The Brave New World of 2016

DSCN1312After a good long break, I now feel ready to face the New Year and that’s just as well because a lot has changed for me in the weeks since the last post appeared on this blog.

The most important thing is that I left my teaching job to concentrate full-time on my writing! I know! This is both scary and exciting all at once. Just in case any of you might be sitting there wondering if I’ve hit the big time on the writing front, well, not quite yet but there’s always hope 😉 You can read more about what I’ve been up to in my goals for 2016 (see below).

You may remember that I took a proofreading course last year and since then, I have been getting in lots of practice and I’m ready now to start work as a professional proofreader, along side my writing. While I build up my new business, I’m going to do supply teaching as well and I hope that with various other writing related activities, there will be enough money in the pot for life to continue pretty much as normal.

As if leaving my job and starting my own business wasn’t quite enough excitement, I have also made some decisions about my writing life and where I want to take it this year. This all means that my writing goals are going to look a bit different for the coming year but first of all, let me review my goals from this time last year. Here they are:

1. Publish From Here to Nashville in ebook form to Amazon, followed by a paperback version a few months later.

2. Finish the first draft of book 2 and send it in to be reviewed by the RNA.

3. Take part in NaNoWriMo with a full outline of book 3.

4. Keep blogging weekly about ‘My Writing Life’ and building up my ‘Cover Reveals’ feature for other writing friends.

5. Start sending out my newsletter to people who have signed up.

Looking back at these goals, I felt rather pleased with myself. The only one I didn’t achieve was number 3 and that was because I decided that the NaNoWriMo style of writing is not for me. As long as I have a good outline, I can write quite happily until my first draft is completed and so I still plan to do that for book 3 but in my own time. Number 4 went slightly differently because I changed my ‘Cover Reveals’ feature to my ‘Author Spotlight’ one instead but it was very successful as a feature overall. For the moment though, I’m going to turn the spotlight off so that I can get back into blogging regularly myself and I may just do the occasional spotlight instead.

So what will my writing goals be for 2016?

1. Publish Where My Heart Belongs. Before Christmas, I made the momentous decision to start querying agents with this book. This is because I feel I need help now to progress my writing career to the next level. I have also sent the book to one publisher so far, one that accepts unagented submissions. So book 2 will either be published traditionally, if things work out, or I will self-publish it. Now that I have had some experience and I know what I’m doing, I’m not daunted by this decision whatever the outcome is so all I can say is watch this space!

2. Write the first draft of book 3. I have a story idea, I just need to write the outline and then write the book!

3. Finish writing my follow-up novella of Sam’s story, one of my characters in From Here to Nashville.

4. Choose one of these 2 books to send in to be reviewed by the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme which I have rejoined this year.

5. Continue sending out regular newsletters to people who have signed up and trying to increase the number of subscribers. This has gone very well this year and it is a way of letting my supporters know little details that I don’t necessarily tell the rest of the world 😉

Tomorrow will be an interesting day for me then as I spend the day with my younger daughter rather than attending a training day at school for the first time in many years. Then on Tuesday, I will be taking my first steps along the road to my new working life. I will be setting up a new website for my proofreading business as one of my first jobs but if anyone wants to contact me before then, here is my business email address: woodbeez48@gmail.com.

Whatever you’re up to this year as far as your writing goes, I wish you lots of success and I look forward to talking to you more about it as the year progresses. Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!

27 thoughts on “The Brave New World of 2016

    • Thank you, Emma. You certainly helped with inspiring me to go for it. Thanks for all your good wishes, I really appreciate it. I wish you all the very best too. The only way is up!

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  1. This is all very exciting, Julie. Congratulations on reaching your goals for 2015 and good luck for 2016 and your writing career. I love new starts, even other people’s … especially, other people’s!

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    • Thanks, Clare, it does feel very exciting and a bit scary too! It is definitely time for a fresh start though. Thanks for your good wishes. It’s going to be an interesting year 🙂

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  2. Gosh Julie, you have achieved so much in the last year, and your 2016 sounds exciting. I envy your organisational skills, sadly mine are lacking. You reminded me that I was going to try for the RNA New Writers scheme this year – unfortunately too late and I have missed the boat again! Good luck in your brave new world. I am very interested in your new proof-reading business. Already committed elsewhere on book two, but I know where to come with book three! Happy New Year to you and yours.

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    • Thanks, Sam, it was a good year when I look back at it and yes, 2016 promises to be exciting too. I’m so sorry you missed out on the NWS, it’s such a good scheme. You will definitely have to try for it next year. Thanks for your good wishes for my new business, you know I would be delighted to work with you when the time comes 🙂 Happy New Year to you and your family too – I hope this will be the year when we meet!

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  3. Well done, and good luck with the proofreading business! My sister started hers simply by tweeting, and it spiralled upwards quickly, so that she was able to give up work after 18 months (she lives alone so it’s all on her!!) – harness the power of Twitter!! Good luck, too, with the query letters 🙂

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    • Thanks so much, Terry, for your good wishes and your advice about getting going with the proofreading. I have a long to-do list for this first week! I hope I can be as successful as Julia has been 🙂

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  4. All sounding good, Julie – congratulations. Good luck with your writing and proofreading. If I can help re the proofreading (business or mechanics), don’t hesitate to Twitter DM or email me.

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  5. Best of luck Julie, a big step to give up paid work but it will pay off for you, you’ll have more determination too. Like you, I plan to contact agents / publishers early this year but get on and self publish in the autumn if nothing comes of it. I love self publishing but I feel I need traditional publishers to grow sales abroad as my book is much more popular as a paperback than an ebook.

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    • Thanks, Lorna, I’d like to think I’m determined enough to make a go of it! There’s no doubt that self-publishing is hard work, however much we might enjoy the control. Good luck to you with your plans for this year as well 🙂

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  6. I do hope you achieve all your goals and dreams this year. You already have achieved so much and it would be wonderful if you could go further. I cant wait for the second book to be finished, as i enjoyed FHTN, enough to read it twice! Wishing you all good luck and success in the world xxxx

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    • Thanks, Sue. Yes, it’s brave and a bit mad, probably! I hope it will be more exciting than scary and I will certainly let you know how it goes 🙂

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  7. That’s amazing news Julie! Well done on making such a fabulous change in your life. I know how scary giving up a regular salary for the joys of freelance can be but I honestly wouldn’t go back. I’m sure you’ll be really successful as a proof reader (if I ever need one I’ll be giving you a call!) and I wish you all the very best with your writing and finding an agent for your second book.

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    • Thank you, Alys. It’s all very exciting just now with it being the start of the year as well 🙂 Long may it continue! Good luck with your writing adventures this year too!

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