Before we get to this month's question, I have two very exciting news items for you!
First, the winners have been announced for the next IWSG anthology, which is shaping up to be a superb read:
A Stich in Crime – Gwen Gardner http://gwengardner.blogspot.
Execution - S. R. Betler https://twitter.com/srbetler
Cypress, Like the Tree - Yolanda Renée http://yolandarenee.blogspot.
The Tide Waits – Rebecca M. Douglas http://www.ninjalibrarian.com
Until Release - Jemi Fraiser http://jemifraser.blogspot.ca
Gussy Saint and the Case of the Missing Coed - C.D. Gallant-King http://www.cdgallantking.ca/
The Little Girl in the Bayou - J. R. Ferguson https://twitter.com/
One More Minute – Mary Aalgaard https://playoffthepage.com/
Center Lane - Christine Clemetson https://cclemetson.wordpress.
Reset – Tara Tyler https://taratylertalks.
Heartless – C. Lee McKenzie http://writegame.blogspot.com/
There is a superb variety of stories and talent on offer, and you're not going to want to miss this one.
Next, you only have a couple of weeks to hone your pitches for the next #IWSGPit Twitter Pitch event on Thursday, January 18!
Create a Twitter-length pitch for your completed and polished manuscript and leave room for genre, age, and the hashtag. On January 18, Tweet your pitch. If your pitch receives a favorite/heart from a publisher/agent check their submission guidelines and send your requested query.
Many writers have seen their books published from a Twitter pitch - it’s a quick and easy way to put your manuscript in front of publishers and agents.
After about 2300 Tweets being sent in the last event, and trending on Twitter, this year's is set to be even bigger. Don't miss out! Full rules can be found here.
Finally, let's turn to this month's IWSG question, which is quite appropriate for the New Year, when we often look to go back to the drawing board to come up with a plan for the next 12 months:
What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?
This is an excellent question and one we should definitely all think about, as schedules can help us achieve a lot through a series of small steps over the long term. As for the writing, my schedule has been the same for a little while, making use of those early morning hours for either new words or editing (I now start my day job at a defined time of 6am, so writing takes place between 4 and 6). Publishing is a different kettle of fish, because along with that must come marketing, which I see as an ongoing process of experimentation. I've set rough release dates for the next books in my series, and I want to try different marketing endeavours with each one as well as repeating anything that may have had favourable results (I will always do a blog tour, for example). I keep a Word document for each book that I can add to, annotate, and check things off of. Hopefully I can have something going on at any given time, and this helps me keep on top of everything. For now, book 2 is my focus, so I will definitely start drawing up a marketing plan soon as I work to finalise edits.
What does scheduling look like for you? To see how others have answered, check out the list of other IWSG participants here.