The new year dawns tomorrow.
I sat down with my planner, goal list and note stack today with my husband and father (they both live with me). We needed a heart to heart about goals. I felt like the kid who admits out loud that he wants to play professional sports. I squirmed against the hard wooden chair and tried to gather my thoughts. I started by telling them not to laugh.
“I want to sell 5,000 books.”
Book sales numbers are widely variable (http://www.stevelaube.com/what-are-average-book-sales/) , but 5000 book sales for a first time author who publishes a memoir with a small press would be a grand slam. My career goal has been “author” since second grade (though there would be years I didn’t have the courage to admit it). I can see the opening in the door; I can smell it… and it smells like a lot of work!
I went to college to get a degree in English Education. Every professional job I’ve taken so far I’ve taken because it furthers me along the skill grid to becoming a writer. I taught AP Language and Composition for 6 years because I thought teaching AP English would be a paid way to further my abilities. I switched to become a gifted facilitator to have more time at home to pursue writing. I’m a instructional technology coach now so I can build the skills I need to market my book in the digital social media age. If I succeed, one day writing will be my full time job. The way I see it, the next two years of my life decide if that is a reality or a pipe dream…
This year I accepted a new job, moved from my home town, signed my first book contract and had a baby. 2015 was eventful. Hopefully, 2016 will be more so.
So, I leave behind the shame of being afraid to admit to loft goals and shed the timidity of aiming too low. Here is me swinging for the fences when I think I got the bases loaded. These are the real goals – goals tied to my life ambition in terms of the career I’ve always wanted to make an impact in the world. Don’t laugh. This is my version of “making it to the big leagues” and it takes a lot of courage to admit such ambition to others.
Without further ado, my 2016 goals:
- Sell 5000 copies of From My Mother
- Publish 3 new articles
- Speak at 10+ events
- Sign books at 10+ events
- Get 1000 fans for https://www.facebook.com/darcyleechauthor before April release
- Write a short second book to publish on Amazon independently to learn that market (I have a plan, but I’m not telling anyone yet. It’ll be edtech nonfiction and be about 60-80 pages.)
- Outline a trilogy of fiction featuring a healthy sibling and a character with special needs
- Have 50+ Goodreads written reviews
- Blog once per week at least, with shorter intervals around release
- Have 1000 Goodreads friends (read this and friend me!)
- Have 1000 twitter followers (@leechdarcy)
- Read a marketing book every week (Kindle Unlimited is going to be one of my best friends)
- Be invited as a presenter or round table leader to the Muscular Dystrophy Association convention in 2017
- Be invited as a presenter to the Sibling Leadership Network convention in 2017
- Find a conference to present at in 2016
- Make a commercial book trailer for youtube, facebook and local access TV
- Have 5+ radio interviews
- Raise $5000+ for the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Muscle Walk taking place in Wichita KS on April 23rd, the first week of the book release for physical copies
- Be interviewed on a TV news channel
- Have great promotional material, including a well crafted book mark with ordering link and attractive graphics including the Salina Horizon Grant program logo to thank them for the help they gave me
- Be on a TV talk show or interview not directly linked to local news
- Be active in the Muscular Dystrophy community and help spread awareness and empathy
That’s a big list of book goals, some perhaps I will not reach, and some perhaps that I will surpass. The reason I set my men down at the table to talk is because this will be a group effort with two children in the house. I don’t want my pursuit of a goal I had in second grade to isolate the husband I have when I turn 30. I want to do this with balance, with my family, and for the right reasons. I didn’t know in second grade that I’d be writing to try to improve lives of people in families like mine, but that more than anything is the reason I am willing to try so hard for success. If From My Mother is widely known, then women like my mother can find it and read it, and hopefully be better for it. I want that, not exclusive of my other wants, but more than anything else I could work towards or get paid for.
Here are some of my main other goals for the year:
- Save XX dollars (we are now property owners with a property rented out in another town – having a cushion fund is important)
- Keep my car in good maintenance
- Try a new recipe per week (with a chore chart I’ll plan ahead and have 3-4 days a week to cook a dinner)
- Speak kindly to my husband and practice respect (this one is easy to take for granted and will be a goal every year of my life till death do us part!)
- Be patient with my children and give them quality time
- Be supportive of my father
Here’s to a new year! May I not go too crazy, may I achieve at least a few, and may it be to the Glory of the Father that I strive!
Want to see my previous goals? I’m a goal keeping nut…