Wow... June is just right around the corner. It is the one year anniversary for me hitting that release button for Falling Silence and placing the official title of Author behind my name. It's a bit surreal to realize how far I have come over the last year.
I have been writing for two years. When I began writing I had no intent of writing a memoir. My business goal and objective was to become a non-fiction motivational author. My evenings and weekends were spent writing, when I was on contract. When I was in between contract, I added those forty hours to my writing. It has been an intense writing schedule that I look back upon with no regrets.
Writing everyday helped to develop my writing mindset. When I sit down at the computer, my mind knows it's time to work. My first strategy was to develop a three-year business plan. My two-inch thick binder was the beginning. I then created a two year writing theme schedule for my social media. Every month would be a new theme. My phone was pulled out during odd moments when thoughts came on how to improve my business plan. When sleep evaded me, because my mind decided it was time to create a fictional piece, my phone came out and I wrote.
After seeing success on my main instagram page, for my motivational writing, one year later, I created a new page for my creative writing. It allowed me to test the fictional pieces. Having two pages, increased my workload. This made it so that every month, around the 25th I have to write, design and schedule 180 posts. Ninety for my motivational theme and ninety for my creative writing piece. I have five days to write and design. These are also put on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest.
Doing this for a year, I have the time frame down to a science. One day each to write and edit 90 posts. One day to design and one day to schedule. That is a total of four days, leaving me one day in case something comes up or it takes longer than I had anticipated. Every month for five days, from the 25th to the 30th, I am focused on my social media. That leaves me 24 days to focus on my books. For the months that have that glorious extra day... life is good.
Yes... I am driven. That is who I am. Yes... I sacrifice a lot to keep up this pace. No... I don't regret my choice.
I often reflect back on the times when I was flat out exhausted and wanted to give up. When followers did the follow/unfollow thing. When the Algorithms didn't show my posts. When the analytics showed a reduction in likes and comments... all these took a heavy toll on my confidence in being a writer.
It was when I wanted to give up, that I had to step back and remember why I started writing and what my intent was. I would go running to clear my head and reset my mindset, then hop back on the computer and write.
The refusal to give up... because I am just that stubborn.
Two years of motivational writing has lead me to having the analytics to know if a monthly theme resonated. At this point, I can now do some minor design modifications and put these in a social media post queue. This also has given me the analytics I needed to know if I should put these into book format for The Ember Within Series.
Two years of hard work and sacrifice has set up 2020 for a power release year. I have set an aggressive goal for the number of books to have available for sale by the year's end.
June I begin writing fiction. I have about a half-dozen short stories that I have written and placed on social media to test out. Likes and comments helped me to know whether I should expand them to print. June is also where I will begin developing courses. I am researching which platform to use.
The strategy of my writing is that I wear different hats. There are times when I am a manager and giving my "employee side of me" deadlines to meet. I wear many employee hats. I am a UX Designer, Marketing Rep, Social Media Rep, Visual Designer, Scrum Master, Product Owner, Sales Manager and copy editor. There are times when I am the CEO and holding my manager side of me accountable. And then of course... there are the stock holders side of me, that holds us all accountable.
The beauty of having a long-term strategic planning with writing is when discouragement comes, as it does with every writer, you can get back into your business mindset and focus on keeping your writing business alive.
It's not just about writing. Being an independent author, is running a business. Like any business, if you have a good product people will want to purchase it. You have to be competitive in quality and price. If sales are low, you have to figure out why and make the corrections.
As one successful author said to me, "Writing isn't the easiest gig to make a living from. But it is one of the most rewarding."
See you in the non-fiction section... and soon I'll be meeting you in the fiction section.