New Year, New Goals

2015 proved to be a huge year for me. We moved from my Upstate New York hometown to Charlotte, North Carolina. Even as I wrestled with sleep training, weaning, and teething, I returned to work full-time as a 4th grade teacher.

And I landed my first publishing contract for not just Better Than Chocolate, but an entire series! (If you want to keep up on the latest news when it comes available, don’t forget to sign up for my email newsletter!)

Another new year is upon us, and as usual, I find myself thinking about the goals I would like to set for myself this year.

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In years past, I’ve focused my goals and/or resolutions on a variety of aspects of my life. But with my career as a published author in its fledgling state, I decided to be a little more precise with this year’s list of goals.

This is not to say, of course, that I don’t have goals relating to my personal life. I’d like to get back in shape (or even just start with finding time to exercise regularly again!), read more for pleasure (I just downloaded about a dozen new Kindle books), figure out how to balance my return to full-time teaching with being a mom (because I’m still not there yet), cook more (this will be much easier when we’ve moved to our new house and I have a gourmet kitchen), and so on.

But it’s important to put my writing goals down for all to see. You can keep yourself accountable if you not only write down what you hope to achieve, but make sure those in your support system are aware of what you want to accomplish.

So here goes.

  1. Finish Sweet Somethings Book #2. This one is kind of a no-brainer and a requirement, as we’re looking at an April release. But to hit that release target, I need to get the finished product to my editor at Soul Mate soon. So that’ll be my primary focus for the next couple weeks.
  2. Related to number one… Write something every day. I forget where I read it, and I’ve probably read it in several places. But this fall there were a lot of days, weeks even, when I never even opened my writing program. Even if it’s just a couple paragraphs, writing every day will help me keep moving forward with my career.
  3. Develop a stronger online professional presence. Before Babycakes, I had more time to spend online, blogging, and interacting with friends and followers on social media. I used to live-tweet SU basketball games and episodes of “Sleepy Hollow” – which I haven’t even watched this season – and a lot of my early online connections were made with people who liked the same things I like. I want to get back to all that, along with doing a better job promoting colleagues’ work as well as my own.
  4. Peddle my post-Civil War historical romance. I have a lot of editing to do, but I’d like to start shopping the manuscript around before 2016 is out.
  5. On a similar note… Return to the “Magnum Opus”. I haven’t done any serious work on the Magnum Opus in close to a year. Volume one is almost to a point where I’d feel comfortable querying it, and the characters have started bugging me to not only take them down that road but also return to volume 2, which has sat in First Draft Limbo for literally years.
  6. Do more freelance work. Some of it’s boring, some of it doesn’t pay particularly well. But I’d like to take on freelance projects with more regularity, even if just to say, “Hey look, I made an extra $50 this month!”
  7. Write and submit more short stories. Short fiction isn’t my forte, and I don’t pretend that it is. But I have a lot of little plot bunnies swirling around that could become interesting stories if I ever got around to playing with them. I’d like to do that – and if they don’t hit the pages of online or print literary magazines, I’ll just start posting stuff here for fun.

Bring it, 2016!

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