A Year in Review: Author Life
I’ve been staring at this screen for 20 minutes, wondering where to start.
I don’t know if there are benefits to setting goals in my author life. So, so little in publishing is under your control, and the key to setting goals that are achievable is identifying what is inside of your control. Publishing is not inside of your control. All you control, as Victoria (V.E.) Schwab reminded us all at Sirens this year, is the words on the page. And that, to me, falls under my Writer self (link opens a new tab.)
So how do I evaluate a year in review about being an author and set new goals?
As an author this year, I released my debut YA (The Girl with the Red Balloon! I know. It’s like I’ve never mentioned it ;)) which was also my first physical book. It was awesome, and a surreal experience that continues through today. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to people I’ve never met before saying they’ve read my book. I hope I never get used to that. I hope that remains this magical feeling each and every time. I mean...people choose to spend time and money on what is, in reality, my elaborate daydream. That’s pretty neat.
This year, for GIRL, I did NoVA Teen Book Festival, Book Expo, BookCon, ALA Annual, Boston Teen Author Festival, Sirens Con, and YALLFest. I did one writing group visit. I did six bookstore visits in four states. I also did AwesomeCon (in support of NOT WITHOUT YOU, a fanthology I was in) and a local SCBWI day. I traveled or did an event almost every week between release and November 15th.
And in between there, I revised SPY twice with my editor, did my dayjob, and wrote about 40,000 words on other books. Oh, and a proposal for a project I really really hope I get to write because I’m in love.
So in review, I think I managed to do pretty well for my debut year. I organized events. I made it to everything my publisher asked me to attend (thank you thank you for sending me places, Albert Whitman!). I met lots of other authors, sat on panels that I was totally the least qualified person to be on, met tons of readers, signed lots of books, and genuinely enjoyed what I did.
Setting goals as an author is hard because very very little as an author is inside your control. Very very little.
But here are my 2018 Author goals anyway:
I am going to find more ways to help other emerging authors, especially those more marginalized than myself. Whether that’s sponsoring a writer to go to Sirens or to Madcap, or if it’s mentoring, or offering free query critiques one month, I haven’t decided. But I plan on figuring that out this month and working on that.
I’m going to try to get to 6 states this year with bookstore or library visits.
I am going to do 5 school events (I have 4 booked already!)
I am going to go on submission with a book that is not in my Balloonmakers series
I am going to attend an event as a fan, not as an author. (This counts as an author goal because taking off my author hat sometimes is hard now.)
I still have two more of these Years in Review/2018 goal posts, but I need to finish a beta read and type up notes first, so I’m going to do that before I switch gears! Still to come: Personal and Reading :)