This is part 2 of a 2 part blog. The first part looked back at 2016 and can be found here.
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2017
Last week I discussed my 2016 writing year, and the exciting things that happened. As I explained, 2016 was a year of transition for me, as I moved into full-time writing, and really began to concentrate on building up a backlist of work, as well as increasing my social media presence.
I see 2017 as a chance to consolidate. I’ll not only be releasing 2 books this year (and believe me, I can’t WAIT to share more about these books with you), but I also plan to write 3 additional books. I’ve worked out that 3 books is my ‘sweet spot’ – my books tend to run to around 90,000 to 100,000 words, and along with re-writes and editing, that pretty much fills up my working year.
As you’ve probably realised from my previous posts about writing, I’m a planner. I not only like to plan my stories (even if the characters never seem to stick to the plan) but I like to plan my work, too. Maybe it’s a hangover from my time working in Human Resources — if I didn’t have a ‘to-do’ list on my desk at all times, I was lost. So even though I’m now my own boss, and I work in my home office, some good habits remain. I have a weekly diary where I plan the word count for the days, as well as any publicity, marketing or meetings I have. I also have a year planner — one aimed at entrepreneurs where I plan out all the books I want to write, when I’m planning to release them, and what marketing and publicity I’ll be using to promote them. By writing them out at the start of the year, I’ll be able to measure myself against my targets and see if I reach them or not. Essentially, at the end of 2017 I’ll be giving myself a thorough going over, and deciding if I’ve been a good girl!
So, for those of you that are interested, here are my plans in all their glory.
So we’re two thirds of the way through January already, but that doesn’t mean I’ve been sitting on my coat tails. I had two major projects this month. The first was to complete the line edits of the first in my new Shakespeare Sisters series. The second was to begin writing the third book in the series, with a target of 40,000 words. So far I’m on track – the edits are complete, and the words are beginning to appear on the page. I’m 25,000 in, and hope to make it to the 40,000 goal by the time the month is out!
In February I’ll continue to write the third book in the Shakespeare Sisters series. At some point that month I’ll also need to check the copy edits for A Summer’s Lease (due for release in July). On a personal note, I plan to take a week off at half term to spend some time with the family — we’ll be visiting Dublin for a week. I haven’t been to Dublin since 1996, so I’m really excited to go back and see the beautiful city!
March is the most exciting month of the year in the UK publishing world — the London Book Fair takes place from the 14th to 16th. Though it’s more of a meeting place for Agents and publishers, I’ll be heading up there at some point to soak in the atmosphere and meet some old friends. I also plan to finish the first draft of book 3, as well as complete any proofreading of A Summer’s Lease. By March I’m also hoping I’ll be able to share the cover reveal for A Summer’s Lease. Fingers crossed it all goes to plan!
Oh to be in England now that April’s here. And luckily for me, that’s exactly where I’ll be. April will see me doing the re-writes for The Winter’s Tale the second in the Shakespeare Sisters series, due for release in November 2017. I’ll plan on taking a few days off around Easter, but apart from that it’s all systems go!
In May I’ll be finishing up The Winter’s Tale, and submitting it to my publishers ready for November. Once that’s finished, I’ll be going back in to edit the book I wrote in January and February, plus I’ll be working on the marketing plans for A Summer’s Lease.
June will almost certainly be my busiest month. I’ll be starting a new book this month, a super secret project that I’m really excited about. I’ll also be attending my first signing of the year — The Dedicated Ink Book Signing event in Newcastle, England. I expect at this point to receive the developmental edits for The Winter’s Tale, which will see me trying to spin a few different plates. Hopefully nothing will get smashed!
I said that June will be busy, and I expect July to be a close run thing. July 7th will see the release of A Summer’s Lease, and I’ll be spending a lot of time in person and online promoting it. I’ll also be continuing to write the super secret project, as well as hopefully spending some time with my family, and taking advantage of what little summer we might get here in the UK!
As a mum and a wife, I try to cut back on the work in August. We usually take a two week vacation during this month, plus the children will be on a break from school, and I always look forward to spending time with them. If I haven’t already finished the super secret project in July, I’ll finish it in August, plus I’ll continue the publicity for A Summer’s Lease. At the very end of August is my second event of the year. ChapterCon takes place on 25th and 26th August, and I’ll be sitting on a panel here, as well as signing and attending
In a strange way, September always feels a little like January to me. A beginning of a year (of the school year at least) and a chance to throw myself back into work. Any residual edits from The Winter’s Tale will need to be done this month, plus planning for the November release. I also intend to start my final book of the year in September. The second book in my super secret project, of which more details soon!
It feel strange to be planning so far in advance, but if you’re still with me, we’re almost there. October will see me writing book 2 in the new secret project, plus any final changes for The Winter’s Tale. After that, my thoughts will start to turn to my 2018 publishing plans, which include the final 2 books in the Shakespeare Sisters series.
Ah, just writing that word makes me think of bonfires and falling leaves. It seems a world away from this chilly January morning. By this point I’m hoping to have finished or be finishing my third book of the year, which will leave the rest of the month for any developmental edits for the third in my Shakespeare Sisters series. November also sees the release of book 2 in the series, and I’ll be planning lots of fun and games to celebrate!
And so we come full circle. December will see the end of another year, and hopefully it will be a successful one. As with most Decembers, I won’t plan to be doing too much writing this month, not least because I’m Christmas Crazy and I’ll be wanting to spend my time cooking, decorating and celebrating! In December I’ll also be looking back to review 2017, as well as making plans for 2018. It seems strange typing that now, but from experience I know that time will fly, and no doubt I’ll be back here talking about whether I achieved all my goals!
Wow! I’m exhausted just typing that. If you’ve stayed with me, well done – you deserve a cup of tea or something stronger. It looks like my 2017 is going to be just as crazy as 2016, but I can’t wait. I feel very blessed indeed to have the chance to write for a living, and am grateful for all the support I’ve had from my lovely readers, publishers, agents and author friends.
Until next time,
Photo Credit: Depositphotos