New Avenues to Me — Derek Barton 2020

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I have been working hard on strengthening and fleshing out my two resources Pinterest and Patreon for you. These sites should give you even more access to me, my work and new materials I am developing.

For those who may not fully understand what Pinterest is, Pinterest is unique search engine for materials, reference resources and finding key elements that fit into your customized categories. In other words, I have currently fourteen “boards” (categories) where I can “pin” material that I feel fall into those categories. For example I have a board called Storyboard: Horror-Suspense & Crime Inspiration.

 

Horror Snip 1

When I find an image that intrigues me, I can pin it and keep in that folder. I also have a board for my Fantasy images. This gives me a handy place to get writing ideas as well as show you the readers where I get some ideas. In my board From My Writer’s Blog I have  six subsections with material showing my self-publishing tactics, some biography blogs, my writing prompt stories, etc.

Writing Snip 1

Some of the other boards are: From My Writer’s Blog, My Horror-Suspense & Grim Fantasy Collection, My Newsletters, Book Reviews, Book Cover Artwork, Landscapes, Batman & Other Comics, My Audiobooks, and My Favorite TV Series.

I can also do my own “pins” like these:

Pin Snip 1

Also on Pinterest I can place reviews on my books, details about my book & audio book giveaways, or I can share pins from other collaborators and authors I find on Pinterest.  If you want to see my work or other things on my site, you can click here and “follow” me so you can see my contributions and additions to the site.

Patreon Snip 1

Patreon I have previously talked about here. I want to this year do even better at maintaining and providing exclusive access to my work. I have decided that I will be writing a fantasy novella based on this:

Writing Prompt 3

The novella will be seen in chapter installments only on Patreon and sold only in paperback format once completed with signature and customized metal bookmarker to my patrons initially.  The other benefits for becoming patrons will still be there — now I just want to make it even better!!

Please see these two sites and let me know what you think of them and if you have suggestions, comments or ideas to provide even more value to you!!

 

 

Looking Back & Looking Forward – Bi-Monthly Goals — Derek Barton 2020

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It has been a while since I did a “Goal Blog” and I wanted to highlight what this Bi-Monthly System has done for me and what it can empower for you.

This is in no way a bragging post or “look at me” kind of thing. I’m listing these completed goals to be an example how much one could actually accomplish.

COMPLETED Goals since July, 2017:

(The goals crossed out are ones that I deemed not needed after all. The list of Uncompleted Goals are listed below as well. Also, not all of these goals were finished in the expected deadlines, but were completed and that’s why they’re on here.)

Finalize my Chapter Outlines for The Bleeding Crown

Complete the First Rough Draft of Bleeding Crown

Complete 52,000 words written (52 days * 1000 words)

Outline first two books of Elude Series

Write out three more Elude Sections

Compile and create an Ebook on the Writing Craft from my past blogs (completed but didn’t publish)

Design bookmarks for my books: 

Get the character portraits from artist by August and start getting Poker Card and Calendars made

Complete two Giveaways (one on Kindle Review and my own Indie Book Giveaway)

Complete one Newsletter a month

Create a book trailer video

Outline first two books of Elude Series.

Develop the list of Elude characters and develop their background

Create a NaNoWriMo Prep Folder in Scrivener and complete the list of development items.

On October 1st, start editing phase for The Bleeding Crown.

Design book cover for Rookie: Pitfalls of Year One.

Write new book blurbs for all my works and revamp all of the Amazon ads.

Complete a newsletter for each month.

Find a part-time post or two – extra income to help with new bills and investment in writing projects/marketing.

Start a new series of blog posts.

Complete NaNoWriMo Challenge: 50,000 words

Start Round #2 of Editing for The Bleeding Crown

Create marketing campaign for CWC Audio Book

Research Arizona Book and Comic cons.

Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of month

Keep up The Hidden saga on website every 2 weeks

Complete the 2nd wave of edits for The Bleeding Crown — Finish by 3rd Week of Jan

Start 1st wave of edits for Elude #1 — Begin by 4th week of Jan

Work on Cover for The Bleeding Crown — Begin by 2nd week of Jan

Complete story subplot and finalize The Bleeding Crown (25,000+ words) — Begin by 2nd Week of Jan

Finalize work on Marketing Campaign for Consequences Within Chaos Audiobook — Begin by 2nd week of Jan

Write a separate blog entry outside of goals and The Hidden Saga — Finish by 2nd Week of Feb

Complete Elude #3 book (30,000 to 40,000 words)

Have Elude #3 self-edited by the end of January 2019.

Professionally edited and published by the end of February 2019.

Set up another couple book-signing events for 2019

Complete the last chapters for The Hidden web saga

Started another web saga (Juxtaposed)

Look into the options for booth setups for my book showings.

