It’s January! It’s 2021! I want to run up to this new year and give it a kiss, but I can’t. Social distancing and all that. So while this fresh start feels like groundhog day, I’m banking on there being light at the end of the tunnel. With that in mind, 2021 is all about keeping the faith and writing some books. Ready to read my plans? Here they are…
Writing & Publishing
-This year, I plan to write and publish three books: Hot London Nights (London Romance, Book 7); Big London Dreams (London Romance, Book 8); and another as yet untitled romance. This time last year, I had my whole year planned out and my editors booked. This year, I have none of that done yet. Having pushed so hard last year, I have some resistance. However, once my schedule is finalised, I’ll turn to that task!
-I plan to publish four new audiobooks: Hot London Nights, Big London Dreams, The Long Weekend and Christmas In Mistletoe. The latter two are in response to requests for my whole backlist to be put into audio. I also want to look into selling audiobooks direct to my readership and get that up and running.
-Three more translations will be published in 2021. A Taste Of Love and Nothing To Lose in German. Before You Say I Do in Portuguese. I plan to get another couple of translation contracts signed, too.
-Write three short stories. Put them on my schedule and do them.
-I plan to carry on doing our weekly show, Lesbians Who Write, with my friend and co-host TB Markinson. We love doing the show, but it does take up a lot of time for us both. We pondered stopping at the end of the year, but so many listeners keep telling us they love it, so we’re committing to continuing and see where it leads us. Hopefully, to bigger and brighter things! For the time being, I also plan to carry on my other monthly podcast, The Lesbian Book Club.
Health & Well Being
After last year, this has to be top of my list, right? This year, I plan to:
-Stretch more. I have downloaded a yoga app and it’s on my schedule.
-Meditate more. It’s going on my calendar this week. I know it helps my mental health and sleep, so it’s getting done. Come round and shout at me if not.
-Maintain my HiiT and walking routine. I’m doing Red January as a kick-start, where I commit to doing a HiiT or an hour walk daily. This isn’t so much of a stretch as I mostly do this anyway, but it’s a habit I want to maintain.
-No doom-scrolling in bed. I regularly lose hours in bed scrolling my phone. I know my life would be better without it. So this year, I’m making a concerted effort to stop.
-Take regular breaks and holidays when you can book time off again. I have three trips I’m hoping to do (tied into weddings and birthdays), and they’re all at the end of the year, from September to December. I’m still going to take shorter breaks earlier, too. I usually go away on a writing retreat in January, but not this year. But I’m hoping it can be moved to mid-year.
-My main aim for 2021 is to work shorter hours, but maintain the same level of output. To have a two-hour deep work block in the morning, and a two-hour block in the afternoon. By doing this, I hope to stop work earlier and take more weekends completely off.
-It does mean that my year will be front-loaded with work again as was 2020, but that’s okay if I can take more breaks in the second half. Fingers and toes crossed that works out!
-Ads: take a week and give them a try. This has been on my list forever. I need to bite the bullet and try it. If it doesn’t work, fine, but at least I tried!
-Courses/Books on craft and business. Schedule time to do them.
-Author events – do some on social media, as well as taking part in events online and in person if possible.
I think most of this is doable, but this year, my aim is to be more flexible as we go. Let’s see where it takes us. If I get most of it done, great. But for me, 2021 will be a year to go slower, take stock, see where I get to. Join me.