True confession time: I hate New Year’s Eve. I hate the pressure of a forced good time, just because the calendar says it’s the end of the year. Every New Year’s Eve party I’ve ever attended proved disastrous and the more money I spent on the event, the higher the ‘wretchedness’ factor. As a ‘glass half-empty’ kind of gal, the end of the year also marks a review of all of the goals I didn’t accomplish: unfinished work, deadlines unmet, obligations I owed to family and friends that weren’t fulfilled as they should have been. In short, New Year’s Eve depresses the heck out of me … but I love New Year’s Day.
Something about the clean slate of a New Year makes me dream of possibilities. As with most goal-setting in my life, I record too many items on my New Year’s Resolution list, usually involving fitness, work, weight loss, finances, family and friends, and I set unrealistic time frames in which to achieve these lofty goals. Today, while I pondered my resolutions for 2014, I came across a quote by Brad Paisley:
“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”
I’m sure Mr. Paisley didn’t mean this statement in the literal sense, but I’m a writer. A page a day: a short, measurable goal that yields a book at the end of the year. I can do this! If I can do this, then I can set other goals in other facets of my life – break big goals into small chunks, pieces I can accomplish on a daily or weekly basis.
As an unpublished paranormal romance / urban fantasy writer, I troll websites of authors I admire to see what works for them, hoping something they do will work for me, too. One of my favorites, Kresley Cole, approached the start of her writing career as a business. To quote from her website, “If you’re set on publishing, then don’t dabble. Decide if you’re in or you’re out. Then do whatever it takes to achieve your goals. I had a “25” plan. At any given time, I would have my writing out in 25 myriad forms—either contests, critiques, agent queries, publisher queries, etc. I believe you have to jump in with both feet.”
While I agree with her sentiment, I have to scale this for me and I am a wife, a mother of two, a community volunteer involved in a number of organizations, a daughter, a sister, a friend … and a writer. I wrote business plans at one point in time (I am a former HR Director who worked for a Fortune 500 firm), so the business approach makes sense to me, but I will tailor my plan to me. I want to accomplish my objectives this year – I’m all in – so I’m setting achievable goals.
The bottom line?
I’m swimming in a smaller pool, but I’m in with both feet.
Come and join me – the water’s fine!
Lisa’s Professional Goals for 2014:
1. Write a minimum of one page per day – do not edit that page. Edits occur when the novel is finished. (Achilles’ heel – I over-edit.)
2. Complete Recurve (current work-in-progress), by end of May. It is one-third complete.
3. Attend RWA’s conference in San Antonio. Pitch to one editor and one agent. Follow through on the pitches. (Another Achilles’ heel – I’ve pitched four times over the last two conferences and I’ve never sent in the requested material due to fear.)
4. Establish a pen name and a social media presence by the start of the RWA conference.
If a rolling stone gathers no moss, then Lisa is a moss-free gal. The daughter of an Army Master Sergeant, Lisa spent her childhood in Florida, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Okinawa, Japan, and Texas. While all this travel would make some the life of the party, Lisa chose to create friendships and build worlds that could travel with her and her family. Convinced she was a long lost princess of some kind, she began chronicling the adventures of other long lost princesses who found their roads home (The Four Little Seasons, her magnum opus, she penned at the age of eleven.)
Her rolling stone ways continued after college, where dry business trips became new worlds to explore and new experiences to bank, all of it fodder for her future novels. You’ll find the kingdoms of Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Kansas City, Washington DC, and Dallas featured in her works.
While she’s still convinced she’s a long lost princess, she’s found her kingdom. Lisa lives in a very modest castle in Texas, where she resides with her husband, their two children, and their two royal dogs.
Lisa: Yes! What are your professional goals for 2014?