Thinking about setting up a service to other authors for possible book cover design

Outline Elude new chapters for subplots and additional material – Finish by 2nd week of March

Finish writing new subplots/additional material – Finish by 3rd week of March

Complete 3rd Wave of edits & send out to Beta Readers – Finish by end of March

Complete 1st Wave of edits for Elude #1 – Finish by end of April

Complete the Cover for The Bleeding Crown – Finish by end of March

Get feedback from beta-readers – Finish by end of April

Complete the 4th wave and final edit for The Bleeding Crown – Finish by end of April

Complete the total outline for the third book of the Wyvernshield Series. Highest Priority.

Maintain a two-week production of the chapters for the web series, Juxtaposed.

Develop and begin the Evade Series outline.

Find a cover artist or design the Wyvernshield book covers myself

UNCOMPLETED GOALS:

Read one writing craft book a month

Prepare for book convention in Tucson

Get booth banners

Write 1,000 words per day – blogging, outlining, writing (61,000k).

Sign up for at least two comic-con/book festivals for 2019.

 

As of today, May 7th, 2020, I have 3 novels, 5 novellas under my name (starting back in 2016). I plan on writing through rest of my life, but it is amazing what I have worked through and accomplished by using these guidelines.

Truly it is all down to making a plan, sticking with the plan and persevering through the obstacles.

Now to continue on for 2020…

 

January thru April’s Completed Goals:

Edit Evade Book #1, Book #2

Craft Book Blurb

Designed YouTube website with book trailers for all 5 books & series

Purchase/design book covers for all three books

Set up Beta-readers of Evade #1

Publish Book #1

Once per quarter do an ad (Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads or Amazon)

Connected with Pubby.com for book reviews

Bought a new table & cart for book signings

Found a new set of book stands

Established a Writing Prompt Series done almost bi-weekly

Completed a week-long course on Amazon Ads & Campaigns

May & June Bi-Monthly goals

Donate older book versions to libraries

Connect with my beta-readers for Evade #2

Continue writing and complete Evade #3

Maintain the Amazon Ad campaign

Research to see if anyone is doing book signings in August

Write Fantasy or Horror Writing Prompt stories every two weeks

Do more exclusive posting on Patreon

Get a writing craft audio book

Design new metal bookmarkers for Evade and The Hidden

Work on a way to expand my Email Subscriber List

 

 

Thanks again to everyone that checks in on me, supports my efforts, and provides a lot of beneficial assistance!!  I truly could not get it all done with out you.

 

 

 

Repel The Resistance — Derek Barton – 2020

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Definition of Resistance

The “Resistance” is constant but not futile (a tiny joke and a nod to my fellow Star Trek fans out there).  Resistance is the inner voice that every creator, writer, inventor or artist out there hears deep inside. That annoying, grating, self-indulgent nay-sayer who keeps you from pursuing your dreams, goals or from even putting one foot forward to start on your journies. The voice trapping you behind false masks!

Resistance is born from our insecurities, busy outside lives and the lack of faith in our skills. The questions it seeds our minds with grow into trees of self-fulfilling prophecies. In other words, its true purpose is to give you excuse after excuse why you cannot or will not write today. We all have hundreds of unique excuses and seemingly valid reasons for not putting pen to paper.  Everyone has lives and everyone has their own agendas. Yet if you give in to Resistance, you set up a habit of self-destruction and a pattern of sabotage.

Symptoms of Resistance

  • Procrastination — This is a big one for me. I give myself an out by saying, “I just don’t have the energy” or “I’m too tired tonight. One more day and I’ll get to it.”  Lies I tell myself. Resistance provides a nice pillow for me or it provides a comfy couch for me to binge-watch my shows on instead of battling to find the right words for my chapter.
  • Confusion — You are “stuck” or have a minor case of “writer’s block” because you may have written yourself into a tough scenario and don’t know how to write yourself an escape. Or your outline is vague in this spot or too general and now you find you have to fill in the nasty missing link.
  • Loss of creativity — “How can you be expected to write your masterpiece tonight?”  Or another accusation from Resistance, “I’m not feeling it. The scene isn’t going anywhere.” We stare at the screen or the blank paper for a few seconds then let Resistance “save us” and we jump ship.
  • No motivation/muse — Similar to loss of creativity is lack of motivation or the infamous “muse”. You actually know what you want to write, have the story events in your mind but at the same time doubt nags you or a lack of confidence keeps you from even trying.

