The New Year is right around the bend. I can almost see it! Sooo. It’s that time of year again.
As writers, we don’t have bosses, time clocks, or long commutes. Jogging to work, for me, is about twenty feet to the right and down one flight of stairs. Because we can go to work in our jammies (and often do) writers might begin to think that we have all the time in the world to finish a project. We might become complacent and lazy about coming deadlines. Professional writers can’t give in to that easy mindset. We have to be self-motivated, self-starters, and able to focus deeply and widely on a project to the exclusion of all else. This means that we always have to have goals: long range, short range, and oops-I-have-an-unexpected-deadline goals.
Because it’s the time of year for introspection and self renewal, and because I’m still celebrating (koff koff) the holidays, I am going to post something short and sweet instead of my post on Chinese portraits, which will go up next week. (Okay, I have a deadline. I’m behind. So sue me! 😳 ) I want to share my goal-making process and some of the results for the coming year. (Not resolutions—I won’t call them that!)
- I have been getting healthy for the last year (one of last year’s goals). Regular exercise, eating better (well, a little bit better) and surgery to remove a pesky organ, has resulted in a lot of improvement in my health, stamina, and activity level, as well as an overall improvement in my short term memory. Go me! This year, I’m adding regular weight lifting to my health regimen. Baby steps. But important baby steps. This will help with all the hours, unmoving, BIC. (For any newbies this is MW’s way of referring to the most important part of being a writer—butt in chair.)
- Get my writing room finished. It is still in the process of being painted, the fireplace facing bricks redone, and the bookshelves replaced. I need a neat place to work. I need this for better productivity. I also need a new desk chair. The padding in this one is gone and it’s like sitting on a board. As a writer I have to do lot of BIC, so the C has to be comfy to my B.
- I’m a type-A personality. I would work 20 hours a day 7 days a week if I could. But that is detrimental to my health, productivity, and family life. Time away from the BIC is necessary. I took time away from the goals last year and this year I am making it priority. I’ll set special time apart for the hubby, doing the things we love. That’s the goal. More rivers to paddle! I learned to kayak roll (making 1 out of 4 tries) and now I have to perfect it, as well as develop my combat roll (a kayak roll in the middle of a rapid. Oy). This will make me a better writer. Really. It will! It will clear my mind and help me focus.
- Lose the dang pounds I put on over the holidays. Lovely chocolate. Delightful cakes and pies. Sigh… This is the only purely personal—meaning not writing—goal in my list!
- Write 3 short stories in January. One featuring Jane Yellowrock. One featuring a secondary character in her world. One about Thorn St. Croix.
- Finish the rewrite of the AKA’s last book in February. It has been gathering dust.
- Finish the role playing game / world book Rogue Mage, set in Thorn St. Croix’s world. I really think it can be done by summer. (Fingers crossed)
- This takes me up to March for my writing goals. In early March I want to start another (the 5th) Jane Yellowrock novel. I want to be done in 4 months, but I have to leave room for a 2 month rewrite of Raven Cursed, the 4th Jane Yellowrock novel, so that brings me up to August. Then? Then I should have a contract for something new and I’ll know where I stand with future projects.
- Attend all the cons I have signed up for and meet my fans, other writes, and MW folk!
Do you have goals for the coming year? Are you willing to share them? Post them here and we’ll cheer you on! And hey — Mercy Blade is coming out on the 4th of Jan. Pick up a copy! Get it on Kindle. And buy an extra for a pal. Okay, blatant ploy is over. (Laughing)