My 2017 Writing Plan of Action

Here it is the end of the third week in January and I’m just now articulating my 2017 writing plan of action. The name itself sounds arrogant, but that isn’t my intention. As an aspiring author, I need a plan and I need to act. I call it a “plan of action” for my own encouragement and not to impress anyone.

My 2016 Plan of Action was short and to the point. In this year’s plan I’ve tried to get into specifics and goals for various social media. Here’s my 2017 plan:

Consistency, Consistency, Consistency

In real estate, the maxim is “Location, Location, Location.” If I am to establish my “brand” as a writer, my maxim must be, “Consistency, Consistency, Consistency.” Just as a character in a work of fiction has a distinguishable voice or way of speaking, my voice on social media needs to be consistent. My style of writing needs to be authentic and not all over the place. Likewise, I need to be consistent in my presence on social media. If I just blog on a whim, my audience will fall by the wayside. If I Tweet with no regularity, I’ll lose my followers. My challenge in 2017 will be to use social media on a consistent basis while making time to write. Being a relative newbie in the world of social media and not being technologically savvy, most days I feel overwhelmed by how much I have to learn. My actual writing has been taking a back seat lately. I must strike a healthy and productive balance in 2017 as I work toward getting my novel manuscript published. If I don’t, all the years I’ve spent writing the book and all the months I’ve spent sharpening my social media skills are all for naught.

My ideal reader

Writers are instructed to identify an ideal reader. This isn’t a real person. This is an imaginary person you write for. Some writers give this ideal reader a name and they have a visual concept of what that person looks like. I’ve concluded that my ideal reader is complex. Ultimately, my ideal reader is someone who enjoys southern historical fiction, has an interest in history but also keeps up with current events. My ideal reader is a well-informed citizen and not just a spectator. My ideal reader is not offended if I occasionally reveal my beliefs or civic concerns on social media. My ideal reader is not only willing to have his or her assumptions questioned but actually seeks out such literature. Does such a person exist? I’m counting on it!

It’s easy to sit here and wax poetic about my plans, but now comes the hard part. From what I’ve read, I need to determine on which social media platform(s) my ideal reader hangs out and then concentrate my efforts there.

http://www.janetswritingblog.com

Study my end-of-year 2016 reports, stats, etc. & determine what worked & what didn’t work & what I need to do differently in 2017. (I considered blogging three times a week; however, I concluded that’s too much for me. Instead, in addition to my regular Tuesday and Friday blog posts, I will occasionally blog on other days with no set schedule for these random posts.)

Plan blog topics for the year. (By that I mean, my first blog each month will be about what I read the previous month. My second blog each month will be a line I like from a book. My third blog each month will be a list of things I’ve learned about a particular topic. In other words, there will be a            pattern to my blog posts every month. If the plan doesn’t produce results, I need to make adjustments.)

Try to use my blog to increase my exposure as a writer & establish my brand. Set goals for number of followers & number of bloggers following my blog.

Make a list of blogs I’d like to guest blog on.

Figure out how to make necessary changes to my blog’s set up to improve its Search Engine Optimization.

By the way, if you have trouble reading my blog on your cell phone or tablet, please let me know so I can take actions to rectify the situation. Please let me know if you have difficulty seeing or downloading photos I include in some of my blog posts. I need feedback about any issues you’re having.

Twitter @janetmorrisonbk

Study my end-of-year 2016 reports, stats, etc. & determine what worked & what didn’t work & what I need to do differently in 2017.

Try to use Twitter to increase my exposure as a writer & establish my brand. In order to establish my brand, I need to create more original content as opposed to primarily retweeting content generated by others.

Set goals for number of Tweets and number of followers.

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/janet5049

Study my end-of-year 2016 reports, stats, etc. & determine what worked & what didn’t work & what I need to do differently in 2017.

Try to use Pinterest to increase my exposure as a writer & establish my brand. As with Twitter, I need to create more original Pins. Janet’s Writing Blog is my only Pinterest board that is 100% original content.

Evaluate my boards and the order in which I display them.

Set goals for number of followers for these boards: The Writing Life; Novel in Progress: The Spanish Coin; Blue Ridge Mountains; Great Smoky Mountains; I Need the Light; Sequel to The Spanish Coin; Janet’s Writing Blog; and Blog Odds & Ends.

Facebook:  Janet Morrison, Writer

Try to use Facebook to increase my exposure as a writer & establish my brand. My personal page is just what it sounds like. My “Janet Morrison, Writer” page is where people who are interested in my writing can “Like” me.

Set goal for number of “Likes” by Dec. 31, 2017.

Goodreads.com

Goodreads.com is a website I enjoy as a writer and as a reader. It’s free to create an account and then to participate as much or as little as you wish. You can search for books or authors and create a list of books you’ve read, are currently reading, or want to read. Book reviews and book ratings on a one- to five-star system are encouraged but not mandatory. I have been lax in writing reviews, and I don’t always rate books I’ve read. I need to increase my activity in 2017 in order to get the most benefit from this completely free website. Oh – and there are a multitude of book giveaway contests for account holders.

LinkedIn

Learn about the potential LinkedIn holds for a writer. (To say I rarely use LinkedIn now would be a huge  understatement.)

Try to use LinkedIn to increase my exposure as a writer & establish my brand.

Google+

Learn about the potential Google+ holds for a writer. (As with LinkedIn, I rarely use Google+.)

Try to use Google+ to increase my exposure as a writer & establish my brand.

Website:  www.JanetMorrisonBooks.com

Review analysis for end of 2016.

Figure out which changes I can make and how to accomplish them.

The Spanish Coin southern historical mystery novel manuscript

Get 2 beta readers to give me feedback.

Hire a professional editor to do a developmental edit.

Pursue getting a literary agent or self-publishing.

Only time will tell how successful I am in carrying out this grandiose plan. All these social media activities are touted as being necessary for authors. Truth be told, I’d rather just write!

If you took the time to read this entire blog post, you deserve a prize. I don’t have any to offer, but you do have my sincere appreciation.

Until my next blog post . . .

I hope you have a good book to read. If you’re a writer, I hope you have productive writing time.

In your chosen work, do you make an annual written plan?

Janet

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