Causes of Resistance

  • Low energy — One of the common and easiest ways to let Resistance get over your walls and breach your defenses against it. You have to discover the right time for you and when you are at your peak energy output is key to writing quality work. When are you focused?
  • Illness — Poor health or unexpected events are going to happen. Yet if you plan with “life” in mind, you will give yourself some back up or make-up time. Myself, I have been using Bi-monthly Goals and Writing Sprints to understand better on what to plan for and if they are possible in my given time table. I have also been working on my health and trying to approach those goals like my writing goals. In essence, good health and energy IS a writing goal.
  • Poor planning — By knowing your projects, your actual production limits, and keeping in sight holidays and/or special events in your life, you can keep Reistance at bay often. Also using efficient and beneficial planning for your writing will make it easier to progress. I struggle a lot if I don’t work out my outlines well enough or if I have left a spot too general or vague. I stall without direction. I know this about my writing so I need to adjust accordingly in order  to fend off Resistance.
  • Internet distractions — The internet is a double-edged sword for all writers. We use it constantly in our wordcraft, research and even inspiration. However, it is super addictive, highly distracting and often a vicious time-killer. There are actual websites online that prevent you from accessing other websites or email during a programmed time. It protects you from YOU!
  • Lack of character knowledge — The next two are related to poor design or poor development of story elements. If you have a limited idea of what your character is going to do in a scene, no idea of how they might react under pressure or if you have someone with barely any personality, this will leave you with limited material and limited ways to progress your story. Resistance feeds on lost productivity like this.
  • Off course of plot/storyline — Writer’s Block at its finest can be broken down to another version of “don’t know what to write”. The blank page spans for eons in front of you like a white desert, barren and desolate of life. Yes, of course, when a character goes offscript and drags you and the story into a whole other direction, it could be magical and inspiring, but if you find your story has ground to a halt and Resistance is boiling up, you need to re-examine your original story or outline to find your way back. Resistance could be using your detour and “magical moment” as a way to derail your progress!

Answers to Resistance

  • Maintain a better life & work balance — Nothing is easy and finding the perfect blend of writing and having a family life is a difficult but necessary tool to stop Resistance and your writing production. A great way to see where your actual time goes each day is to track your activities and how much each action takes. You can also learn when you are the most productive by listing the times you write, for how long, and what your word count was for the session.
  • Create a Time Table for your week/writing commitments — A great way to beat Resistance is to make writing routine and habitual. Craft a chart for listing 3 Goal Items:  Writing Commitments, Process/Project Tasks, Personal Ojectives.  What will be your Writing Commitment this week (example: a 25-minute session for 5 days of the week as a success)? What is a Process or Project Task you are going to spend time on (like marketing, editing, etc)? And other Personal Objective you want to accomplish during the week?
  • Set up a writing routine/writing space — Finding routine is essential for habit-making. What works for you as a writer?  Does going to local public places like libraries or coffee shops help you get into your writing zone? Do you need a designated place in your house, a specific hour or quiet atmosphere? Would mood music help you produce more or shut out the noise from Resistance? All of these questions are key to learning the writer you are and what will boost your spirit into writing.
  • Freewriting sprints — Sprints are timed freewriting sessions in which you silence your inner editor (Resistance’s bastard cousin) and produce as many words as possible. Leting go of any obstacles or any normal objections you have. Many writers also use these sprints to get past the initial “blah” to writing. Once you have made it past five or ten minutes, you’ll most likely push through to your daily objective.
  • Delve into your backstories — I touched on this above, but not having any true direction or finding your character is too flat to come to life on paper begs Resistance to block you. My advice is to work on their prior lives. What happened to them before your story? Was there an event which guided their behaviors or personalities? Do they hide from stressors, have character flaws, have unknown strengths or are there secrets in their past you could work out which can add depth and color to your character portrait?
  • Research your subject or develope more of your world — This tip is a balancing act. Resistance can hide here and disguise your efforts at world-building or learning historical or scientific facts as a lengthy distraction and keep you away from your true goals of writing. If you are stuck on a specific area or if you need motivation, use this with precision to get through the part. Limit the time donated on this aspect and you should find it a great way to fight back against Resistance.
  • Reward yourself — If you find Resistance is still putting a wedge between you and your work, add a reward for accomplishing your writing goal. It doesn’t have to be big (special food, coffee, or maybe video game time) will be enough spark to push through. If you want bigger, use the reward to honor completed sets of sessions. An example could be taking the family out for a dinner at the end of the week of completed writing sessions. This gives you and the family quality time together and rewarding those who are in your life supporting your writing.
  • Set your Goals and writing plans realistically — Becoming overwhelmed or finding yourself missing out too much on family events or nights out with friends will invite Resistance into your life guaranteed. It’s a part of that Work/Life balancing act I talked about. If you have too many projects hanging over your head, you’ll lose the thrill to writing. When everything about writing becomes a chore, you will know you have to revisit your goals and what you can accomplish.  I recently did some timed sprints myself and learned that I can at the moment produce 400 words of quality writing in 25 minutes. I’m tracking this and hope to continually build this word count up. If I set goals now for myself to write 2000 words a day, I know it will take me almost three hours. I have a full-time day job and a family of five to support and I want to spend time with as well. Three hours a day would be unrealistic and unfair to those who support me — I would quickly become overworked, stressed out and extremely grumpy. I don’t want to live this way nor do I want to put my family through it. I would love to only have writing but it isn’t financially feasible as well. Plotting out the year with this knowledge however and understanding how illness and holidays will interfere, I can better set up realistic goals.

Remember, being an accomplished, seasoned writer or a brand new novelist doesn’t change the fact Resistance will always be there. Resistance has infinite lives and many devious forms. These tips will help and you will probably find even more ways to keep motivated and strong, but give yourself a break. You will not always be able to ward off the demons of Resistance all of your writing career, but once they rear their ugly heads, cut them off cleanly and quickly! Use drive, planning and organization to keep yourself ahead of the game!

