Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflecting...

As 2011 draws to a close (approximately one hour left as I write this) I sit reflecting over the past year of my writing career. There were some unexpected surprises along the way and I have to say that I am most grateful for everything.

2011 provided me with my first Top 100 bestselling romance novel on Amazon. In fact, I had a total of 5 novels place in that Top 100 bestselling list, with one of them landing as high as #8 in Contemporary Romance, this  year. This was a first in my fifteen year career as a published romance novelist. I also had two additional titles place in Top 100 bestseller lists for smaller categories. What can I say? A banner year.

The thanks go to all of you, who bought and read my books. Without you, I wouldn't have a career, and I'm forever grateful for your readership. I hope the stories entertained, made you laugh, cry, sigh... Hey, whatever they are supposed to make you do, I hope they did!

There were two other significant events that contributed to my writing year. The first, is the growth of Turquoise Morning Press. You might know that I am the owner of the publishing house, although I do that work under my "real name" and not my Maddie James pen name. Still, I make no bones about the fact that I'm also my own publisher. (Yes, I still have an editor!) In this new age of publishing, it makes sense if I am publishing other author's works, to also publish my own. Will I always put everything in my own house? Perhaps not, since all eggs in one basket may not necessarily the best thing, but I certainly do like being in control of my career. :) But me aside, I have to say that I am totally into being a publisher, and love working with authors and helping them to move their careers forward. It's a joy to work with each of them every single day. I love being writer and publisher.

Enter another unexpected surprise. In 2010, I was freelancing and writing full time, with TMP emerging early in the year. Then in April of 2011, I was presented with the opportunity to go back to work full-time for my previous employer. It was not in the 2011 plan to do this. After some thought and discussion, I decided to accept. It threw a kink in the plan, yes. I had to reshuffle the workload, and hire and train more staff at TMP, yes. I had to re-prioritize my role in the company, yes. And more....

So, let's recap:

Suddenly, I'm a full-time bestselling romance author with more books to write and publish to keep up the momentum.

Suddenly, I'm a full-time publisher of a small publishing house with authors and staff who are depending on me.

Suddenly, I'm back in my old day job, managing staff and directing a program.

Wow. Talk about a balancing act!?! And I won't tell you that it is a piece of cake. It's not.

But for six months I've survived. I did it. I've balanced and I've juggled. I've been tired, yes. I've stayed up way too late, yes. I have big bags under my eyes most days, yes... But it is okay. I'm doing it.

And now that 2012 is nearly upon me, and that I've reflected over this past year, wondering how in the world I am doing it, there is only one possible resolution I can consider, and it's this:

I hereby resolve to be more disciplined in the organization of my balancing act. 

Discipline. Organization. I can do it, right? I mean, after all, I have that new 24 hour heavy duty planner I just bought from Franklin Covey. That ought to help. Okay, getting started on that tomorrow, er, well, almost today... 

So, a big Happy New Year to each of you. I wish you health, wealth and happiness in 2012! And once more, to all of my readers, thank you so much for all of your support in 2011, and I hope to bring you some awesome new books in 2012.

Happy New Year!


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