has been a year I, personally, will be pleased to see behind me, and hope for a much better, peaceful, and (fingers crossed) more smooth-running year ahead, it’s time for me to do a round-up of my writing year. So – what did I do, what went well, or not so great, and what – if anything – did I learn from this year in my writing career?
I split my goals for 2022 into three parts: creation, growth, business.
You can read about my 2022 goals here.
Did I achieve my creation goals? What did I learn about myself?
I am trying hard to learn exactly how much I can expect of myself from a creative perspective. Honestly, you’d think I would know by now, but my ambitions always stretch my goals to bursting point, and beyond. But there is a point when ambition is no longer ambition and becomes unrealistic. This is something I battle with constantly.
I had lofty goals yet again for 2022, pushing my ideas for creativity well beyond the series I intended to focus on, and I certainly didn’t achieve those. What I did achieve was the creation and publication of three Darker Minds books, which also formed the first digital boxset for the series. Two of these are also in paperback and hardback, with the third individual book to follow. So, what I actually did was focus my writing on one series in order to get those three books written. Definitely something I learned this year – focus, rather than split my attention.
That doesn’t mean that I remained focused. Aside from several personal difficulties which completely wrecked my capability to write anything at all during certain parts of the year, I also allowed myself to drift into contemplating and creating ideas for other possible series. While that, on the surface, sounds like sensible planning for the future, what it managed to do for me was to create a confused mess of ideas and worry over what I should really be focusing on. I am not a fast writer and producing two or three series concurrently, three or four books at a time is something that I know I am not capable of doing.
Allowing myself some time for ideas creation is great; enabling myself to run with those ideas and then tangle myself up in the details of a project I am not even writing yet is not. So one of the big lessons that I learned, and continue to learn about myself if I want to create books is the focus on one type of book or series at a time, and only that.
My growth goals for 2022 – how did I get on?
I’m delighted that I achieved the growth in my Readers’ Club email list that I wanted. I didn’t do as well with social media and I know that I wasn’t as consistent in my posting as I could have been. I’ll continue to work to grow my readership and, in particular, an engaged and interested group of readers who love my books. It’s absolutely amazing when a reader tells me that the one thing they want is for me to keep writing my books.
If you would like to find out more about my Readers’ Club (and grab a FREE book), you can do so here.
The business of learning and keeping going
I have been in the writing and publishing industry for a number of years now, having published my first short story back in 2006 and written a multitude of traditionally and independently published work under different names. It doesn’t matter how long I remain a writer, there will always be something new to learn about the craft itself, publishing, selling books, or – and possibly most importantly – the mindset of keeping going, knowing when to change direction, and also knowing when it’s time to stop doing something.
I would have loved to have achieved my financial goals and business ones of streamlining my process, but I fell short. I did make some headway in streamlining my processes and I know this helped me greatly. I have more work to do on this to make my writing and my publishing business as simple yet effective as I can make it.
Mindset has been a major difficulty for me this year, and I have spent quite a bit of time learning about the writer and business mindset and re-setting my own thought processes around writing time, methods and production. I know (and I have known for many years) that I always over-predict what I will achieve in the time available, which has often led to disappointment and a sense of failure, or at a minimum, discontent with myself as a writer.
I am trying really hard to learn from the mistakes I have made over the years, and to build in realistic expectations for my writing rather than base my workload on the ideal scenario, which I will then find it impossible to live up to. For me, this means I need to build in lots of time in between projects because seeing a book through to publication then leaves me in a slump that I can’t even begin describing to you. This year has taught me to reduce the knock-on effects of mindset problems caused by my over-estimation of what to expect from myself or from others as much as I possibly can. Taking this lesson forward into 2023 is one of my biggest achievements this year for my continued writing career and personal life.
What can you expect from me in 2023?
The first thing will be a post on my goals for 2023! There are also definitely new books coming in the next year – and I have already had the covers designed! This is a little mind game trick I am playing with myself, because, if I already have the covers, I know exactly what I am aiming towards in the next few months. The decision is already made, and all(!) I have to do is write and produce the books! There will be more about my writing goals for 2023 on the blog very soon.
Here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming from me over the next year. See you then, with more books!
Have you seen the Darker Minds Crime and Suspense Boxset? Show Me Dead, That Killer Image, and No Deadlier Time in one e-book. Grab yours here.
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