 

Good luck and great writing!

2020 Bi-Monthly Goal Breakdown – Derek Barton

Goal 2020

 

With the New Year almost upon us, I have been working out my upcoming goals and what I’d like to see as far as successful production for 2020.

With a lot of excitement, I am hoping to publish my new suspense/supernatural horror series, Evade! And with a lot of joy and sadness, I will be wrapping up my epic fantasy collection, the Wyvernsield Series. While this may be a “goodbye” to current beloved characters, I am already toying with a story idea with new characters beginning this time in Aberrisc!

As you know if you have been reading any of my goal planning posts, I like the bi-monthly process breakdown. This method has proven to generate the most goal success for me. I’ll be continuing the process, but this time with a larger “arching” picture in mind. I’ll be planning the entire year, broken down in two-month objectives by Work In Progress.

Overall Goal Summary: This year’s production goal is to publish four books — Evade Parts #1,2 & 3  and the last book in the Wyvernshield Fantasy Series.

Works In Progress Goals:

EVADE

January – February

  • Complete writing for Book #3 (anticipated 25,000 word count) 
  • Edit Book #1, Book #2
  • Craft Book Blurb
  • Purchase/design book covers for all three books
  • Publish Book #1

March – April

  • Edit Book #3
  • Publish Book #2

May – June

  • Publish Book #3

WYVERNSHIELD BOOK #3

March – August

  • Complete writing (March through August — anticipated word count 100,000)
  • Edit book (September through November)
  • Publish in December

April – May

  • Purchase cover
  • Write up a book blurb
  • Look into a future Set Collection of all three books

Writing goal

  • 125,000/12 mos
  • Evade Book #3 25,000 — 12,500 per month, 3,125 per week, 625 per 5 days
  • Wyvernshield #3 100,000 — 17,000 per month, 4,250 per week, 850 per 5 days

Marketing goals

  • Once per quarter do an ad (Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads or Amazon)
  • Buy new table & cart
  • Buy banner stands
  • Find/design a book stand
  • Buy Metal Bookmarkers for new books
  • Once per quarter do a local book signing
  • Participate in one national comic convention if possible
  • Expand email list
  • Once per quarter do a giveaway
  • Donate older book versions to libraries

So this is the 2020 Plan but as they are “goals”, these are subject to change, subject to incompletion, and subject to postponement! LOL

While 2019 was a tough and emotional year for me and my family, it turned out overall a very important and rewarding year. In the end, I learned you just have to have faith all will work out and have faith in yourself that you have the strength to see it through!

I wish all of you a successful and happy new year as well!

Making Bi-Monthly Goals Work For You — Derek Barton — 2019

Goal 1 2019Back in late July of 2017, I started working with the concept for Bi-monthly Goals introduced to me by Kristen Martin in her Youtube video: How To Crush Your Goals in 2017 + My Jan and Feb Bimonthly Goals.

With little tweaks and experimenting with my own additions, I obtained my best production and career momentum ever in 2018! I managed to go from producing one novel a year to producing last year a novel and two novellas while increasing my posts in a weekly blog and a monthly newsletter. More than doubling my word count productivity.

I wanted to write out and give you the scoop of my research:

  • What are Bi-Monthly Goals?  Concise goals written specifically with clear expectations, a set prioritization and a detailed impact to your objective all with a two-month deadline. By deciding where you want to go, how to get there and when you are going to make it happen, the goal’s success and outcome are almost a given. Be exact and as realistic as you can be when developing these goals in order to have a satisfactory and critical improvement outcome. The purpose of the goal is to be obtainable and to further you along in getting to your overall desired dream. Take time to think of what you really want with that goal, see it in your mind how you can do it and visualize what it will do for you by accomplishing that goal.
  • How many Bi-Monthly Goals should you make in the two months?  I have tried to push myself and have around ten to twelve goals. Other times, I have lowered the pressure and gone down to less than five goals. It is really determined by you and what you can handle.  Also, don’t be afraid to shift the number about to account for busier times in your life — like if holidays are going to interfere then prepare for them.  The outcome is not to have the most listed goals, but to have the most completed and successful goals set up.
  • Why do you need to prioritize them?  As often with “to-do lists”, one tends to wander or scatter their efforts on several goals at the same time or work the easiest first. To have a prioritization factor on the goal, it helps keep you focused on the biggest and most important items. I set the prioritization as Highest Priority,  Important Priority and Least Priority.  Working the priorities as ranked has the highest chance of success. Meaning if I can accomplish my Highest and Important Priorities then I can still get minor goals completed in the timeframe.  However, if the Highest Priority is still sitting there near the end of the two months, I know I should not even think about spending energies on the Least Priority objectives.
  • How do I score my success with the Bi-Monthly Goals?  Completing all of the goals in the two-month timeframe, of course, is a “100% Win”, but often, factors and unforeseen events will come up and interfere with your plan.  I shoot for the “100% Win”, but realistically 85% is the common “Win Success”. Be flexible, be patient and always remain confident that these goals can be completed the next two months — there is no failure!  Highest Priority percentage is 25%, Important percentage is 15% and Least Priority would be 10%. In example, if I were to have five goals at 90% = (2 of the Highest, 2 of the Important and 1 of the Least Priority goals) set as my Bi-Monthly Goals and I completed 2 of the Highest and 1 of the Important (65%) then overall it is a “72% Win”.  To be a successful “Win” then I would have had to complete 2 Highest and 2 Important then I’d have 80% of the 90% which comes to “89% Win”. Yes, it is easy to slip in a Least Priority goal, but it is important to follow your priority ranking so as to be sure you are making the most of your time that you have and accomplishing the items that most matter to you!

