2014: Looking Ahead
So it is 2014, though I am still a bit in denial about that, and now is the time everyone puts up new year posts. I guess I will too. There is a saying, “If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?” I always thought that was kind of a silly saying. I mean if everyone is doing it, there has to be a reason for it. So at the very least I’d start gathering some facts.
None of that has to do with 2014, I don’t foresee any massive bridge jumping events in the near future. In fact, I am not very good at predicting the future. If I was, the Sharks would have already won the Stanley Cup years ago. So while I say I am looking ahead, I am really just planning ahead and hoping it all works out.
I’m not much for the resolutions thing. The meaning of resolution has been perverted over the years, and the definition really should be changed. Now a days a resolution is a plan you make in January and break by February (March for the diehard folks). Personally, I am so sick of the lose weight and eat better resolutions. There are no points for originality there. And the gym advertising that starts in late December and runs through February kills me. Undoubtedly the gyms make money hand of fist with people who buy memberships in January and never use the gym again after April.
I do like to make plans for the new year though. A plan sounds better. And everyone know even the best plans go to shit real fast. So when your “plan” gets all jacked up, it was expected all along. I never feel nearly as guilty when my plans fail as I did when my resolutions failed. That being said, one of my personal plans for 2014 is to lose some weight (yeah, I know what I just said). So far so good. Even with the holidays in the way, I’ve lost almost 12 pounds in December. I have no plans for a gym membership though. My new apartment has a fitness center on site, so perhaps once all the resolvers have given up, I can start using the treadmill there. Of course, a walk around the block is also free.
I have a number of personal plans for 2014, but that really wasn’t the point of this blog. This blog was more about what I plan to do in the writing and publishing aspects of my life. That is why most people read my blog. Actually the truth is I don’t really know why most people read my blog. I’m not even sure how many people bother to read past the few corny jokes. So I suppose if you’ve made it this far down my blog, I owe you some good solid blogging. But, as my credit rating suggests, I rarely deliver on what I owe.
My first goal for 2014 is to release three novels this year.
Three. The past two years I’ve only released one a year. And many writers were surprised I had time to release them that fast. So three is a pretty lofty goal.
Here is what stands in the way: Broken Trust is already way behind schedule. So at this point a March release seems impossible. My editor, who I love to work with, is also very behind. I’m guessing May before that one comes out. The sequel to Dissolution of Peace is slow going. I’ve been hitting a lot of stumbling blocks on that one. Hopefully the ball gets rolling on that one. And finally, I don’t have a solid novel idea in place for the third novel this year.
Here is why it can happen: Broken Trust is almost ready right now. So I just need to get it rolling through the process again and it will be ready for release. All the cards are in place. The sequel to Dissolution of Peace is being written and once I find my groove, I can tear out a lot of words per day. For that third novel, I am playing around with a Volition Agent sequel (though I hadn’t planned on one). Volition Agent was always planned to be a stand alone book. But I am thinking about writing more about Lexia. I do also have plans for a third novel in the Dissolution of Peace story line. And I left Broken Trust open for a sequel as well. But I also have ideas in their infancy for other novels. One, could be an elaboration of my first short story “Death Watch“.
My second goal is to increase the pay rates at Plasma Frequency.
I had really hoped to do this in 2013. I wanted to push hard to triple our rates, but the goal was just out of reach for a number of reasons. But, I learned a lot in 2013 about the business and have made some changes. This year I hope to go from 1 cent to at least 2 cents by the end of 2014.
Here is what stands in the way: The funding is the biggest challenge. I still fund about 95% of the operating costs for the magazine. And not that I am out of work I can’t afford to increase those costs. Also, increasing our readership has been harder than I expected.
Here is why it can happen: We recently started charging for our electronic issue. We’ve seen a slight reduction in electronic subscriptions but we did see an increase in print subscriptions. Amazon gives us more exposure and that has resulted in a steady increase in readership. We’ve also seen an increase in social media interactions and reader feedback. All this means Plasma Frequency is on the up and coming.
My third goal is to start speaking at Conventions.
After attending Lone Star Con 3 this year. I knew I wanted to speak at these convention panels.
Here is what stands in the way: I don’t have much “cred” to get convention programmers to consider me. That is the hardest part. I also have to have the money to get to many of these conventions. I’m still learning what conventions there are and when they are.
Here is why it can happen: I’ve already applied to DetCon to participate. I am already going there and I keep hoping they will contact me for at least one panel. I’ve also started looking into all the other conventions out there. Also, I am confident once someone gives me the chance I’d be really good at it. I love public speaking. And, as my blog reflects, I love sharing my experience and knowledge with others.
My forth goal is to expand what I do.
I want to be a writer. I don’t want a day job anymore. Of course, I need one. Writers rarely make major amounts of money. But my hope is to expand what I write and what I publish so that writing become more of a substantial source of income.
Here is what stands in the way: The odds. Making a lot of sales on my books is tough. Also, to make more I need to write more. And funding so I can publish more is also a challenge. Plus, once I get a day job that gets in the way of writing time. Also, it can be hard to write new things when you are so used to what you already write. I write Sci-Fi. I’ve considered non-fiction recently but fiction is what I know so that is a challenge in itself.
Here is why it can happen: If I keep writing, the sales are bound to happen. The more books I put out (hopefully 3 this year) means the more I have to sell. Also, in the coming weeks Plasma Frequency will be announcing a plan to publish longer fiction. As far as non-fiction goes, that is what I blog. So I suppose that if I put my mind to it I can find a topic to write a non-fiction book on. Though with my current publishing plans, the non-fiction book likely wouldn’t release until 2015.
So those are my plans for my writing career in 2014. Now to see what actually happens.