A writing prompt I answered recently was the following: “What have you been able to accomplish this year that you are really proud of?” So in the spirit of 2020 having closed out and 2021 being here, I figured my answer to that print was the perfect subject to expand upon for this post.

The following is a list of answers I gave as to what writing and publishing goals did I accomplish in 2020, but for this post, I expanded each response:

Launch a newsletter: I started playing around with the idea of launching an author newsletter in 2018. In reading a few articles on publishing a newsletter, I learned how easy creating one is. Yet, one obstacle prevented me from committing to this project: myself. But the human mind is a funny, tricky thing; it convinced me more about what could go wrong in publishing my newsletter than what could go right. It was easy for me to forget that it was just my fear talking and that I had nothing to worry about. So I sent out my first newsletter in January 2021 at first in monthly installments, then bimonthly. If you sign up, you’ll get a free read of a short story I wrote!

Publish three ebooks: In July, I released “For My Sister,” a short story that first appeared in “Thrill of the Hunt: Buried Alive.” Then in August, I came out with “Sammy’s Butterflies,” which originally appeared in anthology “Florida’s Emerging Writers.” October — I dropped my first short story collection “Inner Demons,” featuring stories that ran in “Demonic Household” and “Demonic Carnival,” plus a never-before-published story that has a demonic theme too. As well, I redid the cover design of “Eve the First.”

Redo my website: Thanks to help from Megan Fuentes and Writer’s Atelier, I did an overhaul of my website last July to make it more customized, to make it more me with ou’ll notice a lot of purple and black. Those are my favorite colors. In discussing my website, asked me what my favorite colors are. I said purple and black, and there you go😁

Keep up with weekly (or near weekly — hey I try; I’m only one person!) blog content on my website: For a long time, I have been slack with writing and updating content on my blog. But not anymore! Every week or so, I put up a new post. Little by little, I see an increase in visitors and views. It’s not a surprise that the more content I add, the more eyes will visit my blog more often. It’s still a nice result to bask in, though🤷🏽‍♀️

Set up Amazon ad campaigns for my titles: I’ve never done this before until 2020. It wasn’t even on my list of marketing tactics for my work. With help from Kindlepreneur’s Amazon ad course, in July I set up my first Amazon ad campaign for “Eve the First.” I created campaigns for my other titles as well and tweak them often. I still have a lot to learn and must be patient, but I’m slowly building my knowledge of Amazon advertising.

Grow my Twitter and Instagram followers: The #writingcommunity is strong on Twitter no doubt, so even though there’s a lot to be desired about Twitter in general, at least I can say for sure that there’s safety and comfort in being a member of the #writingcommunity. Even with this support system, I think that out of all the social media out there, Instagram is my favorite to use. No drama, either on it or surrounding it in the real world (fake news, anyone?).

Continue my education: I’m a big believer in a continued education, but I don’t mean in a classroom setting (although that’s fine too). I mean reading, listening to podcasts, attending webinars in expanding your knowledge about writing and publishing industry. From the aforementioned Kindlepreneur as well as a variety of blogs to Writer’s Atelier, obviously there is a plethora of resources to study all areas of writing and publishing, as well as the support an author needs.

Set future release dates: “A Symphony of Silence” is due for a January 4, 2021, release, and “Warding Off Reality,” a love story set in a psychiatric ward, will be out in August 2021. I’m excited for them to come out. And I can’t wait to hear from readers about what they think after reading them!

2020 was quite a year filled with many downs but hopefully many ups were discovered as well (as impossible as it may seem). I hope 2021 comes with many blessings and many good things to come for everyone, and that you’ll continue pushing forward no matter what.

Happy New Year!

Teresa Edmond-Sargeant is an award-winning journalist and author. She released her first collection of short stories “Inner Demons” in October 2020. She is the author of the short story ebooks “Eve the First,”“For My Sister,” and “Sammy’s Butterflies.” She will release her poetry ebook “A Symphony of Silence” in early 2021 and her debut novel “Warding Off Reality” in August 2021.