Author Business & Publishing, Fiction Blog, Writing Updates

2017 Year-End Update

Kate on Golden GateLooking back on 2017, the year hasn’t been as much of a dumpster fire as I originally thought. Author-wise, I published my third Desertera novel, The Tyrant’s Heir, re-evaluated my writing and business goals, and strengthened connections with my amazing readers and author friends. On the personal side, I lost two beloved family members to chronic illnesses, moved from Connecticut to California (with a brief vacation at home in Kansas), and traveled to new places in the United States.

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, I accomplished far more than I did in 2016! My husband and I have a tradition of making one resolution per year we’ve been alive, so I made 24 goals for 2017. I never expect to achieve them all — but if I shoot for the moon, I still hit the stars. And I hit quite a few stars this year.

Writing & Publishing

Desertera books1. Create (write, edit, outline, or research) 5 days a week
My average ended up being four days per week, as I allowed myself extended breaks for my cross-country move and two bereavement periods.
2. Write Desertera #3
3. Edit Desertera #3 (C)
4. Publish Desertera #3 (C)
5. Write a second novel
While I didn’t start drafting, the world is built and ready to write for 2018!
6. Edit a second novel
7. Start Desertera #4
8. Make 2018 production schedule

Business

9. Make $2,000 from Boxthorn Press
Just a little short!
10. Create freebie for Writing Newsletter subscribers 
11. Create freebie for Reader List subscribers
12. Blog 2x per month
13. Maintain social media schedule
14. Diversify existing products (audiobooks, box sets, etc.)
I’ll be focusing on this in 2018 instead!
15. Do one marketing/promotion task per month
Choosing to forgo marketing until I have a larger catalog is why I didn’t hit my income goal. While I’m disappointed with myself, I know playing the long game will pay off eventually.
16. Read 52 books
I read 40 books. Now that I don’t ride the train every morning, I need to find a new reading time!

Personal

Tommy travels17. Work on positivity
18. Exercise 3x per week
19. Break a bad habit
20. Recoup savings account post-Yale
21. Make post-Yale plan
22. Visit final NYC sites
23. Visit new state
24. Visit new country
I achieved ALL of my personal goals! Here’s to leaving 2017 a happier, healthier, and better-traveled human!

Overall, I’m pleased with how much I accomplished in 2017. I’ll be finalizing my 2018 New Year’s resolutions today, and I can’t wait to dive into them. Here’s to a fantastic year!

What did you accomplish in 2017? What goals are you setting for 2018? Share them in the comments!

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Fiction Blog, Writing Updates

My 2017 New Year’s Resolutions

champagneWelcome back to another episode of “Kate’s ambition and optimism give her temporary insanity and delusions of invincibility.” With my first full year as a published author tucked away in the history books, I’m ready to push forward into 2017. The first step? Announcing my New Year’s Resolutions.

As I’ve said in years past, I love planning, organizing, and dreaming BIG. So, crafting my annual resolutions is one of my favorite things. In my 2016 Year-End Reflection, I talked about my theme for this year (Growth) and my 2017 motto: Always Be Creating. You’ll see both reflected here.

Why so many resolutions? Longtime readers will know that my husband and I have a masochistic FUN tradition of making one resolution for every year we’ve been alive. I’ve added in personalized difficulty levels, based on the likelihood that I’ll hit each goal.

E – Easy
C – Challenging
DD – Damn Difficult
LOL – Yeah … probably not happening

You might wonder why I include ‘LOL’ goals at all. Well, I’m a “shoot for the stars and still hit the moon” type of person. I know I might not have the time, money, and strength to accomplish all of my resolutions. But if I try for all and only make half, I’m still miles beyond where I started.

Without further ado, here are my 2017 New Year’s resolutions:

Writing & Publishing

1. Create (write, edit, outline, or research) 5 days a week (DD)
2. Write Desertera #3 (E)
3. Publish Desertera #3 (C)
4. Write Desertera #4 (DD)
5. Write separate fiction book (LOL)
6. Publish a second fiction book (LOL)
7. Write nonfiction book (DD)
8. Publish nonfiction book (LOL)

Business

9. Make $2,000 from Boxthorn Press (DD)
10. Create freebie for Writing Newsletter subscribers (E)
11. Create freebie for Reader List subscribers (DD)
12. Blog 2x per week (C)
13. Maintain social media schedule (DD)
14. Diversify existing products (audiobooks, box sets, etc.) (DD)
15. Do one marketing/promotion task per month (C)
16. Read 52 books (E)

Personal

17. Work on positivity (DD)
18. Exercise 3x per week (LOL)
19. Break a bad habit (DD)
20. Recoup savings account post-Yale (DD)
21. Make post-Yale plan (E)
22. Visit final NYC sites (E)
23. Visit new state (E)
24. Visit new country (DD)

As you can see, I have a lot to do this year! I’ll let you know how it goes with my monthly updates.

Share your resolutions in the comments so that I can cheer you on, too! Or, if you need a little help crafting your goals, check out this post on making attainable New Year’s resolutions. Just remember: do as I say, not as I do!

Fiction Blog, Writing Updates

Month-End Update: November 2016 (Come Vote!)

voteNovember really got away from me. After learning the much-needed (but still a little painful) lesson of obeying my own writing process, I got a little off track for the month. However, despite taking a few steps backward in my fiction efforts, I was able to complete my final nonfiction project for the year (more on that soon!), as well as tackle a couple of books on my review list.

