Back in January, I made a list of goals for the year. 2017 is slipping by at pace, so now, at the five-month mark, how am I doing? Let’s take a look…
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. In 2017, I’ve kept up with this promise, producing a podcast every month so far this year. Score!
9. Produce an audiobook.
Back in January, this was a pipe dream with a vague plan. Fast-forward to now and I’m thrilled to say my first audiobook, Nothing To Lose, will be out this summer! Choosing a narrator was the tricky part, but the recording is currently being tidied up, and I should be able to listen to the finished book in late June, with plans to launch in July/August. I’m really proud to have this goal nearly done, and if all goes well, I hope it’ll be the first of many!
8. Travel the world.
At the time of writing, so far this year we’ve had a fabulous three weeks in Hong Kong and Japan, and are just preparing for three weeks away in Toronto and Chicago. I also have trips planned for Paris, Prague, Sydney & Thailand to come, so 2017 is living up to its promise of travel – and so far, I’ve loved it! Scheduling work around it all has been challenging, but I’ve taken the time to enjoy the travel, too, so that’s a win.
Last year I had a crazy writing schedule and nearly burnt out. This year, I’m coming at it from a whole new angle and am trying to work smarter, not harder. It’s kinda working.
I have found a new writing pattern by working creatively in coffee shops, and doing business in my home office. And I am definitely living up to my promise of seeing more exhibits (David Hockney was ace), going to live theatre (Gabriel and Twelth Night were splendid), and have taken in cabaret and movies, too. Plus, when I need to be flexible with work plans, I am. Seeing friends and family has also been great, as always.
6. Stop, collaborate & listen.
This one has been harder to pull off, mainly because, like most writers, I’m shy. However, I’m managing it a little. I took part in some collaborative promotions in February with Harper Bliss and TB Markinson that worked well. I’m also talking about co-writing, plus I’m working with my audio narrator. What’s more, I’ve been reaching out to other authors around my upcoming launch to ask if they’d give it a shout-out. Small steps!
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. So have I managed to turn it around this year? Partly, yes. I still have self-doubt, but I know it’s all part of the process. Plus, I’m doing a job I love, and I remind myself of that on the bad days. But there are way more good days than bad!
4. Read more diversely.
I’m doing this – I’m cracking through my pile of unread paperbacks, as well as reading some craft books, too. Patrick Gale’s A Place Called Winter was terrific, and I’ve been reading some straight romances, too, to see how other authors tackle tales of love. What’s more, I bought my first book of poetry, and I loved it: Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong. For some reason, I’m still resistant with poetry, but I’m trying to crack that as when I read it, I love it. Silly Clare.
A Girl Called London in due out on June 27th. There will be one more book in the London Romance series, out this year with luck!
2. Write a new standalone novel.
I’ve started this one already, too, but am going to finish my fourth London book first. But when that’s done, this is my next project. I hope to get it out before the year end.
1. Get healthy, get lean.
Since I gave up working outside the home and became a full-time author, I’ve put on a stone. This was something I knew I needed to arrest this year, and I’m doing it. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve lost half a stone, with a further half to go till I’m happy. But I’ve shifted to a very positive mindset on this, and regular walking and gym visits will mean good outcomes, I’m sure of it. My aim is to reach my weight goal and stay there by the end of the year. Highly dooable!
I’m also taking a writing course online in July – doing a craft course wasn’t on my list at the start of the year, but I’m really looking forward to it! I’ve also got a couple of non-fiction books on my radar to bring out – but reading through this, we’ll see if that happens this year. Perhaps a revised year plan is in order.
So have I achieved my goals? On the whole, I’d say I’m pretty happy. I hope A Girl Called London hits the spot, and if I can get out two more books this year, I’ll be a happy Clare.
A Girl Called London, book three in the London Romance series, is due out on June 27th.