Saturday, December 30, 2017

Looking Back In Time At the Writing Accomplishments of 2017

A model of a 19th Century/steampunk-style time machine

I hope everybody’s been enjoying this Holiday Season! I had a groovy Christmas Eve and Day. I was in Fresno during that time visiting the family there. My brother took me and his son to see Star Wars the Last Jedi which was just awesome! And only last night, did I see The Force Awakens on DVD. That is, I saw it for the second time only yesterday since seeing it in the theatre two Christmases ago, also with my brother and his son. (Hey, I think a new Holiday tradition is forming in my family!) Now you’re probably wondering why I’m watching the two movies out of order? Well, I hadn’t actually planned on watching the latest movie until I returned here to Sacramento, because I wanted to refresh myself on Force Awakens first. But since I only see my brother and his family a few times throughout the year, I couldn’t resist an invitation to see a movie like Star Wars with them. But now that I’m back, I’m watching the two movies in order and so will see Last Jedi again by the beginning of the new year. So this year’s been ending well.

Often a person feels a little sad when the year’s coming to an end, and you don’t quite know what to expect on the other side of the door between the old year and the new. But if great things happened in former then great, if not greater, ones will happen in the latter as well. So I thought it would be good to close out this year by looking back on my writing accomplishments of 2017 and what I learned from them that I can take into the upcoming year. These accomplishments were:

1. Guest-bloggingabout RPG and writing on Christine Rains Blog: when you guest-blog on a fellow author’s website, it introduces you and your work to other authors and readers. I don’t guest-blog as much as other authors already do, so I consider this a big accomplishment in any year.

2. Completing myfirst novella’s first draft: I’m not a big writer of long fiction such as novels, so completing my first novella in its rough draft form has been a significant success for me. I read over it too, and noted revisions that needed to be made but then decided, at least for now, not to continue with the revision process. It’s not a story that I think I’ll be able to stick with, knowing the short attention span I have. What is important about this accomplishment, though, is that I committed myself to writing a full first draft of a long work, a form of fiction that I’ve never written before. Having done that, writing the next novella will probably come easier to me.

3. Publishing thepaperback edition of “Circa Sixty Years Dead”: This isn’t the first time that I’ve published a paperback, but even the self-publishing process can be trying whether it’s for a print book or e-book, and so this is definitely a significant accomplishment for me.

4. Producing mybusiness card: For at least two years I had been saying that I was going to officialise myself more as a pro author by coming out with a business card but kept putting it off. I did that just so I could work on the product of the business, the writing itself. Not so in 2017!

5. My first vendortable at a convention and making sales from my books: Like with the business card, I kept telling myself I would set up a vendor table and kept putting it off until this year. One of the reasons why I kept postponing it was because I knew how hard it was to break even by selling books at live events. And do you know what happened? I didn’t break even. But I did sell some books. Now what’s so successful about selling books but not making a profit? The success is about the promotion of those books. The more books you get into people’s hands and the more money you make in doing so, the more you enhance your rep as a professional author regardless of profit.

6. Participating ina blog hop: This past Halloween I volunteered my time posting for author Patricia Lynn’s Trick-Or-Treat Blog Hop. As with guest-blogging, I probably don’t do blog hops as much as most indie authors do, and so this too was a major achievement in promoting my work.

So, what have I made of all these accomplishments? I’ve learned that when an author puts him- or herself out in the community, online or off, it can make a big difference. I’ve promoted and sold plenty of my books online. But I didn’t imagine I would sell any on my first day of retailing them at a live event, which is exactly what happened at Sac Con back in October. The more you put yourself out there in the community, the better connection you’ll make and the more sales you’ll make. But even if you don’t make any sales, readers of your genre get to know you more both as an author and reader. So expect to see me at at least one other live event selling books and talking sci fi/fantasy in general this upcoming year of 2018.

So what are your writing accomplishments of 2017? For those of you who are more avid readers than writers, what are your reading accomplishments of the year? For example, did you get through a bigger number of books this year than you did last year? Or did you finally start reading that author you’ve been declaring to read for several years?

Until next year of 2018 . . . !

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