This is a copy of a guest post I had published over on Do Authors Dream Of Electric Books? on 31 January 2012. I liked it so much I thought I’d re-post it here. Ta.
I recently fired up an old PC to rescue a novel from a zip disk, and in doing so I discovered a lot of old web links from ten or eleven years ago, saved onto the disk along with my novel. Reading through these has given me a lot to think about.
I thought about the ten years since I downloaded those links – life events, changes online and in the real world, successes and failures and other experiences. I looked at my meagre achievements as a writer.
And I began to think ten years ahead.
Last year, I wrote twenty short stories, one novella, one-and-a-half novels. I built a new blog up to fifty pages and had an article and a book review published in a niche magazine.
I work a full-time job. Last year I had an allotment garden and a hobby which took me away from home for a couple of weekends and occupied my spare time in the evenings and weekends for months beforehand.
I didn’t write nearly as much as I hoped. But I planned my writing around work, around the allotment, around the rest of my life including holidays and family visits and friends and exercise and learning new stuff.
And I wrote.
My output last year wasn’t prolific. Far from it.
However, I now have a suite of products up for sale on Amazon and via Smashwords to a number of international markets. I have publication credits in a print magazine. If I produce as much this year, I’ll double the size of my suite. I’ll also have a little planetary system of stories in the same universe. Two universes, in fact.
In ten years time, if I keep up the same leisurely pace of production and nothing else changes, I’ll have:
- ten novels
- ten novellas
- two hundred short stories
- ten non-fiction booklets
- an as-yet-unplanned number of variety packs – novels+novellas, novels+shorts, twin novel packs, themed packs, character packs, etc. which add up to at least another hundred products
- a 500-post blog
If I’d started this ten years ago, at this pace, even with all the life issues that cropped up in those years, how would that body of work make me feel?
Rather chuffed, I can tell you.
Never mind the state of publishing, the crisis of the internet, the downfall of western civilisation. Ignore it, and look at that body of work. I want to be able to look back in ten years and see that with my name against it.
What does your ten-year plan look like?