Goal Update #1

You’ll have to put with 11 of these a year, if you decide to read them. I apologize in advance for forcing you to have to wade through my ‘whether I’m on track’ posts or not. I am doing them for an entirely selfish reason—to keep myself accountable for that post I made way back at the beginning of the year. Oh, that was only a month ago? Well, poop.

1. Publish 10 titles–While this is, technically, still 0, it is in the works. I have two flash fiction pieces coming out in an anthology titled, Mischief and Clovers. As soon as it’s for sale, I’ll direct you to the buyer of your choice.

2. Attend 4 author events—This is 0 also, but I have two planned. That makes two more to wiggle my way into.

3. Teach a writing intensive on a cruise ship—in the planning stages, but it looks like June (maybe July) is going to be the month that it happens.

4. Blog once a week—Look back, I did it!

5. Read 25 books and write reviews of them—1 down. 24 to go. (check out my goodreads account to see what it was)

6. Have one grand adventure—Not yet, but it will happen!

7. Make one new positive friend—Done!!! And so early in the year!!! I love meeting awesome people!!

How are you doing with your goals?

The Devil’s in the Details

Every job has tasks in it that we don’t like to do. Even those jobs we love. I’m a part of the ‘we’ and while I love the creative aspects of writing and storytelling, there a whole bunch of stuff in the authoring business I don’t like.

Like administrative work.

Someone once told me that they were impressed with my detailed oriented personality and that I must be a terribly organized person. Now, while this was a HUGE compliment, as it came from someone who was, herself, highly detailed oriented, it was not an accurate descriptor of my personality. Because I am not a detailed oriented person, but rather the type that easily, and happily I might add, sees the big picture, I do not like doing detailed oriented tasks.

Like administrative work.

But, authoring isn’t just about the writing (despite what most people think). There is an entire business that has to be run, from website design (as you can see, not my forte), to marketing copy, to phone calls for events, to bills being paid for various items related to publishing. It’s all rather detailed, and I’d rather not deal with the details.

However, the angel of administrative work has not yet come down from Heaven to kiss my brow, so I am still slogging through the awful details that predate and postdate the creative process.

What part of your job do you like the best? (For me—writing!). The least? (…did I mention administrative work? No, well, administrative work).

The New Year Shine–Where Did It Go?

The hurry and rush of new year is beginning to lose it’s shine, isn’t it? I’ve been a bad author, and haven’t written anywhere near as much as I would have liked to by now, and it is entirely my own fault. I’m very good at procrastinating at whatever it is that needs to be done. A book needs editing so it can go to print? Procrastinate by writing it’s sequel before the first one is out! Need to write a title to make your benchmark for the year? Look at all the editing and publishing tasks you have to do—do them instead.

I’m putting myself out there, saying I haven’t written a word of Children of the Phoenix Book 2: Rising, yet this year. I’ve written, both on Darkwood Feathers with MK Tanner and Rook, Knight, Queen, Player: Stalemate with Gabrielle Finch. In fact, Stalemate’s first draft is finished, and now were onto the true editing phase. But I haven’t worked on many of my solo projects, which all tend to be long and laborious, which is probably caused by all the procrastinating to be done.

To combat this, I’ve made myself the little goal of writing one POV chapter a week. This second book begin’s with Ilya, who is always a bother to get started with. However, once he opens up, I know he’ll tell me all his secrets. It’s just getting him to whisper them into my inner ear that’s the problem. 😉

What are you procrastinating about? Have you made any little goals to get there?

Trucking Along…

The beginning of the year brings it’s share of hope and guilt to the table that we’ve set for it. Hopefully we can choke down the letdowns and enjoy the dessert of successes that roll our way.

Goal setting is a proven way to get to where you want to go, and with writing it is not different. In the way of my goals, I’ve managed to finish off two of the ten promised solo titles! I must admit, I’m feeling proud of myself. When I get the green flag to tell you all about the project, I most certainly will.

Children of the Phoenix Book 1: Ashes is in the last phase of the publishing process. It needs the mistakes found in the proofing fixed, then it’s off to the presses! My baby will born at last (after how long, now?)

Are you working on any projects at the moment? What are they? How are they coming along in the new year?

Gratitude For Community

Community is very important in any career, and writing is no different. Being an artist can be a very lonely thing, and even if one isn’t lonely, one is definitely alone. And being alone too much is bad for your mental health, no matter where you fall on the introvert-extrovert continuum.

I have a wonderful support group here, most specifically with my writer’s group The White Paper Project. It’s made up of five members, currently, and we critique each other’s work on a weekly basis. We print out stuff out on cheap white paper, because we’re cheap. We also only use black ink. And I go hardcore—editing with a red pen.

I also moderate a writer’s group at my local library, open to the public. Even though it is only once a month, it has been a great way for me to get in touch with people of like mind from all walks of life. I’m not as hardcore here, I edit with a blue pen when I do edit (which isn’t much anymore, because now we’re a prompt writing group).

I’ll be teaching a writing intensive on a cruise ship in sometime this year (if all goes according to plan). Right now, it’s looking like June. These kinds of retreats are wonderful and intimate, where each of the participants get to know each other in a very psychologically special way. I’m super-excited about this event, because I get the same intimate benefits as everyone else.

And, of course, there is meeting my readers. I love that. I’m always shocked that someone has read my work, even after all these years. I love to hear what my readers think, both good and bad. I want to know if I held up my side of the writer/reader bargain, how I can improve, and what to keep on doing.

All of these things help to keep the loneliness at bay that can come with having a career that causes one to work mainly alone. Especially when this one falls closer to the extrovert end of the spectrum.