A writer’s resolutions for 2016

crinklecragsOK, I make writing resolutions every year.  Do they help?  Yes, I think they do.  It’s good to focus your mind at the beginning of a new year on what you would like to achieve, concentrate on, what you know you can do better.  The key is to look at them occasionally.  Have I ticked off everything I had on my list last year? no, so one or two of them might appear again.  However, looking back at the resolutions I made this time last year, I have published some of my short stories, I have tried harder with my marketing, I have set up an e-mail list.  So you see I am trying.  Anyway here we go for 2016:


To improve my self marketing is always on my list.  Like most self-published authors I hope to be “discovered”, but it isn’t going to happen unless I put the effort in.   I need to do more, be more pro-active, savvy and committed to the marketing of my work.  I published a new novel “Bleak” at the end of last year.  I have paid some money to BGS (BooksGoSocial) for marketing, but I need more reviews and then need to put more effort in myself.  I think this is the hardest thing for most self-published authors and therefore we tend to run away from it.  I know I still have to figure out where best to spend my limited budget and time.

Facebook advertising

This ties in with the above.  I know it has been successful for some authors, but I also know it is easy to spend money here without much payback.  However, I do intend to give it a go in conjunction with my BGS promotion.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

More reviews

Again part of the self-marketing.  I struggle to get reviews.  I give copies away, chase and cajole.  The feedback and reviews I do get are good, I just need more.  I also need to follow-up with more peer reviews in online magazines.  But in science fiction it seems hard to get those reviews unless you are already a successful author.  However, I need to keep trying.  Again I’ll let you know.

Plan a story from start to finish 

This was on my list last year and I admit I failed.  I’m currently writing the third in the trilogy that started with the first book I published.  I know where it’s going but have struggled with the detail and in the end I thought just write and see where it takes you (as per Stephen King for anyone whose read his book on writing).  But I still want to see if I can plan a novel from start to finish, so it’s back again.

E-mail list

Another from last year.  Yes, I have set one up, but it is hardly extensive.  I have sent out a newsletter, but only one.  So I need to be more pro-active.  Many successful, self-published authors tell you this is key to increasing your readership.

More guest blogging

I did the occasional guest blog in 2015.  I enjoyed doing them and it does bring new people to my blog.  Doing more can only help.

Read more

I have already blogged on this.  It’s all part of that constant improvement as a writer.  Read more, wider, learn and apply.

walkingFind more time

It should be easy – I was lucky enough to retire early and after the first few years where I consulted I am now dedicated to writing.  But it is amazing how time disappears in other activities.  I tend to write in the mornings and then do other ‘stuff’ in the afternoons.  While that does set time aside, I know there are other things that creep into those mornings.  So perhaps I need to be more flexible and when I miss a morning I need to make it up.

I can think of more things I could be doing better, more resolutions, when it comes to my writing.  But I know if you try to set yourself too many goals it can seem overwhelming and then procrastination creeps in.  So whatever your resolutions / goals are for 2016 I wish you well with them.  I will no doubt return to mine during the year in this blog.

As always comments are welcome.

Happy New Year

Ian Martyn

Author: Ian Martyn

Science Fiction Writer

5 thoughts on “A writer’s resolutions for 2016”

  1. We seem to have some of the same resolutions. 🙂 Re: planning, I tend to plan the book out and then deviate substantially from the plan. And I am intimately familiar with the “I know the last chapter but what about the details in between?” problem.

    1. There’s nothing wrong with seeing where the story takes you – but I just want to see if planning it all out first helps

  2. I follow the blog of long-time successful author Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and her last post involved a round up of other authors’ New Year resolutions. Interestingly, the resounding theme was ‘we are going to write more’.
    That’s mine too. While we have to do the marketing, blogging, networking etc., there’s no doubt many of us spend too much time doing that, at the expense of writing more books. I know I do, but I intend to change that this year. Whether I shall succeed is up for debate, but I will try.
    One of the figures I’ve seen bandied about by many (successful) authors, is that you need to have at least 10 books out there before your marketing will really produce much in the way of rewards, or before you can expect to earn a living by writing. So far I have 3, and another on the way soon.
    Not enough. Must write more….

    1. I agree – as I say in one of mine it seems other things creep into my days stealing writing time. As for the books I have three (+bits) and another two on the way. I also have the ideas for others, just have to make the time!

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