Mark Terry

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2011 Resolutions/Goals

December 29, 2010
Since I took a look at this year's goals and resolutions, I decided to make my list for 2011. I prefer goals to resolutions, because I tend to actually achieve my goals, whereas resolutions, not so much. So, for 2011...

1. Lose 12 pounds.
Yeah, trying it again. And probably forever. It's been a lifelong battle, so...

2. Earn $80,000+ with my writing.
I hit it this year and I want to duplicate it, or even better. For a variety of reasons, including the economic downturn, 2009 was sort of a financial debacle. I'd just as soon not do that again. It's not all about the money, but there's a specific number I need to hit that makes life reasonably comfortable, and 2009 was under it; 2010 was well over it, but it created a lot of breathing room, which is nice.

3. Finish SINS OF THE FATHERS and get a contract for it.
Although finishing it is definitely possible, getting a contract for it is always in a gray area, although I would say it's likely.

4. Finish A PLAGUE OF STARS and start to market it.
My first shot at an SF novel. It's complicated, so it takes me forever.

5. Finish FREELANCE WRITING FOR A LIVING and e-pub it.
I'm turning my 12-part series on my blog into an e-book, expanding it, etc., and going to publish it as an e-book.

6. Make all my current e-books available on PubIt (Barnes & Noble) and in paper.
THE DEVIL'S PITCHFORK should be available for the Nook, B&N's e-reader, now and I'm going to slowly make all the rest of my e-books available there as well, as well as other e-book formats. I'm also making them available in paper via CreateSpace. The first one for that is EDGE. I'm proofing the galley slowly, because there were a few issues, including a typo on the back cover, so it's taking time. I expect this will take quite a while because there is some minor expense involved, but when you're talking 5 or 6 books, it adds up, so I'm spreading the expenses out.

7. Finish CHINA FIRE and begin marketing.
In some ways this feels like A PLAGUE OF STARS, which is to say, a big, ambitious, complicated story that I've been working on for a couple years. CHINA FIRE, at least, can be seen as a "Mark Terry book," which is to say, action-oriented with a heroic government agent and the "espionage and/or political thriller" genre. I've decided to finish the damned thing one way or the other, and this is the year for it.

8. Get at least one more book contract signed.
I'm aware that's somewhat outside my control, but it means I need to either work on proposals or finish some manuscripts, something I felt I didn't do enough of in 2010.

9. Get a ghostwriting gig.
I want to do more of this. I actually enjoyed it and it's fairly lucrative. Hello, universe! Hear me?

10. Write a nonfiction book proposal.
I've gotten more interested in writing nonfiction books, having done the one with the two doctors. I've written one or two other NF proposals in the past and didn't follow through very well on marketing, partly because the responses to them were educational, i.e., the various agents' commentary was useful and consistent, so I learned a lot about what I did right and what I did wrong. I've got a couple ideas for nonfiction books and I think I'm going to focus on one of them and begin research to do the proposal. I'd be quite happy, if the money was there, splitting my time between novels and nonfiction books and ghostwriting with a little of my other bread-and-butter projects. My friend Eric Mayer once commented that making a living solely as a magazine writer is brutal. He was right. I've got other regular projects--e-newsletter columns, a technical journal I edit, and a couple trade journal clients I write for regularly, as well as the market research reports, but my "goal" and/or "dream" is to do more and more book projects and less and less smaller type projects except for the ones I enjoy doing the most.

Any goals you'd like to share?


Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

I see that all your goals save one are writing related. I have a kind of vague goal of writing more. But I guess I should identify what it is I want to write. For one thing I have decided to try and revive my blog a bit -- which after all is writing. And Mary and I will finish the new Byzantine mystery we're halfway through, but that is a kind of given. I'd like to set a goal for our agent, of selling the damn Victorian novel, but that's out of my control. What I need to do is write something other than the Byzantine mystery novels. I ought to really just pick something and say that's what I'll try this year. See, you have got me thinking. Thanks.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I've noted with some interest that John Scalzi sometimes seems to just write something for the hell of it, supposedly without any thought to the market, then going out afterwards and looking for someone to publish it. And that seems to work well for him, at least some of the time. And I think sometimes that's a nice way to go about things, particularly with e-publishing so easy and inexpensive, that if it just doesn't get picked up, I can find something to do with it eventually.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Natasha Fondren said...

You've had an awesome 2010, it seems. :-) YAY for China Fire!!!!! I said that last year, LOL. ;-)

Good luck, Mark!

I lost 23 pounds last year. Me proud. I want to lose 30-40 more. Just as long as I get into the optimal fertility range. :-)

I would like to return to the days where I could pound out 5-10K a day. Most everything else will take care of itself, if I can do that.

3:20 PM  

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