2019: Year of Building an Audience

While I’m not a big January Resolutions person–and I prefer to start my year on September 1st for the productivity boost–I do like setting a “theme” for the calendar year, something that I’ve been doing since 2014 (Year of Writing A Novel, eventually turning into Ashes) to help me focus as the months go by.

This year, as the big headline goes, is the year of trying to build an audience. I have no idea how one does that, of course, but it’s advice absolutely everyone has given me and everyone else so it’s time to attempt it. *rolls up sleeves*

As per usual, my method is to throw a handful of spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks. So I will be:

  • investigating starting a podcast
  • writing more fiction to submit and/or post to this here blag
  • chopping up Creampuffs to post to Wattpad, likely a chapter a week
  • committing to doing at least one open mic/convention/networking shindig a month

on top of:

  • attempting to reach 200 fiction submissions/queries for the year.

Because I like to tend many fires at once, apparently.

One thing that occurred to me while doing last year’s Rejection Challenge was that, just like focusing on obtaining acceptances, collecting rejections is still dependent on other people’s decisions. There was nothing I could do to speed up the process when I felt antsy or when the deadline approached; there was little I could do period once the emails were sent. Some stories took months and months to get back to me, for the sake of one rejection; those made me the most anxious of all. If only people could reject me more speedily!

Don’t get me wrong, the Rejection Challenge was GREAT and I highly recommend it, especially to anyone just starting out. It definitely took the sting out of receiving a “no”. Like someone treating an allergy, I’ve built up a tolerance over repeated exposure, and while I still get sad from time to time–hopes still get raised, then dropped–it’s much less stressful than rejections from years passed and it takes much, much harsher letters/circumstances to even make a dent in my day. Very worth it.

But chasing rejections still puts the emphasis on what other people think of my work and something about that rubs me the wrong way. So for 2019 I’m gonna flip the problem to keep my eyes on my own work, and only worry about getting my stories out there. Two hundred subs! That’s about seventeen a month–shit, that’s like only four a week! That’s not so big! Right?

….

…*maybe* I need to write some more short stories.

That’s not a bad goal either. So along with twelve networking events by the end of 2019 I want to complete at least a dozen more short/sellable pieces. (I may include short, non-sellable, in-universe pieces in the total, see how the year progresses. Either way, I want to post fiction to the blag once a month.)

A bullet journal spread with space to record 12 networking events and 12 short stories to fill in over 2019
12 over a year doesn’t LOOK like much so it shouldn’t be that hard… right?

Hmm. I should probably get on the website redesign too. But that can probably wait until February…

I’m also dipping my toe in the Wattpad waters starting this week. I still love Creampuffs and I think other people will too, but I’ve heard from enough agents and small presses that they wouldn’t know how to start selling it, and I don’t think that’s a problem I can fix. I’ve got other projects to focus on selling, so I am happy to release Creampuffs into the wild. (Maybe “a farm where it can run around with other stories” is a better metaphor? “Creampuffs ran off to the woods to get married”? That’s what I was told when my pet rabbits disappeared, btw. I was 15 when I found out they’d escaped the hutch and been run over. We all know what those euphemisms means and Creampuffs is NOT DEAD it is simply pining for the fjords.)

….I’m getting off topic. My point is that I’d rather people enjoy Creampuffs for free than sell it to a micropress for a pittance and still have to do the same amount of work as self-publishing it. Wattpad looks like the best platform for it, although I haven’t ruled out Amazon/Kobo just yet.

The podcast is still in hypothetical stages, so I won’t go into that. Then there’s Blackout Odyssey… sent out my first three queries for it yesterday, which felt momentous at the time. My hopes are more tempered than last year, but they are still alive. Fingers crossed that BOO is more successful! It feels good to be working towards something again as opposed to passively waiting for rejections.

And last, but not least, Fletcher & Cooper is still mired in the creative swamp.

SWAAAAAMP of DESPAAAAAAIR

(It’s a normal part of the process so I am not too worried, except that I might end up staying in the swamp of despair until I figure out how to microwave a rat. Which is a metaphor for another day, by which I mean a blag post for next week.)

Lot of lines in the water/irons in the fire/balloons in the air/seeds… in the… earth? Sure. Let’s go for it. How is your 2019 starting?

2 thoughts on “2019: Year of Building an Audience

  1. I am 100% using “pining for the fjords” as my description for writing that will be a thing one day but for now people haven’t caught on to

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