2019 – my writing year

whew…what a year it’s been generally, but specifically for me as a writer. I wish I was reporting on all the dozens (hundred!!) of sales I made this year but alas overnight-success status alludes me still, as does any hope of securing any kind of best-seller badge. Seems one really must learn to promote one’s books if one wished to achieve stuff like that… Perhaps I’ll learn to do that in 2020…

  • 1. Ingram Spark paperbacks are no fancier than Amazon’s but Amazon is far easier to use. I know a lot of people don’t want to give money to Mr Bezos, I get it, but seriously that IS dashboard hurts my brain. Kobo was even easier than Amazon but I haven’t looked into their Print on Demand service yet. I’ll stick with Amazon for now.
  • 2. Pinterest is an excellent marketing platform. When I was running the art business I had no advertising budget so I had to be very creative and used Pinterest and Instagram (Facebook was a dead-end). I revived my dormant Pinterest account and now I get over a million eyeballs each month. Now the trick is to try to parlay that traffic into some moolah. It’s important to make your own images to pin and for others to pin from your website. I pin a lot and can’t believe how often a website will have either nothing or a boring photo to pin so I make sure my images have my website address and always credit images that don’t belong to me.
getting a view or two and have more than doubled my followers in the last 3 weeks
  • 3. Daily blogging is sometimes the only thing that keeps me writing every day. It’s a good habit to get into and helps create a body of work even if I may wait ten years to use the words in something like a book. However it does sometimes get in the way of fiction writing something I am going to have to get a handle on in 2020.
  • 4. I need to get some skin in the game. Even though I am a committed indie author I need to get some of my work in front of agents or judges of competitions etc if I want to improve. It’s totally fine if a creative wants to just make stuff for their own pleasure or for friends and family, but if I truly want to make this a career in some way, I need to get it out there… Other than this blog and some posts on my Facebook page, I didn’t really get much Out There in 2019. 2020 will be a different ball game. I’ve set my rejection goal to 20 for the year and right now I have nothing out there doing the rounds. I’d better get moving. I already have a rejection so yay me.
  • 5. Nanowrimo can be more fun if it’s approached as Nanoslowmo. I loved the experience this year even though I didn’t ‘win’. 36,000 words is still a win in my book.
  • 6. Outlining a story makes it much easier to write! My Nano project was my first outing as a ‘Plantser’ – I worked to a plan, but still wrote by the seat of my pants in many ways.
  • 7. There are so many genres and subgenres that anyone can find an audience if they just look in the right place.
  • 8. Editing can be fun if it’s done right.
  • 9. Procrastination can look like work if it’s in the form of writing a blog or marketing. I’ll just leave it at that…
  • 10. I am a little too ready to accept negative feedback and often disregard positive feedback. I also have to learn to let people buy my books instead of thinking up a reason why they shouldn’t.
  • 11. I have almost completely put to bed the idea of writing a memoir. At least until everyone I know is dead.
  • 12.Editing can be enjoyable if it’s done right! But make no mistake, editing is never finished. To paraphrase a quote by Da Vinci; art is never finished, only abandoned.
  • 13. Writing romance is harder than it looks.
  • 14. I have almost no interest in writing about where I live. I only want to write about other places…
  • 15. I most certainly do not want to write to market. Market seems to only be interested in vampires, bad boys and hot sex with captains of industry.
  • 16. One day at a writers’ festival is enough for me at this point. Having said that, I am keen to go to a couple next year.
  • 17. I have to get over my fear of ‘being seen’ if I want to make a career from writing.
  • 18. I will have to get over my deeply held belief that I will never have a career as a writer if I want to have a career as a writer
  • 19. Don’t take criticism from someone you wouldn’t go to for advice.
  • 20. Good writing is a balanced mixture of Shows and Tells
  • 21. People have fiercely held opinions about publishing and there is no point trying to convince people to change theirs. All you can do is follow your own path and do it to the best of your ability. I really believe that the disruption of the traditional publishing industry was a great thing for writers. The gatekeepers are shrinking and often the only one left standing is our own prejudices against indie publishing in its many guises.
  • 22. A writer can always strive towards being a better writer and the best way to do this is to write BUT there must be learning in there too. Active reading, courses, books, articles on the craft of writing are essential and I’ve learnt so much this year. I have a books stacked and ready to go (Elements of Style is on the top of the pile!) and will do an editing course in 2020 to quiet the little voice that tells me a 25 year old education degree is not enough…

Happy New Year – May all your dreams come true this year! <3


    1. Christine Betts

      Hi!! There isn’t much around because I haven’t made any for over two years and had a big purge of my web presence. There are some pieces on Zazzle (writerpainter) from years ago that I still sell regularly. The work I did in my job was in hotels and interior design projects so all anonymous- luckily because some were awful 😂😂

  1. thebuneh.tumblr.com

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this excellent blog!
    I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to new updattes and will share this blog with my Facebook group.
    Chat soon!

  2. Janet Mary Cobb

    Great post — I share so many of these thoughts. I finished a business book manuscript – Promised Land: The 10 Commandments for Nonprofit Strategy, Communications and Fundraising. It is currently with an editor and one alpha reader. My big thing will be marketing. We’ll see.

    1. Christine Betts

      that’s wonderful. I do recall seeing that was on your to do list this year! Congratulations! I am quite good at marketing, it turns out, BUT I struggle with the emotional side of letting myself be seen, letting my work be seen.

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