Well, it’s the New Year and most of us have spent a bit of time looking back on the year that was, pondering how well we succeeded with our goals, be it with writing or otherwise, with an eye aimed toward setting newer ones. Perhaps one or more of these will simply be carried over to 2011. It can definitely be a time of great personal satisfaction for having achieved much, as well as a time of disappointment for not having done as well as we might have hoped. No matter where you find yourself at this moment, I hope you are looking toward the New Year with anticipation and a renewed spirit.
Many of you faithful readers of mine may recall the year that I had. One year ago today I was sitting before my pc, wondering when my first novel was going to be released as an e-book. I had not yet received the keys, as it were, to my blog that my publisher had been good enough to design for me. I did not have one review yet, nor had I begun writing blog posts for myself or for others. I was yet to be social networking. I had yet to begin writing articles for Kings River Life Magazine, either.
Although most every writer knows that the way to be a writer is to do exactly that: write every day. Luckily for me, I had the second novel in the can and mostly ready to go, so I wasn’t all that concerned about writing. Instead, I was focusing on doing the promotion that I felt I was going to have to do in order to attempt to get my name out there. So that’s what I did. One by one, I took on new assignments, casting as wide a net as I could. I joined the local Chamber of Commerce; printed business cards; sponsored my kid’s all-star baseball team, enabling me to have a banner at the baseball field, etc., etc., etc.
Well, it’s a year later; now what? My e-book has just recently been released as a paperback, arriving Wednesday afternoon (that's it in the photo). My second novel has been sent to my publisher for the editing process, so hopefully sometime this month I should be receiving that back. Obviously that means that there is some heavy editing in my future. With a little luck and a lot of hard work, potentially by late spring I will have two novels in the marketplace in all formats.
Many of us are all in different places with regard to what we can do. I have a day job which has me for nearly eleven hours for five days a week. My iPhone keeps me in the loop with e-mail and social sites, but that leaves only a few hours each day to devote to this second career of mine. Couple that with the fact that I am pushing 42, with a wife and two teenagers at home who need some attention, one can see that I cannot at this moment promise to give the next five years and all of my time to this endeavor.
When you are setting your goals, if you have yet to do so, I think everything must be considered. For me, 2011 will mirror the past year, as I simply keep the promotional machine going. I hope it isn’t, but 2011 might end up being a make or break year for me. The third novel is currently an outline, but I really don’t feel a burning desire to begin writing it yet. If I work this New Year the way I worked the last one, with barely time to breath, and it amounts to very little, I may have to make a tough decision come 2012. The question then would be press on or take a time out. Were I 19 years old, I would most likely quit my job and dedicate myself to writing. Unfortunately 19 was a very long time ago, and I cannot do that.
I apologize if you have looked to me for guidance with regard to setting your goals. I understand that my situation isn’t necessarily the norm. Not only that, but my original goal has already been achieved. My dream was to be a writer. After twenty years of dreaming about it, I am a published author. If I end up having to walk away from this in another year or so, I can do so with a content heart. I'll have no regrets.
How about you? What are your goals for this New Year? Are they bigger and better ones, pushing the envelope even further? Are they the same as last year’s goals? If so, how are you planning on tackling them this time around? Perhaps you have some guidance for me. If so, what would that be? We would very much like this forum to be as interactive as possible. We do look at the number of followers that we have, but I don’t think it is what drives us. How is having 400 followers who we never hear from better than 75 that we get to know well and share constantly with?
I don’t think it is.