Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Not in 2008

I was just over at J.A. Konrath's blog reading this post (thanks to L. for the heads-up). It's all about his and his visitors' goals for 2008. Most of it sounds like very ambitious, worthy stuff.

Over the years I've become a less is more person, especially in regard to my profession. I've trimmed down what I am willing to do as an author to: writing my novels, maintaining PBW, and doing the occasional favor for a reader, colleague, editor or book buyer. Aside from what I do around here, which is infrequent and clumsy at best, I'd say that I'm pretty much through with self-promotion.

And look -- lightning didn't strike me as I typed that. Incredible.

In 2008, I'd like to be the writer who just writes books. If my novels go on to be bestsellers, great. If they don't, that's the way it goes. Maybe the self-promotion advocates are right, and you have to get out there and pimp yourself or you won't get anywhere in this business. But if I ever get "there" I'd like it to be on the strength of the work, not how often or loudly I clamored for everyone to buy it.

No offense to anyone who feels differently, either -- I think self-promotion does have some merit, especially when it's done creatively. And you all are still going to buy Evermore in January, right? Ha.

Let's put a different spin on J.A.'s post -- what are you all not going to do in 2008?


  1. I am NOT going to concern myself with adding anything to my teaching resume in 2008, and I won't feel guilty about it.

    (Wow--no lightning here, either.)

    Given the way (many) students have begun to behave, I think it's reasonable to choose to be taunted, mocked, and generally disparaged by people to whom I solicit my writing--not by students who equate paying tuition to paying my salary and paying my salary to owning me.

    Uh-oh. . .I think I just heard the rumble of thunder.

  2. I am not going to worry about excuses. (Reasons are not excuses, though.) I am going to write, and understand that sometimes life happens with a capital s, and just write. That was a big lesson this year for me.

  3. I'm not going to set goals that rely on people other than myself. So, I might set a goal of writing a novel in 2008, but I'm not going to set myself the goal of getting it published. Trying, maybe.

  4. I am not going to allow myself to slip back into thinking that writing a novel is too much work for me. (I participated in NaNo this year and made my word count, even with twin toddlers running around and me working a full-time job. I can do it . . . as long as I don't let myself think that I can't.)

  5. In 2008 I'm NOT working on my diabolical death ray anymore. I decided it's just not worth it. But other than that, it'll probably be like every other year.

  6. No more live chats wherein twelve authors from the same publisher sit around and try to be funny and interesting while two readers wait in silence for the contest to win the free books. Talk about nerve-wracking. Not to mention painful for those two readers.

    I'll just give away the books and save the lame attempts at wit for my blog.

  7. Not gain weight (he said, fingers crossed).

    I also intend not to cross the Grand Canyon by hang glider.

    I think I stand a chance of batting .500 this year.

  8. I think you put this post up just for me. *Smile*

    What am I NOT going to do? I'm not going to any conferences or conventions. I get cranky when I travel, my diabetes goes wonky, and the money will be much better spent on the munchkin's teeth. I'm not doing anything that involves wearing pantihose and high heels. I'm not listening when well intentioned people tell me what I should be doing with respect to my writing career. (So if I stick my fingers in my ears and start singing Rascal Flatts when you talk to me, be warned.) And I'm absolutely, positively NOT growing my hair again. Really. I swear.

  9. Panic when things start to get ugly. I'm going for a zen like attitude. We'll see how that works.

  10. Anonymous5:28 PM


    I'm NOT going to stress over my writing. No. Correct that. I'm not going to stress over the publishing industry or let it affect my writing.

    I'm not going to make excuses for not writing. If I don't write, I'm mismanaging my time.

    I'm not going to quit. Someone awesome once told me that it annoys the cynics when you persevere (even the internal ones). I like that.

  11. I am not going to let procrastination be my favorite hobby.

  12. Oh, I love your theory of writing more and promoting less!! I am going to worry about the market less and write a book I truly want to write.

  13. Anonymous6:34 PM

    I'm not going to extend myself beyond my contracts. 08 is going to be very busy for me, so I have to make sure to get the contracted work out first. I'm horrible at self promo, so I think I'll follow you on that one, PBW.

  14. I will not eat a prune in 2008


  15. Anonymous8:06 PM

    This year, I plan not to freak out about sending query letters.

  16. Anonymous9:13 PM

    I'm with Buffy Squirrel. No goals like "sell 5 stories". Also, less talk and more action.

  17. Anonymous9:34 PM

    Hmmmmm.... I'm not going to do much of anything different in 08.

    Writing wise, 07 has probably been one of my better years. Productivity, promo, just in general.

    Although I'm no fan of promo, I've found a comfortable medium so I'll probably try to keep that route for next year.

    One thing I do need to do is stop staying up so fricking late. I feel like a zombie half the day and that's when I'm supposed to be writing.

  18. In 2008, I'd like to be the writer who just writes books.

    Ohhh...my dream mantra.
    Hate promo with the passion of a thousand blazing suns.

    In 2008 I'm going to worry less about what's selling and try to keep my focus on writing well--where it belongs.

  19. I'm not going to change. I'm pretty happy with my life and how things are. And, I really liked Evermore and will be purchasing it plus a copy to pass on. When we get to the publication date, I'm even going to review it on my blog.

    It was the first vampire story I ever read - seriously. My review will explain.

  20. I'm not going to feel guilty for not having a newsletter or Myspace page.

  21. But Jason, you're still going to work on the time machine, right?

  22. Anonymous8:49 AM

    I am not going to lose another charity bet with you. I suppose that means no betting.


  23. I'm not going to punish myself for not making my goals. In my writers group, we set our yearly goals and the rest of the members set up some nasty consequences for not meeting them. I don't work well under threat of punishment, so I skip that part.

  24. Um. I think that if I tell myself I will write from 8 pm to 10 pm (for example), I will NOT putz around until 9:30 then write 200 words and get mad at myself for putzing. I also will NOT let my internal editor say anything during that time. Even if the words are crap. Crap can be edited later - putzing can't. Well. Not easily anyway.

  25. I am not going to let my inner voice beat me up because I should be writing when I really want to spend time with my new baby next year. She's only going to be tiny for a little while...


  26. Anonymous7:39 PM

    I am not going to do three different Block of the Month quilts from three different quilt shops, all due the same weekend of each month. I am not going to buy a gazillion batik fat quarters because I already have waaaaaaaay too many. I also am not going to buy any more quilt patterns until I actually sew the ones I already have. At least once.

    I am not going to any writing conferences. I am not going to fill up my credit card because of said writing conferences (that I, repeat, am not going to). I am not setting foot on an airplane or even an airport (re: writing conferences). I am not wearing any shoes other than tennies and sandals, am not going to wear uncomfy clothes, and am not going to worry about whether I really need to dress for dinner or attend the oh-my-freaking-GOD-it's-crowded TOR party (again, re: writing conferences)

    I am not going to doubt myself, hate myself, or berate myself about my writing, housework, mental state, or other abilities.

    So there. ;)

  27. I'm not going to leave comments on big-circulation blogs purely in the hope of getting some attention for my self-pubbed novel.

  28. I'm NOT going to get distracted and try and write 7 books I don't really love. 6 maybe, but definitely NOT 7.

  29. I'm not going to feel bad about thinking most promo items are dumb. I'm NOT going to worry about fitting into a specific genre, since it's fairly obvious that my books are spread across several.

  30. Anonymous2:48 PM

    If 2007 is any indicator, then I won't write ...


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