New Years–a time for rest, rejuvenation and repair. A time to assess life. Do we settle into our routine, enjoy where it’s headed, or is it time to grab our purse, our iPhone, our car keys, and get out of there?
Here are my resolutions this year. Lots of them! I break it down into Fiction (for my novel writing), Non-fiction (for my tech ed writing), Blogs (for my four blogs) and Business (for marketing my myriad of books):
- Rewrite and self-pub To Hunt a Sub. This thriller series uses science to drive the plot. The science is current, not futuristic, with extrapolations on what can be accomplished. The characters are damaged, flawed, and heroic. The plot is fast-paced, non-stop (which I have to work on). At one point almost ten years ago, I called this book completed. Now, I’m glad I took a second look. I like it much better. I’ll be giving you updates over the next few months with a tentative plan to get it out before summer.
- Rewrite the sequel to To Hunt a Sub—Twenty-Four Days. This is the second in the series. This, too, I called completed at one point. Then I edited and called it completed. Then my agent offered advice, I made changes and called it completed. Yikes! I’m getting sick of it! This time, I’ll go through it, fix problems, and self-pub! I need to move on. I won’t finish it this year, but I’ll get started, with a planned publication date of mid-next year.
- I attended Richard Bausch’s amazing class last year on writing. 2014, I need to find another motivating class to enrich my writing. Any ideas?
- Update one of my tech-in-ed books–not sure which at this point.
- Start an update on my K-8 technology curriculum. This won’t be out until sometime next year.
- Finish the K-2 technology curriculum student workbooks. I added workbooks for grades 3-8, but a poll of teachers didn’t show a lot of interest in the younger grades. Still, I want to have them available to round out the collection.
- Continue working on my webinars for teachers addressing a tech-infused classroom.
- Continue publishing 3-5 articles a week on each of my core blogs Ask a Tech Teacher, WordDreams (this blog), and USNA or Bust!
- Expand the reach of my blogs. What has worked well for me this year is:
- link back to blogs that address the same topic I’m writing about. You may have noticed that I often include websites that let you dig deeper into a topic. Not only does it provide more information for readers, I often find myself enriched by what I uncover as I’m coming up with just the right links
- visit blogs that cover my topics. I do this already–love doing it–and will continue
- Add internal links for posts within my blog that address the same topic I’m writing about. You’ve probably noticed this on posts, toward the bottom
- Find guest bloggers for my blogs. I’ve reached out a bit, but not enough. My readers would benefit from other opinions.
- get headers and banners designed for FB, G+, Twitter so I look more professional. I got this started last year and will continue the effort this year.
- straighten out trademarks and copyrights for my writing, my business name, and my blog name. I recently learned that–yes–your writing is copyrighted as your creative work the moment you write it, but that benign level offers no legal recourse. Sure, I can tell someone to stop using my stuff, but I can’t sue them for the past–only the future. I’ve decided I need more weight behind me than a slap on the hand. I have almost finished this, but I have a few more pieces. Most of the hard work is done by good friend, copyright attorney Terry Mazura. Kudos to this guy!
- redo old covers that look pretty darn awful and create professional-looking covers for new material. I got a good start on this, and have just a few to finish up. The cover designer I was raving about last year didn’t work out so I turned to Joel Friedlander for one of his cover template collections. I’m pretty happy with those results so far. I published thirty-six non-fic books last year (some as short as ten pages, but all requiring a cover) and made all of the covers myself. I used a standard design, which works better for non-fic than it will for fiction.
- continue promoting my webinars for teachers. These have worked well this year, especially the summer professional development classes. Continue offering free products for teachers and schools. These include lesson plans, posters, and more. I signed up for a Patreon Account which makes it easy for donors to support my activities (which include offering more free products to needy schools, teachers, homeschoolers).
- I cleaned up my Google Play account–spent quite a bit of time posting my 40-50 books. This has not worked at all. I sell one-two books a week through this outlet, a shadow of what I sell through TeachersPayTeachers and Amazon. I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong there.
- become more active in tech ed and writer communities. I learn so much chatting with colleagues. I need to make this a bigger part of my weekly activities.
What are your resolutions? What are you doing I should be? I want to learn from you.
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of dozens of books on integrating tech into education, webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.