Friday, December 31, 2010

Reflect first; Plan second

So, here it is, December 31. I'm supposed to be thinking about the new year, making some resolutions, figuring out a plan to keep at them, and looking to the future. I should also be considering that New Year's Day meal that I usually cook--you know, the pork and kraut and blackeyed peas, all of which are supposed to bring us luck and money and other good things.

I've heard that you should cook a penny in the kraut, and that whomever gets the penny in their serving is the one the money will come to the next year. But since it's likely I'll be the only one eating the kraut, and the fact that I'm not too keen on a dirty penny being cooked along with it, I think I'll pass on that one.



But back to the New Year's thing. I will make resolutions but before I can do that, I have to do a little reflecting on this past year. I took a couple of huge leaps in 2010. It will be a year that will remain one for the books, in my book. (pun unintended)

Accomplishments this past year:
  • I left my full-time day job of ten years in January. This is huge leap #1. For 31 years, I worked for someone else. Now, I'm working for me and focusing more on writing and books. I still do some work part-time for the previous employer, and am glad of that fact, but for the first time in 20 years now, I have finally found some balance between the writing world, and the day job world.
  • I formed a new business in February, an LLC. Basically it started out being my writing, workshops and consulting biz, but it quickly turned into more...
  • Huge leap #2. I started a publishing company. I'd thought about it for a long time. I'd researched how to self-publish my backlist of books, since a lot of people are doing that these days. I really and truly thought, at the time, that this little itty-bitty publishing company was going to be a small extension of my writing. I was wrong. The house has 33 authors under contract and we have books scheduled to be released, at least one a week, through January of 2012. I have contracted cover artists, editors and proofreaders. I am working 24/7 to make every inch of it work, and loving every single second.
  • I should also note that during the year, I published four novellas under two pen names, and re-released three of my backlist titles, for a total of seven releases this year. Not too bad, on top of everything else. I should also note that I received a CAPA nomination for one of my books, Better Than Chocolate. We'll find out the results of that in February.
Things to work on (or I suppose, these are my resolutions for the coming year):
  • Now, I struggle with finding the balance between writing and publishing! (there's never an easy answer to balance, is there? Just call me Libra, always in need of the balance)
  • I have six writing contracts pending for the new year. I am striving to make those deadlines! (oops, one is already missed, so I'm striving to make that one up real quick like)
  • Routine and schedule. For years my daily routine was: get up, coffee, shower, get out of the house, work, come home, write. Oddly enough, one would think when you are home all day, you'd have plenty of time to: do laundry, clean the house, write, tend to the lawn, and publish a few books. Nope. Nada. Doesn't happen. Why? My routine has CHANGED. I've been working on this for a couple of months now, trying to develop some better habits, and motivating myself to get out of the chair behind the computer and, well, vacuum and shower and such.
  • Which brings me to the last thing to work on: exercise. I eat a fairly health diet. I don't get enough exercise. This will change, and will be part of that routine thing above. I walk--occasionally. I'm so out of habit. So putting a plan into place (join the Y?) to exercise more is a definite good thing. 
I'm betting many of you are thinking about your resolutions, or things to work on for next year, too. I'd love to hear about your accomplishments this past year (celebrate!) and your plans for the next. What's on your plate?
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