Well, 2012 is finally behind us. I can't say it was my favorite year, but it certainly wasn't a bad one. Challenging, yes, but not bad.There were many highlights to the year that made those challenges worthwhile. I published two novels - Black Earth: Dark Masquerade and Black Earth: Exodus. My wife and I celebrated our seven year wedding anniversary. My son turned one. It was a great year.
I learned a lot of things by the end of 2012, especially in terms of being a self-published author. I learned that edgy Christian speculative fiction can be a viable genre. I learned that FB can be a minefield of timesuck. I learned that all the rules that other authors give for self-published authors to follow aren't always the right ones for me - such as getting myself plugged into as many social networking outlets as possible, and taking five years to write a book. I learned that I am unique - both as an individual and as an author - and that I need to utilize this uniqueness in the public field.
2013 brings with it a slew of new challenges for me, both personally and professionally. My wife and I have plans to move to San Francisco early in the year to take part in a church plant called Canvas. I will resume writing in my young adult series, Expired Reality, and FINALLY get the third book in that series finished and published. Our son will turn two, and my wife and I will celebrate eight years of wedded bliss. This will be a fantastic year. I'm sure there will be ups and downs, I'm sure I'll laugh and cry, hurt and heal. But that is life.
Most of all, I will write. I have never been one to actually stick to a writing regime. I usually write when I 'feel like it', and a majority of my writing frenzy occurs during National Novel Writing Month. This year though I am committing to an hour of writing each day. This commitment will help me learn to separate my writing time from my editing time. Editing is not writing - necessarily.
I am also making a commitment to cut out a good portion of my social networking pursuits. I've already purged my FB friend list on my personal profile from over 1500 friends to 115. I'll use my actual author page to promote my work and interact with my fans, and my personal profile to interact with friends and family. I've also cut out Red Room, Writing.com, and some other sites, simply because I don't have to the time to dip my foot in all these swimming pools, and because I don't have a lot of time to interact with other authors. Readers are who I need to be interacting with, so I'll be spending some more time over in the Kindle and Nook forums, Goodreads, and my FB pages.
Another place I'll be spending more time in is The Crossover Alliance, an online community I built for readers/writers of edgy Christian speculative fiction. I have some more content I want to add to the site - reviewers/readers who enjoy this type of fiction, some giveaways, and more resources for those wishing to self-publish in this particular genre.
I will also be taking a serious look at what I want to accomplish with my blogging habits in this new year. I've had a difficult time coming up with new content for this blog simply because I've tried multiple times to streamline the content I put up here to topics relevant to self-publishing or my own writing experience. This strategy has hindered me in regards to being more 'unique', in that I haven't really delved too deeply into showing the world a lot about me per say. I have written posts regarding my hobbies or the things I like, but those posts have been few and far between. And they are probably some of my favorite posts to write.
2013 will be great! Not just good, but great! So as we venture into this new year together, keep your eyes peeled on this blog for a few minor changes in content, and look for me at the streamlined list of social networking hubs I'll be visiting from time to time.
Onward into 2013 I venture!
Photo Copyright Michal C. Alderman