Looking back at 2019 and writing goals for 2020

new year 2020

 

Like for many of us, the beginning of a new year is a time to look back at the past year for me—and a time to make plans and goals for the new year. Goal setting has helped me a lot as a full-time writer.

So, let’s see how I did on my goals for 2019:

 

Write and publish two English novels. 

I did achieve that goal.

 

Translate and publish two German novels. 

That’s another checkmark on my list of goals.

I translated and published not only the German versions of Not the Marrying Kind and Hidden Truths, but also my short story collection Beyond the Trail in 2019. You can find all my German books on my German website.

 

Write two short stories. 

I did manage to write two short stories—one was a sexy mini sequel to Just Physical titled “Worth the Wait,” which is available in the erotica anthology Laid Bare.

The other is a short story titled “Partners.” It features Dee and Austen from Under a Falling Star and will be published in the new Ylva Publishing anthology, out in spring 2020.

 

Jae in New York, High Line
On the High Line, New York City

Attend the GCLS conference in Pittsburgh in July and the book fair in Frankfurt in October. 

Check and check! I did attend the GLCS conference in Pittsburgh, and while I was in the US, I also visited New York City and saw some of the places I described in Just for Show.

I also attended the book fair in Frankfurt, and I had events in LGBT bookstores in Bern, Switzerland, and in Berlin.

 

Continue to give back to the community of LGBT readers and writers. 

I think I can consider that goal accomplished too. I mentored another new writer for the Writing Academy of the GCLS (Golden Crown Literary Society), and I hosted a series of author interviews to help fellow authors of lesbian fiction get the word about their books out.

 

Become a more healthy writer. 

Ummm… well… I had planned to work out three times a week. Some weeks, I did. Other weeks, I didn’t. To be honest, there were more weeks when I failed than weeks I succeeded. I guess I’ll have to think of a better motivation for myself in 2020!

 

Read more books for fun. 

That one was only a partial success too. Since most of my time is spent writing, editing, and promoting my books, I didn’t find a lot of time to read. My newly established Facebook Reader Group did inspire me to read more, though. Not only do they share great book recommendation, but I’m also hosting a couple of authors for a themed chat every month, so I did read five books for the Ace Characters Chat, for example.

 

Other accomplishments in 2019:

There were also some accomplishments and highlights in 2019 that I hadn’t actually planned:

  • As I just mentioned, I established my own Facebook Reader Group, and I’m having a lot of fun discussing WLW & lesbian fiction with the now 800 members of the group every day.
  • Eight of my novels were published as an audiobook: Backwards to Oregon and its sequel, Hidden Truths; Conflict of Interest and its sequel, Next of Kin; Falling Hard; Not the Marrying Kind; Heart Trouble, and Damage Control.
  • Two of my series were published as a box set: the Oregon series box set and the Hollywood series box set, which save readers 30% compared to buying each book individually.
  • Departure from the Script was translated into Italian and is available under the title Non eri nel copione.
  • My books won a total of eight awards in 2019: Just for Show won a GCLS Award for contemporary romance – long novels, an eLit Award (gold) in the LGBT Fiction category, a Rainbow Award in the best lesbian contemporary romance category, and an IPPY Award (silver) in the best romance ebook category. Paper Love won an eLit Award (silver) in the LGBT Fiction category and a Rainbow Award in the best lesbian contemporary romance category. Perfect Rhythm won a Rainbow Award in the best asexual book category, and Not the Marrying Kind won a Rainbow Award in the best lesbian book category.

GCLS Award Just for Show by Jae

So political situations worldwide aside, 2019 was a pretty good year for me.

 

My goals for 2020

Jeez, 2020. It’s really weird to type that. Anyway, here are the goals I set for myself for 2020:

 

Write and publish two English books. 

My first book for 2020 is supposed to be a novella titled Wrong Number, Right Woman, but knowing me, it might end up being a novel.

My second book for 2020 will probably be book 3 for the Portland Police Bureau series. But my muse might change its mind and decide to write a novel for Dr. Lucy Hamilton Sharpe from Shaken to the Core first, or a contemporary romance about a woman with a very unusual job…

 

Translate and publish two German novels. 

Book 2 of Hidden Truths is already scheduled to be published in a couple of days, and I’m also hoping to translate The Roommate Arrangement and maybe one other of my novels in 2020.

 

Publish a new writers’ guide. 

I’m also planning to publish a new writers’ guide under my real name in 2020. This one will be on how to write a great beginning, and it’ll hopefully be out in March 2020.

 

Attend at least two book-related events in 2020

I’m planning to attend the GCLS conference for writers and readers of lesbian fiction in July. This time, it’ll be in Albuquerque, so I’m hoping to also visit Santa Fe.

In March, I’m planning on attending the book fair in Leipzig, which is more of a reader-focused fair compared to the more publisher-focused Frankfurt book fair.

 

Continue to give back to the community of LGBT readers and writers. 

Like every year, I’d like to find a way to give back to the community of LGBTQ readers and writers. I will probably mentor another writer for the GCLS.