Bi-Monthly Goals are incredible motivators as well as a rough draft guide to your overall business/writing plans for the future. These simple milestones will advance you in small baby steps every two months to acquiring bigger and better dreams and objectives at the end of the year that you’d never thought could happen for you!

THE THREE-YEAR RIDE! — Derek Barton

Anniv Blog

Three years ago, I created this blog and established my site and social media footprint in order to advertise my book and to give my fans a place to reach out to me.  This has been a crazy but fantastic ride!  So thankful to all of you who’ve come along as passengers on my little quest.

Here’s the growth from year one to now:

SUBSCRIBERS:

  • 2019 = 70 WordPress, 11 Email & 488 through Twitter & Facebook.
  • 2016 = 11 Email

VIEWS/VISITORS:

  • 2019 = 4,488 — 2016 = 1603 views
  • 2019 = 2,475 — 2016 = 659 visitors
  • 2019 = 61 — 2016 = 19 different countries

POSTS:

  • 2019 = this is the 115th post!! (26 so far this year)
  • 2016 = 37 posts

GIVEAWAYS:  18 Individual giveaways for Book, Audio, Amazon or Metal Bookmarkers!

 

As you know if you’ve been following my goal blogs, I use a bi-montly process that has actually been quite effective.  Here are the goals made and fulfilled from July, 2018 through June, 2019:

  • Complete the Audiobook for In Four Days. Now out on Amazon, Audible & Kindle! N4D Revamp 2018c
  • Create/organize this year’s 2018 Indie Fantasy Book Giveaway with several other independent authors. Was a decent success — this year’s increase in participation & what we are giving away is a nice testament to that!

2019 Indie Book Giveaway Ad

  • Find at least two places to do a book-signing appearance. Did four book signings but due to finances and low turnout I couldn’t justify doing more…but with several books released now, I will be on the prowl for another couple signing spots this year!  Would also like to get into one or two comic-cons, but cannot promise that due to having to usually register months in advance.
  • Finish editing for Elude #1 & #2.
  • Design the book cover for Elude #1 & #2.
  • Write the end of Elude #3.  Elude Ad 2019The entire series has been completed, book covers designed then redesigned, and soon to be released in audible format by the end of the first quarter next year!!
  • Send out Monthly Newsletters by 15th of the month.  I have been successful with this and plan on continuing.
  • Keep up The Hidden saga on the website every 2 weeks.  Accomplished this and have published the entire series on Amazon & Kindle!cover
  • Start my outline for Book #3 for the Wyvernshield Fantasy series. Still trying to get through this one. Coming up with the battle plans and the intricate plots is a whole lot more complicated than you’d expect! Plus, with this being the finale, I want to do better than “What-did-you-do-to-my-Game-of-Thrones?!”… UGH!!!GoT s8
  • Write up and prepare for writing in the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) Challenge in November — Book #3 will be my focus for NaNoWriMo! (50,000 word count goal!)  I participated in this last November, but my outline had too many holes so it only garnered 26,000 words… However, it’s a good start!
  • Craft a video book trailer for Consequences Within Chaos and The Bleeding Crown.  (Can you say strettcccchhhhh gooooaaalll???)  This will happen — but trying to make Wyvernshield #3 a priority right now.
  • Start another web saga?  May have to have a survey for which genre to pursue — fantasy or horror.  Decided to do a Dystopian/Fantasy saga:  Juxtaposed…  Now working on Chapter Four. JX CH 2
  • Thinking about setting up a service to other authors for possible book cover design.  Maybe…  I did get this off the ground and have had some success doing covers, editing & proofing for other writers. I plan on continuing this as the work has been sporadic and not too overwhelming so far.
  • Begin a four-part guest blog swap with fellow writer Adam Mitchell and complete a Blog Interview with him! (This will be my first ever blog swap and should be a lot of fun!)  This has been a success — our final and fourth blogs are due out this month.  Check out Adam’s here!  For my blogs, click here!

 

Thanks again to all of you for your continued help, support and following me along this bumpy road!  It has been the greatest adventure of my life!!

