Before I launch into the goals for 2014, I think I need to reflect on 2013 and its successes and failures. 2013 was a year of highs and lows. The same day I signed my first publishing contract, I lost my job. Luckily I managed to find a new job within a few weeks, so it wasn’t a huge problem financially, but after over eight years in the one place, being told to leave hurt.
But on the upside, I have a published book now! Or will on January 3rd. And that launches me into the first of my goals for 2014.
I will do whatever I can to make An Unstill Life a success. I don’t expect to make a fortune, of course, but the idea that my book will be available to readers is a thrilling one, and I want to make sure as many readers as possible discover Livvie’s story. I’m uncomfortable about promoting myself, so doing publicity for my novel will definitely take me outside my comfort zone.
Well, I've done some promotion and it's an ongoing process. The book hasn't sold like gangbusters, but I thought I'd probably only sell 15 or so to my friends and family, so I've done a lot better than I feared I might...
Last year I wrote a book called STUMPED. It’s YA, but deals with sex and disability in a way I’ve never seen in YA literature before. I love this book. It’s my favorite of all the titles I’ve written and I really want it out in the world. I stopped querying when I got the contract for An Unstill Life because my writing time was suddenly taken up with revisions and edits and copy edits. In 2014 I will resume querying this one and hopefully will find an agent brave enough to take me (and Ozzy) on.
Not yet. It' been close a couple of times. I did an R & R for one agent, but I still don't have a deal. It's still out with a bunch of people though, and I haven't given up hope yet.
I got 50K into a new book last year. It’s title-less right now, so I’m calling it Lana. It’s not the best thing I’ve written, but there are definitely some things I like about it. In 2014 I will finish this story, revise it and throw it into the hands of my critique group to figure out how to polish it up.
Yup! Finished and in the processed of being revised right now with the help of my wonderful critique group.
While they sink their teeth into that one, I have a new story idea just itching to get out. It’s based on something that my new boss has been involved with over the past few months, and I think it could be very interesting, not to mention emotionally draining. It’s hard not to get too excited about new ideas, but I really want to finish Lana before I start this one.
Sorta... I have fiddled around with this story a little, but I found something else I never finished that reignited my imagination, and have had a couple of other ideas that are niggling at me. When revisions are finished, I'll have to sit down and really think about which one to tackle next. And which might be my NaNo project.
My critique groups are the best thing that ever happened to me, and I plan to be far more active in them this year. With all the excitement and deadlines that rushed at me with my publishing contract, I don’t feel like I have been giving my CPs nearly the time they deserve. So even if it’s just one review a week, I’ll become more active in my groups again.
Some weeks. I'm not the best at keeping up with reviewing, but I do always mean to. Some weeks I manage 4 or 5 chapters, while others it's hard to find time for one.
I’m not quite sure how I managed it, but I read 165 published books last year. I did write less than I have in previous years, so I imagine that’s how I did it. This year I plan to finish two novels as a writer, so I’m only going to shoot for 150 books read. We shall see how that goes. My bus ride to work is shorter now, so my reading time is a little more limited than it has been…
I'm on track. According to Goodreads I'm 3 books ahead.
On a personal level, I will continue my regular trips to the gym. Between them and the steep uphill walk to work each day, I figure I’m in the best shape of my life. But that doesn’t mean I get to be complacent. I could still stand to lose 5-10Kg…
I've dropped to about 2-3 gym visits per week, but according to my new FitBit, I'm walking at least 8km per day, and some days I get close to 20km. So I figure I'm in pretty good shape. My scale is out of batteries, so I couldn't tell you about the weight.
Well, that’s about it for now. I’ll check back mid-year to track my progress, and then again as 2015 begins sneaking toward us all.
Happy New Year! And may you reach all your goals for 2014.
How are you doing with your goals for the year?