blogs / opinion / Tech

2011, I Resolve…

Last year, on New Year’s Day, I didn’t even make new year resolutions. That is why–IMHO–I didn’t get as much done as I should have. Remember the old proverb about the Captain of the ship with no map–he just headed east? That was me. I thought I’d do as much as I could and call it a success.

Not so good. This year, I’m writing them down so I have to see them and be embarrassed if I make no progress. A little forward motion is all I ask.

As most of you know, I am a K-8 technology teacher, but I have a serious interest in writing. It started with non-fiction technical writing and morphed to novels. I write techno-thrillers, scientific fiction–plots that are based in the cerebral and encourage readers to join my love of intelligent topics. Therefore, my resolutions are far-ranging and varied, so I’ve grouped them. This allows me to keep track of them better. Here they are:

Teaching

  • Attend ISTE this summer. I missed it last summer, but it’s already approved by my principal for this summer. Anyone else going?
  • Start a technology club at my school. I’ve tried to do this in the past, but I’ll try harder this year
  • Participate more in the online communities that encourage technology integration in education. I write a weekly column for Technology Integration in Education and one for Examiner.com on tech tips for Everyman. Maybe there’re more.
  • Participate more actively in Computer Science Teachers Association. To that end, they have asked me to serve as a reviewer for their Computer Science & Information Technology Symposium. I’ve already made the commitment.

Fiction

  • Finish my current techno-thriller, Seek and Destroy (although I haven’t settled on a title). I’m in the editing phase. I got a lot done over my two week Christmas break, but not enough. I have another break in February and March, but that won’t be enough, so I’m looking at summer. Unfortunately, I have a writer’s conference in February and Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award in January. I’m not ready. I don’t know what to do.
  • Market Seek and Destroy when it’s finished–this summer. I have a few people interested. I know (aka, hope) one of them will grab it.
  • I have two historic fiction books, part of a series, that deal with paleo times. I’m thinking of jumping into the ebook market with them, see how it goes. I can upload to Smashwords, get them on Apple, Kindle, the usual ereaders. If nothing else, I’ll learn about ebook publishing, which I can then share with you.

Non-fiction

  • Finish an ebook I started called How Not to Hate Your Computer. I have most of the content collected, but must format and edit. It doesn’t take the concentration of fiction writing, so I think it’s reasonable to complete this book by end of summer.
  • Finish an ebook I started on Writer’s Tips. Actually, I’m collecting them from the good folks in my writers group. If they come through with enough tips, I’ll come through with the publishing. So far, the ball’s in their court so I can put this off. Whew.
  • Figure out a better marketing plan for my core books on teaching technology to grades K-8. I sell 80% of my content through Amazon and I know from my MBA program it’s a very bad idea to put all of your eggs in one basket. I’ve tried to expand (I also sell them on Teachers Pay Teachers and Scribd), but those are a drop in the bucket compared to Amazon. I am now selling on Google ebooks, but the digital version of my textbooks doesn’t sell nearly as well as the hard copies, which probably has something to do with that I can’t figure out how to get them into epub format. I’d add the latter as a goal, but I’ve already spent far too much time on that exercise in futility.

Blogs

  • Continue publishing 3-4 posts a week on my blogs, Ask a Tech Teacher, Ask a Tech Teacher Homeschool Edition, WordDreams and USNA or Bust. These are my passion, so they’re fun to write.
  • Continue with my columns for Technology in Education and Examiner (I write a thrice-weekly column as their examiner for technology and another on USNA). These are a different sort of writing and have become valuable to my overall expertise.
  • Decide what to do with Sizzle in Science. I started this blog out of my love for science, but when I run out of time (which is often), this one suffers. I should make a decision on its future rather than let it languish. That’s my bias for action. I hate inactivity.
  • Find guest bloggers for my blogs. I’ve reached out a bit, but not enough. My readers would benefit from other opinions.
  • Be a guest blogger for others. On that note–anyone interested?

That’s enough. There will be more as the year progresses, but this’ll get me started.

What are yours? Maybe I can learn from you.

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and author of two technology training books for middle school. She wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist forExaminer.comEditorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing TeachersIMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s seeking representation for a techno-thriller Any suggestions? Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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