Anniv Blog v2

 

Bi-Monthly Goals for July & August 2019 — Derek Barton

Blog Goal #1

Well…this has definitely been a challenging yet rewarding year. Unfortunately, events have substantially impacted my writing production.

At the beginning of April, I gave you my goals for April & May.  Now, I won’t go into detail or give any excuses, but me and my family had to face and overcome some serious medical obstacles followed by financial hardships. I was so derailed that I lost most of June as well still working things out.

The dust has settled and overall, we are sitting better than where we even started the year.  However, like any sudden change, it takes time to recover and adapt.

I do want to apologize to you, my core fans, and ask for your forgiveness and patience.

My work schedule has done a 360 degree shift on me and thus, my writing time has been severely compromised. One of my priorities this month will have to be to determine when and where to write. As I have stated in the past that I write mainly after 10 PM when my family goes to bed. Now I am working from 8 AM to 4:30 PM versus 11:30 AM to 8 PM  — not too mention the two hours of driving time… But, I repeat, I am not wanting  to give you excuses, only facts which I’ll have to find a work-around.

I promise you: Writing and developing my collection is too important for me to throw away or forget about. Adjustment, flexibility, good attitude and drive will help me find a path through.

Here were my goals and results from April & May:

  • Complete the outline for the third book in the Wyvernshield Series — partially completed; more chapters to work though.
  • Complete the outline for the new web saga, Juxtaposed — succeeded on this goal, but need to publish the third installment.
  • Complete the outline for the new Evade Series (crime/horror series) — no writing or outlining yet done on this storyline unfortunately.
  • Rework the covers of my books — partial success as I revamped the Elude Series which I’m quite happy with. Still need another artist or somehow figure out what I want for my new covers for the Wyvernshield Series.
  • Begin a four-part guest blog swap with fellow writer Adam Mitchell and complete a Blog Interview with him! — success as I published the interview (see here if you haven’t had a chance to read it) and have done 3 of the 4 guest blogs with him so far.

And by the way…I recently did an in-depth interview with my voice actress, Laura Richcreek on the Wyvernshield Series. That is in the editing stage but soon to be released. STAY TUNED FOR THAT!  It was fun to do and we get into a lot of the minute details and reasons behind the plot twists in the two books>>SPOILERS ALERT<<  

My Goals for July & August:

The last goal blog, I proposed goals and put some dates of completion with them.  This time I’m going to try putting Priority Levels on them — I will work from the top down which will keep me focused on what’s most important for me to complete.

  • Complete the total outline for the third book of the Wyvernshield Series. Highest Priority.
  • Maintain a two-week production of the chapters for the web series, Juxtaposed. Highest Priority.
  • Develop and begin the Evade Series outline.  Medium Priority.
  • Find a cover artist or design the Wyvernshield book covers myself.  Medium Priority.
  • Develop a book trailer for Wyvernshield Series. Lowest Priority (stretch goal).

 

There are many other things I want to do, but time is very limited so I hope these goals can be accomplished. With luck and with the better financial position, I hope to do more appearances, giveaways, and book signings by the end of the year! Thanks for everyone’s support and I appreciate everyone sticking around to see what’s in store for the future.

 

 

Bi-Monthly Goals for April & May 2019 — Derek Barton

Goal pic Apr 19

 

Time for a goal check-in!

In January, I opted to break away from the Bi-Monthly goals and introduced a new goal system.  As you may recall, it was a goal system defined by Sarrah Cannon in her YouTube video How To Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet.

The essence of her system revolves around Main Goals, Projects, and Tasks.  You set two or three “main” general priority goals to focus on.  Then you break down those goals by deciding on Projects that will accomplish those general Main Goals.  With each Project Goal, you detail and define what Tasks you are taking to get the Project finished.

Here  are the goals I worked up for the first quarter:

My MAIN GOALS are as follows:

  • Increase my site visitors by 25% = 232 visitors — (2018 1st Quarter’s results were 186 visitors)  ACTUAL RESULT:  243 visitors (Success!)
  • Complete one of three books for the year 2019  ACTUAL RESULT:  Published Elude: Part Three the first week of April (Partial success).

PROJECT GOALS are as follows:

Goal to Increase Site Visits — 

  • Three Monthly Giveaways
  • Two Book-signings
  • Weekly Blog Posts

Goal to One of Three Books for 2019 —

TASK GOALS to Increase Site Visits as follows:

  • Develop three unique site giveaways (signed book copies, amazon cards, audiobooks)
  • One Book-signing set in January (Superhero Saturday); call and set up another for February or March
  • Update each week a blog post (web sagas, goal-setting blogs, etc) for a total of at least 12 blogs in the 90 days.

TASK GOALS to Complete Elude Part Three as follows:

  • Complete Bullet Outline
  • Write the rough draft (30,000-word count left)
  • Go through 3 waves of edits
  • Cover & Blurb (already completed)
  • Publish on Kindle & Amazon by 3/31/19

 

While I did accomplish my goals, I felt like the extra month gave me too much leeway — gave me an out and I was not as “driven or pushed” as I have been with the Bi-Monthly goal system.

