Writer Resolutions for 2017

New Year, new Drew.

The following are my resolutions for my writing going into 2017.

Finish What I start

I need to take my stories all the way from conception to the query letter. I’m good at writing first drafts then moving on to the next bright shinny thing. Part of the problem is I’ve gotten addicted to the instant gratification of publishing short fiction online.

My novels and novellas have suffered for that. I need to remind myself that everything I post here is in service to the novel I’m cheating on. 

And speaking of query letters. I need to…

Sell What I Write

I’ve sold some of my short stories, but I drop most of them into the gaping maw of Beelzeblog, the master of metrics, the prince of platforms, the ruler of reach. He demands a sacrifice a week. At night, I hear him growling from my laptop.

“Feed me.”

I can never satiate Beelzeblog’s hunger for fresh content, but maybe I shouldn’t. It’s hard to sell something once you’ve given it away. I need to hold more material back.

I’ll keep sharing stories, but I need to use some to expose my work to new readers, pad my bibliography, and earn money.

Limit My Social Medial Presence

Writers are expected to reach out to readers, make personal connections, and somehow establish boundaries with them.

When I started blogging I made genuine connections with people I met online. We shared articles every morning, texted throughout lunch, and had Skype conversations into the evening. I counted my #AmWriting brethren as true friends and like all friendships these ones needed to be maintained. The more writers I met the more time I spent catching up than doing the thing that connected us.

Sometimes being productive means being a bad friend. That means I need to establish some boundaries.

I want you to feel like we’re pals in the same writer’s workshop, but not to direct message me on Twitter. I want you to feel like you know me intimately, but to never send friend requests to my personal Facebook profile. I want you to engage in my comment section, but I’d rather write the next story than be drawn into an argument.

Reestablish my Social Media Presence Differently

Ever since Twitter adjusted its algorithm my blog has taken a major hit. If an article isn’t liked and shared right out of the gate most of my followers won’t see it. I could automate my posts, carpet bomb a hashtag, or shoehorn my wares into other peoples’ conversations, or I could learn more effective ways of targeting my audience.

Some of my ideas are to…

Localize My Self-Promotion

I’m going to post in more Minnesotan Facebook Writing Groups, participate in more live readings, and reach out to local horror and sci-fi podcasters.

Post More Meaningful Content

Not long ago I read a book on writing that I found disappointing.

I knew something was wrong when I flipped through it and saw a lot of white on the pages. Turns out each chapter was less than a few paragraphs long. The author introduced concepts, but never bothered explaining how to implement them. The tone was conversational, meandering, and passive. Worst still, the advice was filled with contradictions.

It was like the author wrote each chapter riding his stream of consciousness, stopped when he got bored, and never bothered to go back and edit.

It didn’t take much digging to find out the chapters had started as blog entries. They read like the kind of bite-sized, 300 word, content an author might churn out before starting his real writing regiment.

When I post writing advice online I want it to feel more valuable than that. I want it to read like an excerpt from a decent book on writing, not like something I wrote with the TV on.

Share More Things within My Niche

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: if a writer shares more blogs than fiction they’ve only built one of their brands.

I want to be a horror author, meaning I’ve got to share more scares to attract those kinds of readers.

I know I’ve said recent events might make me more political, but I can only get away with political stories so long as there are demons, aliens, or other dimensions in them.

Tell My Audience More About My Works in Progress

I’m currently editing a novel called We the Damned, a novella called The Devil You Don’t Know, and a short story called The Pigeon King. I can’t wait to share excerpts, pitches, and art from each these.

Stay tuned for more coherent content in the coming months.

5 thoughts on “Writer Resolutions for 2017”

  1. I’ve been bombarded with New Year’s posts from author friends and hitting the delete button has become a reflex action. But your post made me hesitate and I read the whole thing. I’m glad I did because your goals made me think about my own and how to achieve the right balance between creating and social media/marketing. All the best for 2017!

  2. Love the title picture! And I hear ya on the starting what I finish. I need to make 2017 the year I do that as well. Happy New Year!

  3. Hey, Drew. I think your resolutions make complete sense, however much your readership here will miss your tales, wit and insights.

    Well, your other readership. I know that I will always be a favorite and be in on all your niche stuff anyway.

    Wanna text about our New Year’s resolutions over lunch?

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