Wednesday, January 6, 2016

IWSG: 2015 round-up

It's the first Wednesday of the month (and of the year), and that means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group!

Purpose of the IWSG: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Looking Back at 2015

It's a new year, and time to contemplate the year just past. Happily, I have this blog to help me remember what all went on in my writing life, because it does seem like a long year. There was a lot that went on in my personal life: my eldest son graduated from high school and went off to college (three states away); my younger son traveled to Mongolia with the Experiment in International Living (and if your kid wants to do some travel, I can recommend the organization; the trip did wonderful things for him); my husband turned 60 and started making concrete plans for retirement. All of that will do as an excuse for maybe not keeping my focus as well as I'd have liked.

My Year in Writing

I just snuck a peak at my 2014 year-end roundup and plans/hopes for 2015. Probably shouldn't have done that. One thing I'm a little disappointed in: I didn't publish any books in 2015, though I missed it by only days. With Death By Trombone officially released on Friday, it pretty much counts--everything was completed in 2015. Once again, the revision process took longer than I intended or expected, although most of the delay was not mine, but trying to get beta readers and editors lined up and then to get feedback from them. If I want to improve that process, I will probably have to stop bartering and start paying real money, so it probably won't happen.

Nor did I manage to do much to shake up the blog or increase my marketing efforts, though I had one triumph: I set up a newsletter sign-up and issued my first newsletter this week. It's becoming clear that I am pretty hopeless about marketing, and might have to be hatched all over again and hatched different to change that. I managed to use that new Twitter account a few times, but mostly not. I still haven't put the effort in to understand Twitter and don't feel like I have the energy to give to another branch of social media.

On the positive side: I kept up the regular blog posts, including almost-weekly flash fiction and a steady stream of book reviews in several genres. I drafted most of the 3rd book in the Pismawallops PTA mystery series during NaNoWriMo, and have chipped away at the 3rd Ninja Librarian book until it is probably 3/4 drafted. I also finished an editing and formatting project for a friend, resulting in the release of a book that means a great deal to him and may help some people deal with life. I learned a lot doing the project, both about editing (and formatting), and about wisdom.

In the end, I feel a little unsatisfied with my progress, and maybe that's as it should be. If I'm ever totally content, what will spur me to do more?

Goals for 2016

I'll keep this one simple:
--Improve marketing and increase my rather stagnant sales.
--Finish, edit and publish the Ninja Librarian, Book 3 (still lacking a satisfactory title).
--Finish and edit the Pismawallops PTA #3 (the working title, Death By Adverb, didn't work out so well as the story turned out, so that will be in search of a title as well).
--Begin submitting short stories for publication
--Begin work on Gorg the Troll's own book
--Continue the blog more or less as is: 1-2 book reviews/week, Friday Flash Fiction each week, and periodic photo posts from our travels

If I manage half of that, I should probably be pretty satisfied!


  1. Yes, that counts. You finished the writing in 2015. The steps involved in publication take a while - we understand that. CONGRATULATIONS!

    Thanks for stopping by for my IWSG. I'd announced my withdrawal from it a month or two ago. But Alex is such a good friend, and he got a kick out of my weird IWSG posts, he told me he wasn't ready to remove my name from the list.

    1. I hope you go back to making weird IWSG posts! I'm a big fan of weird :)

      I'm happy to report that I started the work that has to be done before I can resume writing my Ninja Librarian book--i.e., reading what I have so far and thinking about where it's going and how.

  2. I hear you re marketing and social media. I have my blog, and I'm on Goodreads - that's it. I probably should do more, but at this point, I'm not willing to put the effort in to learning other avenues thoroughly.

    Good luck with all of your 2016 goals!

    1. Frankly, I am at a loss what to do anyway. Even after reading blogs and advice about marketing. Half of what they say goes right over my head, and the other half I can't figure out how to do. Goodreads is probably my best effort, both through the Giveaways (which do at least increase visibility some) and just making connections.


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