A couple positives did come out of the trial run:  I was able to get a weekly blog done for the three months which was a nice plus and also I increased my site traffic by almost 31% versus the 25% I was shooting for.

So… I may not have felt like I was productive, I did accomplish some objectives. That being said, I’m going to try to do a combination of the two systems and see if that works for me.

First I am going to set myself five Main Goals that are a bit more specific than the general “Main Goals” as with Cannon’s approach. Also, I am going to give myself a bit of an established timeline completion date (not a deadline but more of an expectation).

 

MAIN FOR APRIL & MAY GOALS:

  • Complete the outline for the third book in the Wyvernshield Series (possibly titled Swimming in the Ashes). Due date by May 15th.
  • Complete the outline for the new horror web saga (no title yet).  Due date by April 30th.
  • Complete the outline for the new Evade Series (crime/horror series).  Due date by May 31st.
  • Rework the covers of my books. (I have been hit over the head several times by more successful authors that my books were not cohesive or didn’t express the right genres. “If you confuse the reader immediately, they will not bother figuring it out and move on.” I write in two genres so I’m going to have to do a better job at making it more obvious.) Due date by May 31st.
  • Begin a four-part guest blog swap with fellow writer Adam Mitchell and complete a Blog Interview with him! (This will be my first ever blog swap and should be a lot of fun!)  Started by April 15th – the interview and First Blog on May 1st.

 

My April & May months may only 5 goals for the Bi-Monthly system which usually had 10, but these are some tough objectives and come with imminent goal dates.  And along the way, I want to get a video done for my fantasy series as I watched several videos on book trailer production and think I’m up to it…but where can I get in that extra time?

WISH ME LUCK!  

 

A New Dynamic Approach to Achieving Goals — Derek Barton

goal #3

Back in July 2017, I started using a process centered around Bi-Monthly Goals. These were goals set up for a two-month time span.  This worked reasonably well, but the main issue I had was that I was often too open or the goals were too far-reaching.  Without breaking out the hows and steps to accomplish those goals, I had moderate success with them.  With that said, I am ready to see if there are better ways to realize my dreams and goals.

The Bi-Monthly Goal System was introduced to me by a YouTube video.  This new system is again a YouTube video.  I have to say that the site really is a modern-day Oracle.  Almost any question you might have, someone probably has done a video on it! I have been doing a lot of research on marketing and came across this new 90-Day Goal System.

Like the Bi-Monthly, you decide on your goals and work within the designated window of time.  This goal system is introduced by author Sarra Cannon, an author of several romance novel series in which she’s sold over 750,000 copies!  Her method of goal-setting is reviewed and discussed in a video marked How To Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet.

The essence of her system revolves around Main Goals, Projects, and Tasks.  You set two or three “main” general priority goals to focus on.  Then you breakdown those goals by deciding on Projects that will accomplish those general Main Goals.  With each Project Goal, you detail and define what Tasks you are taking to get the Project finished.

Another aspect of her system is to be realistic in your writing plans.  You will have days you are just not feeling up to working or you will have days where you are sick AND you will have days you will not write as they are on holidays.  Everyone has 365 days in the year and there are the holidays in every culture that will interrupt your schedule.  Plan for sick days, mental health days, and even relaxation or celebration days. Everyone has the same amount of time, but successes go to the people that make the best and most accurate plans for their time.

The other neat trick with the system is it gives you a chance to breathe.  You know you want three or four books done by the end of the year.  This method allows you to not worry about the other books and focus on the one — in the back of your mind every time you start to fuss about not getting to that book, you can relax as you know it’s already scheduled in the future and you already have a plan in mind.  A lot of writers try writing more than one book at a time and this can and often diminishes the quality of both works versus if the author took one at a time and made them the best he could.

Two YEAR goals I would like to focus on are increasing site visitation as well as completing three more novels for 2019.

My MAIN GOALS are as follows:

  • Increase my site visitors by 25% = 232 visitors — (2018 1st Quarter’s results were 186 visitors)
  • Complete one of three books for the year 2019

PROJECT GOALS are as follows:

Goal to Increase Site Visits — 

  • Three Monthly Giveaways
  • Two Book-signings
  • Weekly Blog Posts

Goal to One of Three Books for 2019 —

  • Write & Publish Elude Part Three

TASK GOALS to Increase Site Visits as follows:

  • Develop three unique site giveaways (signed book copies, amazon cards, audiobooks)
  • One Book-signing set in January (Superhero Saturday); call and set up another for February or March
  • Update each week a blog post (web sagas, goal-setting blogs, etc) for a total of at least 12 blogs in the 90 days.

