A Year in Predicaments

This is the time of year bloggers tend to do reviews of how well their year went. Well, mine wasn’t terribly successful so it would have been a very short post. But I thought, who wants to read about other people’s success when they’ve just had an awful year themselves?

So this post is going to be a bit different. Here are some of the things I have survived NOT achieving this year.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Pexels.com

My Top Professional Goals

Goal: Publish my third book by the end of October.

This was to allow time for some well-planned promotion and plenty of shopping days before Christmas. 

And along came the pandemic. My time was split between work and supporting home learning for several months. I would like to say I hope I never have to do that again but it’s coming back next month. Joy.

My book research trip to Italy was cancelled. I had to come up with a whole new story concept that could be set somewhere else. As an author, I don’t get paid for hours worked, I get paid for books sold. You see the problem.

Result: The Lost Cargo officially launched on 5th December.

Goal: 25 reviews for The Lost Cargo on Amazon within two weeks of launch.

I worked seven days a week for two months to plan the launch of my third book, while still writing it! I completed training on how to have a successful book launch. I contacted people to request a review, and gave away a lot of free copies.

Result: At the end of the first two weeks, the book had three reviews and two ratings on Amazon. To make matters worse, Amazon isn’t showing international reviews for this book, so in most countries it looks like it has no reviews at all!

What I have learnt from this is not to set goals that rely on other people! I can’t force people to read and review my book. As tempting as that might be.

Goal: Double my follower numbers on social media

I couldn’t focus on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and still get the book out. A decision had to be made.

Result: It didn’t happen. 

I prioritised my book over my author platform. Was I right to do that? I suspect some of my readers will be shaking their heads at this point. But writing makes me happy in a way that social media never will – no matter how many followers I get.

My Top Personal Goal

Goal: Visit a new country

Technically, there was a brief window when I could have travelled abroad. But between lockdowns, quarantines, and the delay in getting the refund for the Italy trip, it was beyond my organisational capability.

Result: This one didn’t happen either.

In Summary

It’s been an awful year! I’ve done my best, adapted and looked for new opportunities. But it wasn’t enough. I will have to make some difficult decisions next year. The important thing is that I’m still here to make those decisions.

I hope sharing my experience has provided some context to anyone looking back over their own disastrous year. Life has been really tough on all of us. Go easy on yourself.

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