It’s Friday, August 31st, the last day of August and arguably the last month of summer. My kids are already back in school and intermittent rain has returned to Seattle. It feels like fall. Nooo! Still, fall is always a good time for me. Large chunks of writing time return and the weather gives me little reason to yearn to garden. So with that, I’ve set up a couple of author goals for myself this fall that I thought I’d share.
Goal #1: Grow my Readership
I’ve been blogging for years but it was only last spring that I realized I had to focus solely on my fiction work. Previously, I had been too shy about it. So I created a website dedicated to my fiction and have put my nonfiction (gardening) website on the back burner. Thus, if I intend on releasing a novel soon, which I do, I should focus on the people who want to read it and those who might want to read it.
I’ve been researching and gathering feedback about blogging daily. Some writers have done it to great success and some have done it to mediocre results. I’m going to keep my outlook positive and begin blogging every day for the month of September. I may lose some subscribers but I may gain others. It will be a giant experiment. BUT, I do have good things coming up. I’ll be writing about books, plants, writing, inspiration, France, Poland, and anything else I see that’s interesting. I’ll also feature an interview with Deborah Lawrenson, author of 300 Days of Sun and Death in Provence. She very well may be the nicest, wittiest established author I’ve ever encountered.
Goal #2: Create my Business Plan
If you’re a writer and are working to get your books into the world, you know that blogging and social media are a big part of that. But what specifically should you write on a blog? How often? Where? Should you only write on your own blog or on Medium or focus on more established magazines? Should you spend your hours editing your latest manuscript or query an earlier one? What about making online friends? The job of writing and marketing is daunting. Oftentimes I feel overwhelmed. I’m unsure where to focus my efforts.
To straighten out my brain, I hired an author coach. I researched a handful of coaches and “writing experts.” You may even know who some are. They are high-profile, often visible on Twitter, etc. But few viewed this endeavor of novel writing and publishing as a business. They focus on, for good reason, manuscripts, social media, or general marketing. The author coach I’ve chosen focuses on the larger questions, which are rooted in business models.
Businesses create mission statements all the time. They’re part of the business’s initial plans. Founders brainstorm about why they’re doing what they’re doing. Then, they write a declarative sentence about it. In turn, that steers them toward all of the objectives and tasks that fall under that statement. It makes a lot of sense. This approach narrows things down, eliminates wasted time. You only work on the objectives that will get you to your goals, which all lead back to why you’re doing what you do. It’s really all standard business stuff. But we authors often dismiss that aspect of it.
So I will be sorting out the why and how of it all. It’s exciting. I hope to have a detailed plan that I’ll then unleash my efforts on. I’ll let you know how things go. I won’t name my coach yet since the experience might not be as great or effective as I thought, but based on the research I did beforehand, I have a feeling it’s going to be centering and productive.
Overall, if I can accomplish blogging for 30 days and carve out my author mission, I will be thrilled. Stay tuned to see.
Let’s talk: Do you have any goals for fall, 2018? Are you a writer or creator? Let me know in the comments below!
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Karen Hugg is a writer and gardener living in the Seattle area. She is a certified ornamental horticulturalist and Master Pruner. When not digging in the dirt, she writes. She's been published in various journals, anthologies, websites, and more. Her life is happily hectic but she's lucky to have a patient husband and sweet children. Her pets aren't bad either. To learn more, explore http://www.karenhugg.com.