That’s right, 2021 is almost over and a new year is on the horizon. I’m sure we all have our reasons for wanting the current year to end. I’m not here to lament over the problems I faced over the past year, though. I had my own struggles just as I’m sure everyone else did.

There are many things that went right for me too. I managed to stay employed. I had several weeks off in September for a family vacation and recharged my batteries. I made measurable progress toward finishing a book. I educated myself in ways that will enable me to lead a healthier lifestyle through understanding more about my challenges with nutrition.

By way of writing this article, I am reflecting on my experiences this past year and thinking about what I can do to move toward the things I want to do. I have been writing books several years now and I would like to get those books in front of readers. In order to do that it takes more than just writing a few words on paper. I found out last year when I re-published my first novel that a lot of work goes into a book before it even goes up for sale.

I took a course on planning and I took a course on publishing. Through the planning course I was able to keep myself on track to finish editing and get the book ready. Through the publishing course I was able to publish the book on several different platforms. That doesn’t mean that the book gained many sales. That’s the part where I had the most challenges.

Being creative is the easy part it seems. Being an author is a business and I haven’t been treating it as such. If I want the success that I claim to want in this endeavor it will take a lot more than just some words on a blank paper. I’m getting closer to the five-year mark that I set for myself on earning a solid income through writing and maybe this year I’ll hit my stride. I don’t know. I do know that without a plan I’m just living a pipe dream.

If this past year proved anything, it proved that planning works. Actually, what works is executing the plan. I would say that I executed 30-40 percent of the plan that I had. I learned more about how to plan effectively and how to set my plan up to make it simple to follow and execute.

Honestly, when the time came for me to plan Quarter 1 I didn’t feel like it. I had been frustrated with my progress and hadn’t worked on writing since October. As I went through the motions of planning I had to review what I did in the past and saw that I did make progress and overall my year was a success. It helped pull me out of the doldrums and excited me for the next quarter where I was able to utilize some of the methods that I used.

I ended up writing a plan for Quarter 1 and looks so simple that even I can do it. I only have to execute consistently and realize that every step I take in the plan leads me closer to the ultimate goal. I am closer to my goal now than before in terms of writing. For 2022 I will need to work on the marketing aspect of authorship so that when I reflect at the end of 2022 I will be writing about my experiences in marketing and hopefully explaining what worked for me.

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