2017 Rundown and 2018 Goals!

2017 Rundown and 2018 Goals!

Did it seem to anyone else like 2017 whizzed by? I for one can’t believe we are already solidly into 2018! But before we get too far, I thought I would take the time to revisit last year’s goals, and to plan for this upcoming year.

It’s nice to look back and realize I kicked some serious butt meeting last year’s goals! Here’s what I planned out for the year:

  • Consistently get up early to do my author work before I head to work
  • Finish revising Sunburner and publish it, with a goal of a June 2017 launch
  • Start a street team to help with the Sunburner launch
  • Finish editing The Confectioner’s Guild and submit to literary agents (and hopefully get an agent!)
  • Write the first draft of the sequel to The Confectioner’s Guild in November and December
  • Work on connecting with local schools and bookstores to do some in person events
  • Connect with more writers and authors in person, though attending the PNWA Conference and PNWA and SCWBI events
  • Grow my email list to 10,000, my Facebook following to 2,000 and my Twitter following to 5,000
  • Lastly: keep learning & keep reading!

In addition to meeting (most) of these goals, I took my rights back from my publisher and re-self published Moonburner (which was totally the right call); set up a publishing company, Live Edge Publishing; wrote an additional book, Starburner; and started a Bookstagram  account! I grew my mailing list to 13,000; successfully launched Sunburner; started having consistent 4-figure sales months; and successfully figured out a method that works for me for outlining before I write (a major factor in increasing writing speed). Whew! Also, after seeing how well my Moonburner Cycle is doing once I self-published it, I nixed the idea of getting an agent for Confectioner’s Guild, and plan to self-publish the trilogy. 

Next year I have an even more planned! I’ll be laser-focusing on writing, editing, and publishing more books.  My 2018 Goals:

  • Launch 4 books and a novella–Starburner in the spring, the Confectioner’s Guild trilogy in the fall (titled The Confectioner’s Guild; The Confectioner’s Coup; and The Confectioner’s Truth)  and the Confectioner’s Guild prequel novella, called The Confectioner’s Exile.
  • Write 500,000 words (that should be 6-7 more books!). I’ve got ideas bubbling for a few standalone novels, a fantasy series, and a romance series! 
  • Learn how to use Amazon and Facebook Ads to grow my business
  • Learn how to successfully dictate to increase my writing speed and process
  • Continue engaging my author platform–website, mailing list, street team, and social media
  • Continue learning and reading other books in my genre! I’m going to try to read more books by indie authors this year, and I’m toying with the idea of finding another author to collaborate with on a project

It’s an ambitious plan for the year, but I’m so excited to see what 2018 brings! I finally feel like I have this publishing/selling books thing *mostly* figured out, and can’t wait to just buckle down and write more books. Here’s to the best year ever!

LIMITED TIME ONLY: Winter Sale on the Moonburner Cycle!

LIMITED TIME ONLY: Winter Sale on the Moonburner Cycle!

The holiday season is upon us! For a limited time only, the Moonburner Cycle eBooks are on sale. From December 5-9, Moonburner is FREE and Sunburner is just .99 cents! Grab them together with the FREE prequel novella, Burning Fate, and you’ll score the whole cycle for just .99 cents! Click the covers below to head over to Amazon.

Grab the whole Moonburner Cycle for just .99 cents!

Bookish Gift Ideas for this Holiday Season

Bookish Gift Ideas for this Holiday Season

I can’t believe it’s almost December! I don’t know about you, but for me, this year has flown by. I haven’t been blogging as much, as I’ve been trying to spend my limited free time writing books (almost done with my latest book, Starburner!). But, I thought I’d take a quick moment to give you a little help with your Christmas lists by highlighting some ideas for the book-lover in your life!

I hope your holiday season is merry and bright!

The War of Art: Overcoming Resistance

The War of Art: Overcoming Resistance

Two weeks ago, I finished writing my fourth novel. I set an ambitious pace for myself–2,000 words a day, or a whole book in 40 days. For the most part, I stuck to my goal, and finished in 43 days. But the road to get there wasn’t easy. Getting myself to sit down and write that much every day without fail felt like a Herculean effort.

My husband and I have had this certain disagreement multiple times–he refers to writing as my hobby, and I get prickly about it. On the one hand, I can see his point–it’s something I choose to do in my free time because I enjoy it. That seems hobby-esque, it fits the bill. But on the other hand, writing is work. Really hard work. Work that requires serious brainpower, requires serious willpower to drag myself out of bed at 5:30 am, or off the couch on a lazy Sunday afternoon, to put my butt in that chair and write. Somehow, it doesn’t feel like my other hobbies. It’s not relaxing or rejuvenating in the same way. It is draining, agonizing, fulfilling, inspiring, all at the same time. I couldn’t help but wonder if this is normal. Why is it so hard to get myself to spend time doing this thing I supposedly love? 

Any time you choose to fight against the path of least resistance, it will be a challenge. But I don’t think I really understood why creative endeavors felt especially tough until I recently read The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield. This book is so aptly named. It helped me realize that how I’m feeling is normal. Common. It is all about the war you fight when battling to create. He identifies the enemy, and its name is Resistance. It is a part of ourselves, but somehow other as well. It helped me to name it, to personify it. Somehow it feels easier to do battle. 

Resistance is everything that comes between you and your writing. It’s fear, it’s doubt, it’s comparison, it’s laziness, it’s procrastination. It’s wondering if this is all for nothing, it’s ten more minutes on Facebook. It wears many faces and has many names. Pressfield explains that “Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole. . . . If you take Resistance at its word, you deserve everything you get. Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.” What a perfectly frank definition. If you let Resistance overcome you, you’ll deserve what you get, which will be a big bag of nothing. 

So how do you overcome Resistance? You show up. Day after day. Even when you don’t feel like it. Even when it’s hard. “[W]hen we sit down day after day and keep grinding, something mysterious starts to happen. A process is set into motion by which, inevitably and infallibly, heaven comes to our aid. Unforeseen forces enlist to our cause; serendipity reinforces our purpose. This is the other secret that real artists know and wannabe writers don’t. When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.”

But it’s not enough to just sit down and wait for lightning to strike. You have to become better at your craft, to constantly learn and constantly strive to be better. This makes the difference between being an amateur and “going pro,” as Pressfield calls it. “A professional dedicates himself to mastering technique not because he believes technique is a substitute for inspiration but because he wants to be in possession of the full arsenal of skills when inspiration does come.” 

This little book was exactly the kick in the butt I needed to see me through the end of my fourth novel, and on to start my fifth. Now, when I feel Resistance creep up on me, I call it what it is, and drag myself to my chair to start writing. Because as Richard Bach said: ” a professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”

 

 

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