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On June 16th, the Many Shades blog will be closed.
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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year Blues

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!



Eliza Knight said...

Great post Lynn. Your goals sound really good and congrats on the news from your publisher!

AP Miller said...

Lynn, Erin, CR,
We REALLY NEED to schedule lunch again...I have ideas...give me a buzz.


C.R. Moss said...

liked your short list! thanks for sharing.
great news on the info from your publisher too & happy that it gave you the push you needed.

Erin Sinclair said...

God knows I'm OCD as you are well aware ;-), do or don't but never try, it sets you up for failure.


Julie Robinson said...

What great news Lynn! That's enough to motivate you. I am guilty of #2 myself, so I know just what you mean. Plus I have a lot of extracurricular activities that take up time. I've decided that any ec activities or volunteer need to be writing related, so I'm focusing in, which is motivating for me.

Thanks for sharing.

Lynn Crain said...

Thanks, Eliza!

It's always great to hear good news from a publisher. I was really surprised yet happy to hear how much their sales had gone up.


Lynn Crain said...

Absolutely, AP! Can't wait!


Lynn Crain said...

Thanks, CR!

Yeah, I thought the short list very important. I knew I needed something to propel me forward BUT I also knew a long list would have made the whole thing seem impossible!


Lynn Crain said...

I have to agree with you here, Erin. Since I'm a creative person, I tend to have organized chaos all around me. BUT if I really want to get things done, I have a list and check them off as I do them.

I always tell people if it isn't on my list or in my calendar, don't expect me to get it done! LOL!


Lynn Crain said...

Thanks, Julie!

I so know what you mean. This year is going to be my year to do the full press for writing. While I love what I'm doing as far as volunteering, I still can't wait for it to be over.

One thing that I've put on my daily task list is that I have to do one promo thing, one writing thing and one me thing daily. Now those things don't have to be big, they just have to be done.

And so far, I'm doing very, very good!


Pat McDermott said...

Great post, Lynn. This may be the most important list you've written yet. Good luck achieving your goals, and thanks for sharing them. You've surely inspired more than one writer to buckle down in 2009!

Lynn Crain said...

Thanks alot, Pat!

I hear you. This one has been printed and is now stuck to the side of my printer so I can see it every day. I am a very visual person and know the power of seeing the same list day after day.

It makes it real. LOL!


Stephani Hecht said...

It's always good to declare your goals like that. I wish you the best of luck and I'm here to support you.

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