Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Looking Back and Forward - A 2018 Yearly Planning Post

Happy Wednesday, everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year's Eve/Day. Today, I'm laying my blog and writing plan out there for you all to see. We'll look back over 2017 and see what can be improved upon in 2018. Ready? Let's get going!

First up: This Blog

Looking Back
This year was abysmal. Life happened, and a lot of my time was given to things around here. I'm not sorry, because my family will always come first, but since everyone is on the upswing health-wise, I'm going to do MUCH better this year. I only had 71 posts for the entire year, and that's just not okay. I clocked 158 in 2016, and nearly double that the years preceding. Time to fix it!

Looking Forward
Going forward, I've decided to go back to my five day posting schedule, but with a little something different. Sure, I'll share the occasional new release for myself or a friend, I'll share excerpts, and I'll be posting book reviews again for the first time in a LONG time, but the bulk of the blog will be news, tips and tricks for authors on writing and marketing, the occasional opinion post, and learning type posts. This will all begin next week. I have a plan for those posts, and I intend to stick to it like glue. It's not difficult to come up with a year's worth of content; I just needed to DO IT. Planning is everything (you know how I preach this--I just need to practice what I preach LOL).

As you all know if you've been around a while, if life happens and my family needs me, I'll go dark, but this year, I promise to be more open about what's going on so you're not thinking I've quit.

Next: Books and Writing

Looking Back
2017 was a pretty good publishing year for the F5, but no so much for myself. Our little group put out 30 episodes of a serial this year! Impressive, to say the least. You can see what we did on the Frayed Fairy Tales website here. That being said, I only released two books of my own: Utterances and How to be a TOTAL LOSER. That's just over 100k words. I can do better.

Looking Forward
2018 will be full of words. I already have a ton of writing done on Provocation and Intensification, and The House is written but not yet tweaked or edited. Those will be released in the first quarter of the year. Second quarter will be all about more words. I've stepped way back from other things, and I intend to put all my effort into getting stories told. I'm a writer, and I need to write. It's my happy place.

Last: Marketing, Events, and Life

Looking Back
I did a crap job on marketing this year, but sales have been okay--not nearly as good as 2016, but what did I expect? I attended five events: RAI, Utopia, Chapter.con, OIBF, and GLBB. Four of those were as an author. Myself, the F5, and IBGW also sponsored (in some way or another) four events: Chapter.con, OIBF, GLBB, and OUAB (I like to help when and where I can). I'm not positive there was a huge return on those investments, but most of them felt good/right. Life, of course, was full of ups and downs, but I feel as though I handled them with grace and dignity. There was no crying in a corner or pitching a fit like a toddler.

Looking Forward
I'll be doing more of the marketing I did in 2016 and adding on a couple of new things. I'm only attending one event this year: RAI, but there will be no others. That was a difficult decision, but it's what's best for me at this time. I have a writing/planning retreat scheduled in June of this year with the other F5 ladies (helloooooo, beach!), and that's going to be IT. My office will get an overhaul so it's more conducive to writing, too. This year is allll about the words and the wellness. Even when I'm not writing in my special place, I'll be thinking about writing and putting ideas on paper. Many plots will be had, and many hours will be logged in my home gym.

So, if you want to see me or get autographs or pics, you'll have to be in Roanoke, VA in April. Period. I'm not even sure what will happen in 2019 at this point. We'll see.

2017 had me by the balls. I fought MS, my husband fought cancer (like a beast, I might add), we buried my father-in-law in September, my eldest son did a tour in Afghanistan, and my second eldest had a serious fight with depression. I questioned decisions I made, got burned by a couple of people I thought had my best interests at heart (like I did theirs), and made mistakes.

But there was good in there, too. I connected with my husband on a deeper level than ever before and jaunted all over Europe with him, I got some great road time with my best friend (who I'm positive was my twin in a previous life), I made some amazing new friends, laughed until I couldn't breathe, saw my granddaughter turn one, lost a crapton of weight and gained a new lease on life, and KILLED NaNoWriMo (like, crushed it, seriously).

2018 is going to be my best year yet. I can feel it. BRING IT ON! Let's do this thing. Thanks for sticking with me through that post. I know it was long.

Do you make plans like this? Share some!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. <3 you, Jo! Can't wait to see what awesome things this year has in store for you!

    1. <3 you back, Maria!! I can't wait for that baby of yours to be born! I wanna seeeee it! :D Thank you for the awesome comment <3 Miss your face!!


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