3 January 2015

Resolutions, or 7 Ps = Make it a Habit


Here we are again, the beginning of a New January, but are we veering towards the resolutions of the Old January, or an even Older January?

Most writers tend to be second cousin to dieters, myself included: I will... and we do for the first few weeks and then... and then it all takes on a sad familiarity. And yes, we can call upon a litany of excuses, mostly starting with It was beyond my control... which it probably wasn’t, or wouldn’t have been if we’d had the energy to sort it.

Basic training in the British army, or at least the bit I know of, upholds to its recruits the Seven Ps:

Preparation,  Practice  and  Planning  Prevents  Piss-Poor  Performance

Instructors in the British army don’t tend to mince words. That alliterative sentence is now fixed at eye level above my laptop screen. You might try the same.

First list your goals. During 2015 I intend to:
  • finish and publish the final novel in the Torc of Moonlight trilogy, both as an ebook and a paperback, followed by a boxed set of ebooks;
  • publish a short speculative fiction story as an ebook;
  • research, plan and draft a YA historical.

 There are two things to notice from that list: all three can be broken down into smaller, do-able steps, and there is no mention of marketing.

I will be doing some marketing – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogging, forums... I may even have a look at Pinterest once I have gained some idea of how copyrighted images fit into its mix – but for 2015 it will not be a priority that I shall sweat over. Producing fiction and getting it out into the world is what I intend to sweat over.

Building on the experiences of my guests Alan Wilkinson and Jex Collyer, HERE and HERE, my intention is to hit 1,000 good words a day five days a week - I don’t do fast & dirty drafts. Armed with an A4 calendar I have Prepared by marking in holidays and hassle days and Planned a strategy on a spreadsheet, and if my word output starts to miss its mark I have a fall-back plan – turn off my mobile and decamp to a local cafe with a pad & pen.

Determination is the biggest New Year’s Resolution to cultivate. Start feeding the ground today, and mind your Ps.
 [Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net] 

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