I also have something fun planned for readers in 2020: The F/F Fiction Crossword Challenge is a year-long event for readers of WLW & lesbian fiction. Each month, I’ll post two themed crossword puzzles, and readers who send in the solution will have a chance to win ebooks. Check back tomorrow, when I’ll post the rules, or subscribe to this blog so you won’t miss any of the crosswords!

 

Become a more healthy writer. 

Since I earn my living sitting at my desk, I definitely need to work harder to stay healthy. My goal for 2020 is to work out three times a week and/or take long walks—maybe with an audiobook, to combine it with the next goal.

 

Read more books for fun. 

I’d really like to find more time to read for pleasure in 2020. I think I’m off to a good start because I’ll be going on a three-week vacation in January, where I’m hoping to get a good start on my to-be-read list.

 

 

How did you do with your goals for 2019? And what are your goals, plans, and hopes for 2020?

Please leave a comment and let us know.

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18 thoughts on “Looking back at 2019 and writing goals for 2020”

  1. Thank you, Jae!

    This newsletter has opened my eyes as to how busy you actually are. WOW, Girl!

    *side note* I only call strong females that I admire Girl.

    I followed the link to your writers’ guides’ page. I have a bit of talent when it comes to writing and have thought of one or two story ideas for possible books. I will definitely scratch around on that site of yours.

    I am an absolute fan of your writing. I will start to post some reviews in 2020.

    Thank you for sharing your talent with me.

    Charmaine Holtzkampf
    Reader from South Africa

    Reply
    • Busy is my middle name :-)

      It’s great that you want to try out writing. Best of luck with it, and let me know if you ever have a question about writing!

      Reply
  2. Congratulations for reaching so many of your goals this year.
    My goal was to write 3 books this year and I managed to finish 6 and am about to finish number 7 (only 4.000 words left), which made in total 627.575 words. As all these books are first drafts there’ll be a few more words when I’m done reworking them.
    I didn’t manage to read a lot, so that was a shame and also my health is still not as good as I want it to be. But I did achieve my concert goal and went to over a dozen concerts this years.

    For next year my goal is to finish the work I’m writing now (should be easy as it’s only like one or two chapters away from the first draft), write two more and rework all the ones I wrote this year and have them all printed.
    Also, I think it’s time to go back to the gym three times a week so my health gets better.
    I’d like to read at least one book per month.

    That should be enough for 2020.

    Reply
  3. Busy year, as always! The amount of word you accomplish is phenomenal and reading your yearly recap is inspiring. Best wishes for 2020: much success, health, joy, peace and LOVE.

    Reply
  4. With all this work i can see there is no time for working out. The plan of walking with an audiobook seems like a wonderfull idea.
    My goals for 2020 are much simpeler: swimming once a week, walking 1000 steps each day..

    Reply
  5. Thank you for spending time communicating with your readers. Congratulations on reaching 800+ on “our” Facebook group. You are the glue that keeps us sharing. Way to go, nailing your goals in 2019! I didn’t exercise as I had planned either… Hope to see you in Santa Fe. Thanks for the effort in constructing all the crosswords. Wishing everyone the best in 2020 – Lisa in Chicago.

    Reply
  6. Can’t comprehend all you accomplished…love all you’ve written. Any thoughts of a visit to Canada, particularly Toronto?? Best wishes for Good Health and Peace in 2020 with the Muse sitting comfortably on your shoulder.

    Reply
  7. Jae, I hear you about exercising / working out.
    I found out that exercising first thing in the morning, before breakfast, works well for me. Maybe it would work for you, too?
    Congratulations on achieving so much in 2019. And planning as much for 2020. This said, I feel like something is missing in your writing plans. 😉 Do you need a hint?
    🦊
    All the best for 2020, and the new Chinese cycle starting soon. 🐺✨

    Reply
    • Yes, working out in the morning is definitely the best approach. If I don’t do it then, I won’t get around to it for the rest of the day either.

      Hehehe. I haven’t forgotten about the shape-shifter book. I really wish I were a faster writer so I can get around to everything I want to write.

      Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2020!

      Reply
  8. You really did kick but this past year! I have no doubt you will do the same and better now that 2020 has kicked off. I have been honored to have been more active in getting to know you and talking more with you over the past months. You’ve asked questions and put together things that have helped my put my brain to the test like it hasn’t been in a long time. It has been great to learn more about you.

    For me, i wasn’t able to do as much as i had wanted in 2019 due to my health issues. This was the first year that i did not reach and pass mt reading goals as i had in the 3 years before. But i still did pretty good. I read almost 150 books and due to the health issues I fell in love with audio-books and with the help of great authors and audible escape, i was about to listen to about 90 audio stories. So i am still getting the feel good things i need to help me through the hard times.
    I plan to keep fighting to feel better and work with my doctors to do the best i can start to have a ‘normal’ life again. I am hoping with my current level of physical therapy i can start working more hours again starting in March and hopefully not long after that go back full time. But that is a one day at a time and don’t push it kinda thing.
    I wish you all the best in this new year. Good luck to all in the coming puzzles. I never thought i would say this about crossword puzzles, but i am excited about these and cant wait to get started.

    Reply

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