I love the holidays and am the first one to say so. During the time between Christmas and New Year’s I spend a lot of time reflecting on what I need to do in my life and for my writing career. Most years I have a wonderful time of reflection and planning without the usual “issues” of my every day life.
No so this year as my family tended to be very, very needy during my “me” time. And now I find myself in a place I can only call the blues. Life is bearing down on me and I had to come up with something that get me out of the funk that I found myself.
That “something” turned out to be an email I had received from one of my publishers. This particular publisher noted their sales were up 40% during the year. Yeah, you heard me right, 40%. Along with that, they were adding a print option for books of certain length and an advance.
That information was the push I needed to do my yearly reflection of my life and career. I came up with a short list I will share with you. Here it is:
1. Get an agent – This is something I’ve had on the back burner since my original agent dropped 50 of us. Now the time has come to start the search again.
2. Volunteer less – Those of you who know me totally understand this. I do a lot of volunteering for the various writer groups I belong to at the moment. Most of the time, it’s little things that can be added to my day. But occasionally, I do something big like EPICon 2009. After my time is done, I’m going to say ‘no’ more and start doing more things for me again.
3. Submit at least 2 stories/novels to eHarlequin – I received a personal rejection from the people at Nocturne Bites. I would be stupid not to follow this one up.
4. Finish something every month – Yeah, I know, very ambitious. But this is something I need to be doing. I write very fast but don’t push myself as much as I should. That ends this month.
5. Promote more – This is something I try and do daily. But this year, I’ve got to get rid of the word ‘try’ and start pushing my work a little more. I’ll share some of those ideas as I do them this year as they are really innovative. The first one is going on right now. Go take a look at Night Owl Romance and you’ll see the first item in that effort.
Every year, every writer needs to reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Every writer needs to have a plan. Every writer needs to work that plan. And that plan doesn’t mean you have to be so anal, you don’t have the space to breathe. No, just the opposite. Every writer needs to be flexible within the parameters they have set for themselves.
And within those parameters, if you just stick to your plan for at least 50% of the time, you’ll be a much better writer.
Experience the magic of being a writer. Until, next week!