2016 Prep – Part Two

Welcome back for Part Two of 2016 Prep.

If you didn’t already, check out Part One HERE.

So, you did your brainstorming and you have a list of possible and impossible ideas. Keep that around. At the very least, take a picture of it because you even when we’re done with it for now, the impossible doesn’t always stay that way.

So, the next thing we’re going to do I create your deciding factors.

Don’t worry, we’re not to goals yet, so you can keep procrastinating making those!

Your deciding factors will do two things:

  • Help you create your goals
  • Help you keep priorities straight throughout the year.

So, let’s look at mine and how I made these decisions and then you’ll be able to craft yours.

First off, as I mentioned earlier, I lost my job. I don’t have the kind of job where you just get another one like it AND I hated working in an office. I’ve always hated it.

This means that the first one of my deciding factors is going to have to do with income. Because I’m going to need one.

Unless one of you wants to be my patron. Please feel free to email me if that’s the case!

The next deciding factor has to do with the fact that my BDD Anxiety had gotten out of control in the last 1.5 years (I talked a bit about this in my last newsletter. Sorry to repeat myself here reader peeps!). This also has to do with not working in an office)

The final one has to do with long-term thinking. The publishing world changes faster than planning can right now. I don’t make as much off six books as I used to make off of one. I got a lot of feedback about not joining KU and have told my readers that I’ll stay wide as long as I can pay the bills. Which…isn’t happening right now.

Long term, I want to do more than pay the bills. I want to be a responsible person and citizen. This means saving for retirement not just so I can enjoy it, but so that I can remain independent throughout my life and not be a burden on family, friends, or neighbors.

Which means for this year, my deciding factors are:

  • Moves my writing career forward
  • Get myself to zero hours office work (which means income that keeps me out)
  • Keep my anxiety in check
  • Save responsibly for expenditures & retirement (again, income. This may feel like the same thing – but this is beyond right now. This is a reminder that the industry changes quickly and I need to think about more than just today)


See how those feel pretty broad? They’re not goals. If they were, that last one would say something more like “Save the standard $18,000 401k maximum in post-tax retirement plan through XYZ vendor by the end of 2016.”

First off, hhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaa.

Second, that’s a basic SMART goal (I think I’ve got a bazillion blogs on this somewhere else, so paaaaaass.)

With my deciding factors written out on an index card, I turn to my whiteboard of possible and impossible ideas.

Every idea gets attention. They all get the same amount of love at this point. I ask myself if an idea moves a deciding factor forward or not.

So, Brew Ha Ha #4? Yes – this is income based and moves my writing

Write a short for no income for an author who doesn’t have a big following OR crossover appeal? Does this move my writing forward? Not really. If people who like my stuff aren’t going to read it and find me? Does it bring income in? Nope. She wanted a short for free. She’d be keeping the income as a sort of publishing fee. And it doesn’t move the last two forward either.

At first glance it sounded like a good idea. An opportunity! Woot! But when I look at it through my deciding factors, it doesn’t get me closer to what I’m trying to do. So, I thanked her and said no.

And on it goes…writing…freelance editing…outside business…cross-promo….

Each thing on the board gets weighed.

Everything that fits with the deciding factors gets an index card.

So, now I have a stack of index cards with ideas on them…. Great!

We’ll look at those index cards in Part Three!


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