And a Happy New Year to Y’all…

Way, way back at the start of the year, I wrote my resolutions as folks tend to do in January, many of them appealing because there was no immediate need to do them. As the year hurtled on, I tried to cram them in so I could tick them off and my successes were 50/50.

Look for work elsewhere

MASSIVE TICK. I’ve been freelancing for more than five years now and while my job satisfaction  and happiness levels have soared in that time, copy-writing doesn’t pay well. This year, I took on a part-time job at the University of Glasgow. It turns out that academia is the nicest environment to work in. Steady money, incredibly nice people and I still have my freedom. Win-win.

Author services

At the start of the year, I planned to offer more author services, but ended up not doing as much of this work as I did in 2017. Ah well. It was a busy year.

Publish four books

Half tick – I published two, Artists Town and Ten Little Stars. And wrote three, which all need tonnes of tidying up. Writing successes this year included having one of my books on Wattpad long-listed for the Wattys2018, a competition that had more than 150,000 entries. When you’re an indie publisher, it’s nice to have that external validation of your writing. I also did #NaNoWriMo, writing 50,000 words in 30 days, which was hugely enjoyable and fulfilling.

Sell directly

I did do it this year, via an event at the local library where I sold books, but I haven’t done enough to push that part of my author business – partly because it feels a little pointless. Selling directly doesn’t count towards book rankings, and they are so important for overall sales. Still, it’s back on the list for next year.

Ongoing development

TICK. This year, I did an author event with the amazing Caron Allan, which was far more fun than we expected. That, I decided, counted as my ‘run a workshop’ plan set out at the beginning of the year. I continue to listen to podcasts, read blogs and work at developing my writing skills. Next year, I’ll concentrate on the further development of the marketing ones.

Happy New Year to you all – and thanks for reading.

 

Writing Resolutions for 2018

Image result for 2018

Write something that makes a profit?! Okay, if we count my copywriting business, that’s ticked off. But there are areas I want to move away from and plans I have for 2018.

Look for work elsewhere. Copywriting, and especially using job bidding worksites such as PeoplePerHour and Upwork, isn’t sustainable for me. The pay is dreadful, and most of the small contactors want too much for too little. I’ll stay on the sites, but I’m not going to put the same effort into pursuing work there as the ROI isn’t worth it.

Author services. This market can only continue to expand. If the robots are coming for our jobs, then more people will have time to write, and they’ll need accompanying services, beta reading, editing, formatting and more. I’ve done more paid author services this year and I plan to expand my offering.

Check out AI. Artificial intelligence is already writing factual articles and sports reports. It’s even produced fan fiction. You can rail against it, or accept that it will happen and look for how you can work with AI. I’ve done this already through jobs where I’ve worked on AI translations to make them sound more naturalistic. Again, this is an area that will continue to grow.

Workshops. A friend suggested I think about running workshops. I hate the idea, as I’m an introvert, but resolutions are about moving out of your comfort zone, right?

Publish four books. Every success story in indie publishing points to proliferation (I flippin’ love alliteration) and the Amazon algorithm rewards you if you can upload something every 30 days. This can include short stories. I’ve got four draft novels that need tidying up. Edit, go forth and publish dear gel…

Ongoing development. I’ve taught myself a lot about book marketing, and especially online marketing but I’m no master of it. If you want to stay ahead, you must keep learning about this subject.

Sell directly. This year, I want to offer direct sales of my books. There are plenty of options, Gumroad, for example, or e-commerce via WordPress if I upgrade my site.

Happy New Year and thanks for following my blog. What are your resolutions, writing or not?

Picture thanks to Max Pixel free pictures.

 

Writing Resolutions: 2016

happy new yearHappy New Year y’all and wishing you health, happiness and other lovely things etcetera.

But it wouldn’t be New Year without a resolution or two hmm? Other worthier and better writers than I shall be listing earnest writing resolutions on their blogs. Write 1,00 words every day – that kind of thing.

I, on the other hand, am listing my alternative writing resolutions.

  1. Do not write after more than two glasses of wine. Yes, the muse may well deign to wander in and stay a while and send you off on the most creative flights of fancy – but correcting the typos the next day is MURDER. And some of those creative flights of fancy, should they ever see the light of day, may well result in your arrest.
  2. Find some reasons to squeeze in your favourite words everywhere. I’m rather fond of quality, spurious, elegiac, medley, splendid, muckle, fulsome and whesht (sp?). I don’t even know what some of them mean.
  3. Learn grammatical rules. I’m a teenager of the 80s. They forgot to teach it to us. Two years ago, I was in charge of a Polish girl interning at the charity I was working for. Sometimes she would ask me to explain English grammatical rules to her, asking about clauses, auxiliary verbs, finite verbs and others. I  had no idea what she was talking about.

Finally, write no more poetry. As proof that I really should desist, I give you the following:

 T’was the day after New Year…

And all through the flat

Not a creature was stirring

Not even the cat

A true Scottish Hogmanay had just taken place

Which meant all the residents

Had decided to get “off your face”

Wine, whisky, lager and beer

Had all vanished down the hatch

Which meant that by 11pm, everyone was of good cheer.

Alas, the cheer lasted only 30 minutes more

And by 12pm, a major rammy took to the floor.

By 1pm, the police had been alerted, 

And by 2pm the party-goers deserted

Heading for the next party and a fresh home to wreck.