Now that 2016 is in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to look ahead and see what 2017 may bring. There are a lot of things I wanted to do in 2016 (which include some of my 2016 resolutions) that sadly remained on the bottom of my to-do list from when the idea was born to the end of the year. I’m hoping to rectify that and pull those projects to the top and complete them in the first half of the year… if not sooner.
What I accomplished in 2016
- It may still be on the lower end of where I need to be to get the most attention, but from where I started at the beginning of the year, I was able to raise awareness on all of my social media channels quite a bit, and am happy at where the numbers are after a year. After having joined a few groups on Facebook, making sure to include photos to blog posts, Facebook posts and tweets, I feel good about what 2017 will bring.
After sitting in my desk drawer for over nine years, dusting off the behemoth of a manuscript, polishing it with a much needed re-edit, and publishing The Spirit Of… felt exhilarating. I’ve loved the story and the characters since they were first brought to life, and am happy to see them finally be introduced to the world.
- Last year I challenged myself to read and review an independent author’s book every month, and though I didn’t reach my goal of 12 novels, I did read and review 8 novels by independent authors (some pretty good, some not so much) and was a beta reader for one other that I did eventually review as well.
- Although it didn’t lead to as much revenue as I was hoping, I am happy with my progress this year when it comes to my business. I continued to build some terrific relationships (some of which may pan out into much more than simply referral partners in the coming year) and found the confidence in my talent and my work to keep myself from discounting a project for the sake of winning a client (because sometimes a client may just be more trouble than they’re worth). Sticking to your guns is hard when you’re looking at your bank account and seeing it continue to drop, but knowing what red flags to look for, when to say no and who fits your business best is an invaluable skill, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing what 2017 has to offer.
Goals for 2017
- Finish my newest book
After publishing The Spirit Of… in June, I took a couple of months off (to try and market the new work) before beginning my new novel, tentatively tilted “Threads”. This one is different for me because, although it does still have some elements of science-fiction and fantasy, I’ve challenged myself to push my boundaries and dive into some areas I’ve toyed around with in the past, such as humor and metafiction, but have yet to explore to the extent I am attempting here. I wrote 25,000 at the end of last year, so I have around 75,000+ more to go before beginning the arduous task of editing. I’m aiming to have the first draft completed by the end of April, which would put the release date somewhere in the month of November, if everything goes as smoothly as I intend.
- In the Light of the Eclipse Audiobook
I was hoping the audiobook for my young adult novel, In the Light of the Eclipse, would be out last October, but due to some personal issues on behalf of the narrator, it had to be postponed. Those issues have almost been rectified and so it looks like this project will be officially released sometime within the first few months of the year.
- Reaching my Business Goals
As I mentioned, last year I fell far short of hitting the goals I set for the growth of my business (mainly because of a serious drought of new projects or clients in the summer). The good news is, I didn’t lose anything year-to-year, remaining at the same financial level as 2015. This year, I’m hoping to change that. 2016 ended on a good note, and the year so far has already started strong, so I’m very hopeful for a strong, successful 2017.
- Bolstering my social media
Though last year saw a nice rise in my social media followers, I still fell short of my ultimate goals when it comes to my involvement in social media and the number of posts I completed, mostly on this very blog. I’m hoping I can turn that around this year and provide more insight into the craft of writing and design throughout the year. My ultimate goal is to double my followers on Twitter, triple my followers on Instagram, reach 500 likes on my Facebook page and raise the engagement of fans in likes, shares and comments. Not much of what I attempted in the marketing department worked in 2016, but you never know what will click with the public, so I just have to continue to find fun, new, creative ways to market my work and my business.
- The Phoenix Moirai News Channel
This idea has been on my mind almost all year, and I’m very much hoping I can find the energy to bring this to fruition. It’ll take a lot time and effort to get it up and running due to the complexity of the idea itself, but I do feel strongly that once it’s completed, it’ll be a fun little experiment that could generate a large following, so long as I can keep it going.
- The Phoenix Moirai Newsletter
This is something I just need to do. Just… just do it already!
- Videos and Websites
I filmed two videos last year – one an intro to Phoenix Moirai, one an intro to me and my books – that for one dumb reason after another I’ve kept pushing to the back burner. Video is only growing stronger, so it’s time I man up and finish editing those videos and get the word out in a different, more effective way. Same with my websites. I have three that each need to be overhauled in major ways. Hopefully I can carve out the time to complete these in the first half of the year.
- Read and (possibly) publish the first book that isn’t written by yours truly.
A friend from college has a novel that I’ve been meaning to review for some time now. From when I offered my feedback on the first draft, I’ve believed the novel would make a great piece to test the waters of publishing someone else’s work. My 10-year goal is to turn Phoenix Moirai into a publishing house, and though publishing this particular book may not be in the cards this year, starting the process would be a major step forward.
Thanks for spending time with me. If you’d like to learn more about me, my work and my business, what are you waiting for? Comment below and follow me for exclusive content on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Now, I’d also love to hear from you. What were some of your highlights from 2016? What are some of your goals for 2017?