New year, new ambitions. For 2017, I’ve come up with a whole new set of goals to hit to make this year my best one yet as a lesbian romance author. They include writing, travelling, reading more widely and living a positive life – and I plan on doing that starting from now. Want to delve into my goals and see the targets I’ve set for myself? Then read on…
10. Continue Podcasting.
I’m the host of The Lesbian Bookclub Podcast, part of The Lesbian Lounge – and I adore hosting that podcast. I get to meet other writers, I get to learn from them and I get to live out my radio dreams, so it’s a win all round. I’ve had a lifelong love affair with radio, and I love podcasting more than I ever thought possible. I listen to a ton of podcasts every week, and they have the ability to inspire and motivate me – and I’m thrilled to have a platform where I can do the same. Expect more of The Lesbian Bookclub throughout 2017.
9. Produce an audiobook.
I’ve been umming and aahing about this one for a while now, but with the advent of Amazon’s Alexa and the boom of audio via podcasting and audiobooks, I think now is the time to jump. I’ve got a few books I could turn into audio, but I’m going to start off with Nothing To Lose and see how that goes. No drop-dead date yet, but I’ll keep you posted on the blog – first up, I need to find a narrator.
8. Travel the world.
This year, my wife and I are going on three epic trips, and it means we’re going to be travelling for over two months of this year, which I’m pretty excited about. First up, we’re going to Hong Kong and Japan; then to Canada and Chicago; and finally, to Australia for a December wedding and New Year in South East Asia. It’s going to be epic, it’s going to take planning so I can carry on working, but I plan to make the most of our time away and soak up what the world offers up. Bring on 2017!
Last year was full-on. In 2016, I wrote over 300,000 words with two novels and five novellas – and by December, I needed a break. I’m really proud of everything I put out, including the upcoming All I Want Forever which was written last year and is due out on January 27th, 2017.
However, what 2016 taught me was I need to schedule more downtime and dreamtime, to refill my creative well and come up with fresh ideas – and also, to see more of friends and family. So this year, I plan to go to more exhibits, have some dream days out and carry on going to my regular plays and cinema visits. This is all part of living the creative life, and I cherish having the freedom to be flexible.
6. Stop, collaborate & listen.
This year, I want to work with more authors and do all we can to promote lesbian fiction around the world. So I’m thinking cross-promotions, maybe co-authoring, author panels, contributing to anthologies – who knows, I might even produce my own anthology. This is working on the theory that many hands make light work, and I reckon coming together to push our collective lesfic agenda to readers is the way forward.
5. Positive mental attitude.
Working and making a living creatively takes courage, and I’m pretty proud of my track record so far. But like any writer, I have issues with self-doubt, and I sometimes think everything I do is just terrible. That’s normal. This year, I’m going to work on being more positive in general towards my work, and to having more positive influences and mantras surrounding me. This year, I’m going to stick my hand into the positive socket, flick the switch and hope I don’t combust.
4. Read more diversely.
I never read as much as I think I should, but last year I made some time to read craft books as well as keeping up with the latest lesbian fiction as much as I could. This year, I plan to continue that, as well as taking in some poetry, along with crime fiction and other book recommendations. I already have a to-read pile that’s about ten-high in print, possibly around 30-high in ebook. I’m excited to get started and read more outside the genre I write in.
This is going to be the follow-on from London Calling and This London Love. It’s going to focus on Tanya, Meg’s ex, and her search for love in the big city. I’ve already started to plot this, but once All I Want Forever is out, this is my next project – and because so many people are looking forward to it, I really am, too!
2. Write a new standalone novel.
This year, I’m also going to write another standalone novel after I’ve written the last All I Want book and the next London book. I’ve already started this, but I need to work on the plot a little more. Once the London book is out, this is going to be my next project. I’ll plan my schedule and announce the release date later in the year.
1. Get healthy, get lean.
2017 is the year I’m really going to focus on my health and getting to a weight I’m comfortable with: not all that easy when you work from home and you’re a writer. But this is more important than any other goal I have this year – I only need to drop 14 pounds to get into a good, healthy range for me, so that’s my No.1 goal for 2017. By the time the midnight bauble drops on 2018, I’m going to be bursting with health and vitality. Let’s do this!