Expert Round-Up Topic: What writing or publishing goals are you setting for yourself this year?
I’m a nonfiction writer and author of Times New Roman: How We Quit Our Jobs, Gave Away Our Stuff & Moved to Italy, a self-published memoir (2016). It is available in print and ebook everywhere books are sold.
My 2022 writing and publishing goals are based on my latest adventure—my family moved from San Antonio, Texas last summer to Valencia, Spain.
Blog at least two times per month about the transition to Spain and daily life in Valencia. In Rome, I kept a handwritten journal that was pure gold when I tried to remember details writing my book. You think you’ll remember stuff, but the mind is not perfect. Writing notes ensures that you’ll not forget facts and details that will make the story sparkle. The blog will do the same only better! I’ll also be able to gain realtime feedback on what stories interest my readers and what they want to know more about.
Read a minimum of two books a month by reading at least one chapter a day. It is a well-known recommendation from best-selling authors that a writer needs to read. I love to read and am using the excuse that it will make my writing better.
Update both of my websites. This is long-overdue, and I have the time now to focus on them. Just yesterday I deleted over 7,000 spam comments on one website that I had been ignoring because I didn’t know how to clean them up quickly. It would have taken less than an hour if I hadn’t stopped to play Wordle!
Pitch travel articles and essays to build a fanbase in anticipation of a Spanish memoir, much like I did with Times New Roman.
I’m the author of six traditionally published project management books, with another due out in May 2022. My publishing goals relate to having the best book launch ever (for me). I want to offer a pre-launch book bonus; I’ve never done that before so it will be a personal achievement to put together a great package. I’d also like to get 15 Amazon reviews for my new book, Managing Multiple Projects.
These goals are pretty modest, as my niche is small and I’m realistic about how many copies I’m going to sell as a nonfiction author. However, I’m hopeful that a solid book launch will support my other writing and speaking engagements later in the year.
Sometimes the big goals are worth shooting for, but sometimes it’s about being consistent and setting yourself targets that feel within reach. While writing is a major part of my life, it’s not the only part, and I am juggling other work commitments and parenting around the edges of working with a publisher on writing, editing, sales and marketing. My advice to other writers looking to set goals is that it’s fine to change them. Nothing is set in stone. It is good to have goals and something to work towards, but it’s also important to be flexible enough to adapt if necessary. For example, this year, I had planned to teach a course based on one of my books, but another (better) opportunity came up which meant I wasn’t able to do that. No problem: I can schedule that course to run later in the year, or at a different time. Goals provide direction, but never be afraid to follow a different path if one presents itself. That’s how you uncover the adventures you didn’t see coming!
CEOLA J. GRIFFIN
I currently have goals to finish four e-books, a children’s book, two screenplays for Christmas, a 7-part documentary, and a 6-episode sitcom.
I love writing and expressing creativity through imagination. My advice is:
– Be responsive when the pen/iPad or keyboard calls. When your inspiration hits, respond!
– Don’t be afraid to set writing goals; sometimes inspiration will not always lead; discipline will.
Be open to different methods that may inspire your writing.
– Even with setting scheduled times to write, be careful not to force the creative flow.
– Be patient and allow the whole storyline to evolve.
– Don’t be afraid to make changes (Keep the old stuff. Those pieces of the story that didn’t make it into your current project might be good content in your next project). Nothing written is ever wasted.
I’m one of three co-authors on the book, A History of the Theatre Costume Business: Creators of Character, the first-ever book on the subject, that came out in fall of 2021. The book features interviews with award-winning actors, designers, and the costume makers themselves. There are innumerable books about the stage—actors, directors, designers, impresarios, even the theaters themselves—but the story of the people who make stage clothes has never before been told. Because our publisher largely puts out academic textbooks, the publicity falls largely to us to reach readers beyond libraries and university professors.
My co-authors are handling in-person promotion at theatre industry conferences, while I’m setting a goal for myself to run social media campaigns in tandem with those conferences and with topically relevant events like the Tony Awards and the Met Gala. I’ll be employing cross-promotional hashtags and creating all kinds of content from traditional postcards to YouTube videos, Instagram reels, and more. We’d also like to book some author signings at local bookstores (we all live/work in the Chapel Hill, NC area) and at the theatre where co-author Triffin Morris and I both work. That will require some coordination with the company’s promotional team to find a place in the season where it will complement the programming. I’m also hoping we can hold it outside with catering once the weather improves.