TASK GOALS to Complete Elude Part Three as follows:

  • Complete Bullet Outline
  • Write the rough draft (30,000-word count left)
  • Go through 3 waves of edits
  • Cover & Blurb (already completed)
  • Publish on Kindle & Amazon by 3/31/19

Another aspect of Cannon’s 90-day Goal System is to construct a goal reminder whiteboard in her office.  Her follow-up video is How I Create My 90 Day Plan and Use a Kanban Board to Achieve My Goals.  Simply, she puts all her TASK GOALS on a single post-it note and organizes them into a “Get It Done” and an “Awesome Job” section.  She chooses at the beginning of the week the tasks she wants to work on, placing them in the “Get It Done” section.  Completed Tasks she moves them into the “Awesome Job” section — which, of course, is a great way to keep motivated, seeing all the tasks you completed through the 90 days.

I will be writing up a review blog and discussing the details and results of this 1st quarter.  If you have any questions or want to discuss how you develop your goals, feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

From Start to Finish: 2018 — Derek Barton

NYE

As everyone who happens to read these blogs know, I have been using Bi-Monthly goals to keep me focused, motivated and productive.  Now since November, I have been a little non-plussed, to be honest with you. With very little book sales and only a few friends coming to book shows, it has made me question what to do next or what changes I can make to reach a bigger audience.  I am not planning on giving up, just looking for new steps to take.

While I am still researching the internet and watching YouTube videos on marketing, I don’t have any new answers…yet, but in the meantime, I thought I would look back and see just what I have done this year and if I am happy or not with 2018.

Complete Works

Works In Progress — Status as of January 2017

CONSEQUENCES WITHIN CHAOS AUDIOBOOK – This was still in the works, finalizing edits and mastering the audio quality.  The final version was released and published on Audible.com on June 25.  This was a fantastic first experience with audiobook production and I couldn’t be happier with the talent and skill my voice actress, Laura Richcreek-Morrison.  She has been currently working on The Bleeding Crown!  Voice actors like Laura and Charles Pendleton for my horror stories have taken my work to a whole new level!

THE BLEEDING CROWN – Four of my bi-monthly goals for January & February were to complete the 2nd waves of edit for the main body of work, complete the subplots for the manuscript (about 25,000 words), set up a marketing campaign (ads, etc) and start working on the book cover.  All was finalized and the completed book was published on June 26th.  (Side note:  I didn’t realize June had been so full this year! ha).  While sales have not been as plentiful, it has gotten a decent amount of 5 Star Reviews on Amazon.  I personally cherish the book as my favorite child so far (Elude is close second though!).  I have written almost 30,000 so far on the follow-up, Swimming In The Ashes (working title).  That might be out by the end of 2019, but no guarantees.

IN FOUR DAYS AUDIOBOOK – In April, I connected with Charles Pendleton and we agreed to work together on my modern paranormal/horror story.  He did a great job on it and we have seen some success with the sales on Audible.  It was released in August. Charles is also already working with me on the Elude series so stay tuned for that!

ELUDE PT #1 & PT #2 – In January I was still working on the first wave of edits for Part One!  As of August 31, it has been completed and published on Amazon and Kindle.  Part Two was published on October 19th.  I am working through the final Part Three and hope to have it published by February 2019.

THE HIDDEN – Released Chapter 7 on January 2nd.  Just this month released Chapter 23. This series looks to be wrapping up in a couple months as a complete web saga.  We, my father and I, will be working to get this put together and finalized for print within the upcoming year.  I have been developing several book cover ideas to start with.

Now to see some stats on the site’s growth:

BLOG COUNTS:

  • 2016 — 14 Monthly blogs completed
  • 2017 — 37 Monthly blogs completed
  • 2018 — 43 Monthly blogs completed (including this one)

NEW WEB SUBSCRIBERS:

  • 2016 — 7
  • 2017 — 17
  • 2018 — 24

VISITORS & COUNTRIES VIEWED IN:

  • 2016 — 204  & Countries — 8
  • 2017 — 809  & Countries — 31
  • 2018 — 895  & Countries — 39

4,239 Views in the three years!

TOP FIVE MOST VIEWED POSTS:

  1. Elude #1 with 72 views
  2. Steps on a New Path (Chapter One Blog for The Hidden) with 67 views
  3. Elude #2 with 47 views
  4. Audiobook Review of Stephen King’s “The Outsider” with 45 views
  5. Elude #3 with 43 views

New Additions to the Site were my Audible book reviews posts and my book giveaways which has been very successful.

So, overall a lot of work still hadn’t been published until the fall of this year — three books and two audiobook versions.  I hope to have two more audiobook versions out and possibly two more novels.  I have also had ideas percolating in the back of my mind for a new horror web saga for this site and a whole new trio of novels starting in Aberissc this time!  What I am saying is that there is a lot more work to be done and coming. 🙂

I also had a chance to get out and meet a few of you that were local at the book-signings in October, November and December.  That was a lot of fun and I do hope to continue this in the coming year.  On January 19th, come see me at:

1-19-19 SS

While I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to and I am still trying to find the right balance to get writing, work and fitness goals accomplished, I do see that the platform is actually growing.  Also, I should be fully recovered from my back injuries from the accident in August by mid-2019, so that should also help with my fitness.

Thanks especially to all that do support me and have taken an interest in my work.  I hope to keep bringing a smile to your face as you do mine!