December 28, 2016

Goal Time - My 2017 Finish Lines

This is the time of year I reflect and then look forward. Usually. Last year I purposefully avoided the big think. I was in such a bad place in my writing life. I didn’t want to look back because that was what opened the dark hole in my head. I didn’t want to look forward because I really didn’t care if I ever wrote another word. So I went into 2016 without any goals. Without a plan. Without guilt. It was AMAZING!

Now as we approach 2017, I’m excited to say that I’m writing again. I completed two new manuscripts in 2016 – quite surprising actually. To be honest, when I see that sentence, “I completed two new manuscripts in 2016” I think, Holy sh*t! I did?! Oddly, I now have a new set of problems. What to do with them. However, this post isn’t about my screwed up writer’s head, so I’ll simply say I keep changing my mind as to what my next path will be in the world of writing and because of that, my career is still pretty halted. As hard as it is to have two completed manuscripts doing nothing for me, I really want to follow a plan, so until I figure out what that is I’m restraining myself from acting on all of the knee jerk thoughts that flit through my cluttered mind.

I’m working on finishing a third manuscript and already have the general outline of the next book in that series. The writing on this one is slow, but I plan to put a big dent (dare I dream of finishing!) in it while I’m visiting the east coast for three weeks. The ending of this WIP is going to be epic and I can’t wait to get to it. It’s like the carrot strung before my horse. It keeps me writing because I really, really can’t wait for it to unfold and to see the reactions of the characters. Though I don’t expect to finish the first draft of this manuscript before New Year’s Day, there is a distinct possibility I will be able to tick off a completed ms as early as the first week of 2017. Imagine that?!

Then I need to edit the time travel romance I recently completed. I want to submit this one to my publisher’s other imprint, which again is a different path than I intended to take when I planned this book in the first place. It’s crazy how quickly this industry shifts and either blocks a path, or opens a new one. CRAZY!

I need to figure out what to do with my YA contemporary that I’m currently subbing to agents. Stay the course? IDK. I really DK. I need someone to fall in love with my writing, but this submission processes really destroys my confidence. One minute I think, Just haven’t found thee one yet. The next minute (read hour/week/month) I think, It’s because I suck, my writing sucks or there’s just nothing special about it. Oh wait, I said this post isn’t about my screwed up writer’s head…moving on.

Going forward I have more writing and edits and all sorts of research and submissions (or different sort of work if I self pub) to find the right home for my work. However, I have a tentative goal of seeing at least one publication in 2017. Two would be fantastic. It doesn’t equal the four titles I published in 2014, but it’s more than the ZERO published in 2016. I’ve been happy with two publications per year in the past and would like to get the wheel turning so that I can do that again. Since I’m writing again, that is a distinct possibility.

I also hope to do a lot more public appearances in 2017. I love talking to readers, so I’ve set up several classroom visits with some wonderful local teachers, and I hope to do a few bookstore events. I’m always open to presentations and workshops. If you have a group (book club, writing group, classroom, etc) hit me up. If I can’t travel there, I can Skype.

Finally another focus will be my blog and my newsletter. They are great ways for me to stay in touch with readers and the writing community. I hope to share relevant and interesting information that will keep you aware of not only the status of my career, but of other great books and authors. You’ll continue to see #InkRipples, author interviews, and book spotlights on my blog and giveaways, events, sales, and random related book interests in my newsletter.

I’m a planner and it’s nice to go into 2017 with a bit of a plan. It’s also nice that it isn’t the stringent, hardcore plan of years past. I think finding a happy medium will help me to develop better books with strong distribution for you – my favorite person – the reader. *Heart squish*

What about you? Any major goals in your life or career for 2017?

7 comments:

  1. Sounds like a solid plan for 2017. I, too, struggle with confidence while on submission...it's such a mind (you know what!). Looking forward to new work from you this year and all the fun blog posts. :)

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    1. I guess if it was easy, everybody would do it. Oh wait, I think everybody DOES do it. Sigh. Cheers to a productive and successful writing year!

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  2. Congrats on such a productive 2016! You just accomplished my writing goal for 2017, two finished manuscripts. Keep doing what you're doing and I'm sure you'll find the right path for your writing this year. You're a great writer, so don't let the submission process knock your confidence too much. Keep at it and you will find the right agent. I'm looking forward to reading some of your new stuff and participating in #InkRipples. Here's to a happy and productive 2017!

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    1. Ah, thanks, Carolyn :) Cheers to a productive 2017.

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  3. Hi Kai, I like everything you've said. Indeed, all of us experience that little nagging voice that tells us we aren't good enough. It's the ones who keep going who are successful. You gave me a new goal: finding more groups to speak to. I love speaking to groups, but I've not really worked hard at making that happen. Good luck in 2017!

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    1. Glad I could inspire you, Joan! Here's to a great 2017.

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  4. Here's to achieving your dreams, Kai. You can do it. Waiting to read your new stories.

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