A History of the Theatre Costume Business
Youtube – Author Chat: “A History of the Theatre Costume Business”
As we (hopefully) emerge from the worst of the COVID pandemic in 2022, my goal is to take the time to think about how the past two years have and haven’t changed the nonfiction we are writing and publishing. I plan to step away from the day-to-day challenges that journalism or social media is better equipped to handle and focus on the longer-term themes that make books more than a snapshot of the day they were published. I want to ask myself, are the books and essays I’d sketched out before the pandemic still relevant? Do they need to be adjusted or discarded, or do they represent truths that have endured the pandemic? Some writing projects may seem suddenly out-of-date—but that doesn’t necessarily they must be discarded. There’s value in preserving a record of what the before time was like, even more so now that we can see it with a new perspective given all that’s changed so quickly.
Publishing The Buoyant Business last year was a fulfilling experience. Being able to see the final manuscript and having my first book in my hands took me to a level of completeness that is difficult to express. When I saw that people were requesting the same book in my native language last year, it encouraged to plan the first goal for 2022: Publish Bajo el Agua, the Spanish version of my book. I am glad to say that the book is now available to the readers.
Although only 11 months passed since I published my book, many things had changed within the market, with business, and with today’s technology. The craziness around the supply chain and the accessibility of globalization to businesses are topics that keep my head spinning. My second goal in the creative area of my life is to write a book with my perspective of how those challenges should be addressed; always in line with my motto of keeping it simple and actionable. I am not pondering to fill pages with thesis and statistics. I am looking to do my own research, study the topics, and present to the reader a point of view that they can evaluate. If what I present is in accordance with their journey, mission, and goals, they can apply it in their business. My objective is to continue exploring the ocean of the business processes, and find the topics that are no longer applicable, and are affecting the agility that the business need to respond to the customer and the constant changes in the market. Since we are in continuous transformation, I probably have a different topic to cover almost each year. The question is, are businesses ready to dive and enter into the ocean embracing change?
I am VP and part owner at Rescigno’s Fundraising Professionals in Bridgeview, Illinois. Rescigno’s is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and in conjunction with this special occasion, I have set a goal of publishing my second book by the end of this year. The book’s working or tentative title is Thirty Years of Fundraising Bloops and Blunders and How to Fix Them.
The reason for this topic is that in the 30 years my company has worked with nonprofits, I’ve seen many of them deprive themselves of much-needed revenue by committing fundamental and usually easily fixable mistakes. Being that nonprofit fundraising is a passion of mine, this second book (I published my first book The Process-Driven Annual Fund last February) will discuss mistakes, or bloops and blunders, that are root causes of fundraising failure. But more importantly, I will also go into solutions for each of the issues I discuss in the book.
This year I plan to finish two more books. However, you can’t control the editor and other people in the process. So can’t promise they’ll get published this year. But I’m aiming to get final drafts done and sent off to the editor before the end of the year.
There also needs to be a rest time between first, second, and third drafts. But I use this in between time to work on another book on a totally different topic. That way I don’t get confused about any overlapping information. You can switch between two books at the same time to publish faster—as long as they are separate topics.
I am an international certified mentor and a retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer having served for 25 years. In 2014 I published The Gift of Mentoring and in 2022 I published an Amazon #1 Best Seller: You Are Not Alone. The recent book is about mentoring and mental health and how mentoring can be a part of the support structure for mental health. As a result of my research for You Are Not Alone, I determined that I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This created an opportunity for me to better understand my behaviour that impacted my family, inner circle of friends, etc.
My plan for 2022 is to continue on my writing journey and to write and publish my third book, which would expand on the mental health story. I have secured a publisher for this next book and I am looking forward to working with them. As part of my plan for the writing of the book I intend to sequester myself away for a period of time to get started with the writing process. This may require being sequestered for more than one time frame. I am also going to interview a number of people to hear their story as part of the content for book #3, similar to what I did for You Are Not Alone. I have learned a number of things with each book that I have written and published, which will make the journey a bit easier. My goal is to be ready to publish by the fall of 2022.
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