My main takeaway for November is that I need to keep streamlining my author routine and reevaluate my priorities going into 2017. I’ll talk more about this when I do my reflection posts at the end of December, but suffice to say I’m already working on resolutions and setting up systems for the new year.

To that end, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want this website to be. I started this blog in 2014, with the goal of chronicling my author journey and holding myself accountable to my writing. In 2015, it became my “author website,” with a strong focus on writing/publishing advice and book reviews. This year, it’s really started to feel like not just my website, but a part of a larger community. As such, in 2017, I want to make my author website work even harder smarter for you.

There’s a poll at the end of this post. Please tell me which kinds of articles would be most beneficial or entertaining to you going forward, and feel free to leave any other suggestions or requests in the comments. This is YOUR chance to tell me what you like, what you don’t, and what will help you most in your own journey.

But, before you vote, here’s what I accomplished in November:

Writing & Editing

  • Blog Posts Written 5 and one guest post
  • Fiction Words Written  11,228
  • # of Days I Wrote Fiction  13
  • Nonfiction Prompts Written None new
  • # of Days I Wrote Nonfiction N/A
  • Drafts Revised Proofread and formatted nonfiction book
  • # of Days I Revised  5
  • Outlines Written – 1 (restructuring Desertera #3)
  • Days Without Creation/Production  12

Reading

*Remember, I review every book I read on my Goodreads page.

Author Business Activities

  • Put together prompts anthology
  • Goal-setting and administrative tasks in preparation for 2017
  • Beta-reading and reviewing books for fellow authors
  • Hosted part of a Facebook takeover event

Goals for December

  • Get back on track with Desertera #3
  • Properly announce prompts anthology
  • Wrap up pending book reviews and guest post commitments
  • Finalize plans for 2017


What did you accomplish in November? If you participated in NaNoWriMo, how did it go? What can I do to help you reach your goals in 2017? Share it all below!

Fiction Blog, Writing Updates

Month-End Update: October 2016

With a productive October behind me, I can feel the wintry winds of November nipping at my heels. Despite how much I accomplished in October, I don’t really have much to say about it. The month revolved around finishing up my nonfiction prompts series, which I did, with the writing and publication of 100 Horror Writing Prompts (Fiction Ideas Vol. 10). I also had a great reading month and blazed through quite a few titles on my to-be-read list.

As November begins, I feel like a race horse prancing at the starting gate. It’s NaNoWriMo season, and for some reason, I’ve decided I have time to take on the challenge. I’m out of excuses, and I will finally (with much anxiety and cautious excitement) be returning to the world of fiction with Desertera #3. Wish me luck – and feel free to add me as a writing buddy @KateMColby!

Writing & Editing

  • Blog Posts Written 7 and one guest post
  • Fiction Words Written  0
  • # of Days I Wrote Fiction  0
  • Nonfiction Prompts Written 100 prompts (plus work on the prompts anthology)
  • # of Days I Wrote Nonfiction 20
  • Drafts Revised Proofread of 100 Horror Writing Prompts
  • # of Days I Revised  1
  • Outlines Written – 1 (upcoming prompts anthology)
  • Days Without Creation/Production  11

Reading

  • Books Begun/In-Progress

*Remember, I review every book I read on my Goodreads page.

Author Business Activities

Goals for November

  • Participate in and “win” NaNoWriMo 2016
  • Finish and decide on publication date of the prompts anthology
  • (Beta-)read and review books on TBR list

What did you accomplish in October? What goals are you working towards in November? What is your NaNoWriMo project? Share below!

Fiction Blog, Writing Updates

Month-End Update: September 2016

Goodbye, book launch month! As you likely noticed, September was all about the release of The Courtesan’s Avenger (and, of course, this month’s booklet: 100 Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense Writing Prompts). Unfortunately, my fiction book launch dominated the month, and the booklet took up what little time remained. While I’m thrilled to have them both out in the world, I’m even more excited to get back into creation mode. Desertera #3 has been calling my name for weeks now, and it’s about time I answered. Fingers crossed that October can be a strong start leading into November (aka National Novel Writing Month).

One thing that I did manage to make a lot of time for was podcasts. When I first started on my indie publishing journey, I would listen to podcasts all day at work. They helped me get up to speed on the industry and gave me a sense of community in what is an often lonely journey. I’ve really missed listening to them, so making time to do so on my commute (and at the gym gasp!) has been really refreshing.

On a personal note, my husband and I also took a very bookish anniversary trip to Salem, Massachusetts, in September. I share more about the trip, my inspiration, and a few travel tips in this post. For now, allow me to recap September and get sorted for October.

Writing & Editing

  • Blog Posts Written  12 and one reblog
  • Fiction Words Written  0
  • # of Days I Wrote Fiction  0
  • Nonfiction Prompts Written 95 prompts
  • # of Days I Wrote Nonfiction  15
  • Drafts Revised  Final proofread of The Courtesan’s Avenger (Desertera #2)
  • # of Days I Revised  4
  • Outlines Written –  1 (100 Horror Writing Prompts)
  • Days Without Creation/Production  7

Reading

  • Books Reviewed on Blog
    • None

*Remember, I review every book I read on my Goodreads page.

Author Business Activities

Goals for October

  • Begin writing Desertera #3
  • Write and publish 100 Horror Writing Prompts (Fiction Ideas Vol. 10)
  • Reflect on one year as a published author and set goals for year two
  • Catch up on my friends’ books and help a few out with special projects

What did you accomplish in September? What goals are you working towards in October? Share below!