2015: The Year I Say No

S. J. Pajonas December 31, 2014
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I'm saying NO a lot more in 2015 and here's why...

Not only will 2015 be the year that I say NO to the things that suck away my writing and creative time, it will also be the year of Head Down And Write. Don’t look up until you’ve finished!

Why have I made this drastic statement? I recently read this great article about how creative people say NO and I thought of all the times I had been on Facebook giving advice to people who either (a) didn’t want to hear what I had to say despite asking the question or (b) didn’t appreciate the fact that I give back to my community.

I have learned so much this past year in publishing, and it was always my intention to turn around and give that information back so that others could learn from me. They could hear what I had to say and make decisions for themselves. I have always said, “What works for one does not work for all, but you should hear what did work for that one person so you can use that information if you want.”

So in 2015, I’m saying NO to all the people who only want to hear one thing one way. I’m not taking the initiative to answer questions unless someone is a good friend (that includes all of you, my dear readers), and I’m taking the extra time I gain from not answering questions to put my HEAD DOWN AND WRITE.

What matters most is being a functioning member of my community, and I can’t do that if I’m not writing.

Good thing I have my blog! I have lots of posts planned for next year. I may not give back in every forum I’m a member of, but I will give back here.

Let’s get down to business. What can you expect from me in 2015?

This Very Website

A complete site redesign and overhaul. I like this design a lot but it’s too difficult to maintain especially since the theme creators don’t return my emails anymore (bad business move because now I won’t buy from them again). I will be designing the website from the ground up and making my own theme. My main goals are to (1) make the site load faster, (2) use Bootstrap adjustable layouts so that I don’t need a separate plugin for mobile, (3) make each book’s landing page work for SELLING the books, and (4) simplify the design to focus on content, get rid of sidebars and distractions.

Books

I have some books planned for 2015.

REVEALED, the entire novella. I offered up the first 14 chapters of REVEALED for free in short story installments in 2014. In 2015, I will bundle them into the entire book with the rest of the chapters and it should go on sale in early Spring. The free installments will no longer be available when this publishes. This is companion novella to the entire Nogiku Series.

The fourth and final book of The Nogiku Series. I plan to publish in Summer 2015 if not sooner. I want to get it out to everyone and conclude the series so fans can have the entire experience. I can’t wait for you all to read! Initial readings of the first draft by my trusted alpha reader show that you will laugh, cry, and sigh. All good things. All good things.

I’m writing a New Adult contemporary romance I’d like to publish in the Fall of 2015. It’s currently untitled because I just can’t decide on a title yet! But you can follow its progress here on the blog under the codename Tokyo Run. I will also write a short story to accompany this novel just for newsletter subscribers.

I have a series of short stories I want to write and publish throughout 2015 and 2016. My current notes make them surreal speculative fiction. They’ll all take place in Japan, and they all remind me of Haruki Murakami. I plan on publishing them all at 99¢ and I also will be saving one just for my newsletter subscribers.

Audiobooks. Once all four Nogiku Series books are out, I’m going to look into making them into audiobooks. I’ve heard this is a great source of income for authors but I’ve yet to check into it.

More Vendors. I tried going Amazon-exclusive with FACE TIME for 3 months, and it just didn’t work out. I wish it had. If Amazon ever makes Kindle Unlimited available to people on a non-exclusive contract, I’ll take it. In the meantime, I’ll continue to publish to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and my Selz store. I will also be adding in All Romance eBooks for all my books. If you want my books on another platform, please feel free to message me.

Writing

I obviously plan on writing those short stories and publishing them.

I also plan on writing the next book in the Love in the Digital Age collection.

I would like to write the first drafts of a new Japan-inspired science fiction series I’ve had in mind as well!

Revisions of the books I plan to publish will take up time, but my plan is to plot my writing ahead of time so that first drafts go faster.

Promotions, Advertising, and Social Media

Newsletter – I will be focusing efforts next year on my newsletter. I intend to grow it and offer newsletter subscribers exclusive stories and sales.

Facebook – My Facebook Page will be a big part of my reach in 2015. I am setting aside a small monthly budget for FB advertising, and I plan on sharing a lot of what I put on my Page to my personal profile. I will continue to post FB links to Twitter.

Twitter – Interesting stories will go to my Twitter profile as well random stuff I have to say. I hope to be more engaged there, and I also plan to continue to participate in Twitter chats.

Instagram – I have decided that Instagram will be a promotional-free zone and purely personal. I tried posting some promo images this past year, but I didn’t find it beneficial and I often was sporadic about it. I plan to participate in a Photo A Day challenge with the hashtags #ig2015, #dailyphoto, and #365days (it was good for me in 2014!) and some monthly challenges. I may post things having to do with my writing and my books, but that’s a part of my life. I recently found Iconosquare and it has replaced surfing Instagram on my phone. SO MUCH EASIER! I plan to be more engaged there this next year.

Pinterest – I plan to learn more about Pinterest in 2015. I want to make sure all my books have inspiration boards and that I put my books there when they’re available. I’d also like to put my blog posts there as well. That will probably be the majority of my promotion there. Otherwise, I will just use it for all the normal things people use it for :)

Tumblr – I loved my tumblr but I’m going to call that venture dead. I continue to forget about it, and I worry about copyrighted material there that I reblog. Pinterest will replace it for inspiration in 2015.

G+, YouTube, Tsu, etc – I continue to dip my toes in the waters of these communities but I haven’t found compelling reasons to spend more time there than I already do.

NA Alley and NALitChat – I will continue to write at and help administer NA Alley and participate in NALitChat on Thursday nights at 9PM ET.

Personal Goals

Now that I belong to a gym, I want to make sure I’m going at least once per week until the summer time when I’d like to step it up to twice or thrice per week. My kids will be in summer camp then, and I’ll have more time to go. I will focus on a short amount of cardio and weight lifting plus some barre.

Cut back on sweets. I say this every year. It’s now tradition.

I cut back on caffeine big time in 2014 and I’d like to continue that in 2015. I’m down to two cups of black tea per day which is nothing compared to the amount of coffee I used to drink.

Be a social media guru. I’m only kinda kidding about this. Really my goal is to keep following all the social media blogs and understand what the different networks are doing and why, so I can make the right decisions for my career.

Read more. I slacked off on reading for pleasure this past year. I want to read more and listen to more audiobooks.

Attend more conferences this year and help out more people in person. I may be saying NO to a lot of things, but I won’t say NO to my friends.

Knit more! I say this every year. I have a stash to simultaneously be proud of and afraid of. Lol. Time to knit it up.

And that’s it! Lots to look forward to! I’m looking forward to sharing it with you. xo


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