Monday, December 31, 2012

Must Do - Want To Do in 2013

Happy New Year! Today is the first day of 2013. I told a friend at church that my hair is still blowing because of how fast 2012 flew by.  

I accomplished a few things that have kept me motivated and feeling like a real writer: interviewed authors Christa Allan, Terri Blackstock, Robin Carroll for Southern Writers Magazine. Even had the cover story with my interview with thriller writer Steven James; wrote a Christmas short story as part of an anthology, wrote a novella, sold and signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press for the novella. And, most fun and lucrative of all—I spoke at the Bayou Writers’Conference.

I have to add that we moved to Oklahoma in March. That plays a large part in my accomplishments. I think getting out of my ordinary world, being plopped down in an area where I had no friends, forced me to write. I joined OKRWA, and I do have one Louisiana pal who lives in Norman and meets me at a library every other Tuesday for a day of writing. We encourage each other by listening to our pounding keys.

Those few achievements happened in quick succession and I wish I could have kept up the momentum, but I couldn’t—or didn’t. The holidays hit. My mother fell and broke her hip and is in rehab. Her mood has fluctuated tremendously, as has mine. One moment I think she might bounce back and at other times I wonder if she even wants to bounce back. My thoughts are continuously yanked from writing.

I don’t like the phrase New Year’s Resolutions so instead of making them, I think I’ll just have a Want To  Do List and a Must Do List.
I MUST finish the first revision of my novella. My editor pointed out a few places where the characters need more motivation, explanation, etc before she actually does line edits. I’ve completed it but need to do another pass or two, reading carefully. Editor wasn’t 100% happy with the title and I wasn’t either. Peace of Heart fit the story but it sounded more inspirational than romantic suspense. After brainstorming with my daughter and her reading friends, we’ve chosen The Last Daughter. I love it! The new title has been approved by the editor.

I MUST finish the paperwork for marketing for TWRP and get a handle on promotion. I’ve never been so overwhelmed in all my life. I was under the misconception that I knew all about promoting myself and my work. How difficult can it be? Well, believe me, I don’t have a clue. There’s a lot to learn and much to do.  I’ll be expected to blog with the Scrimshaw Doll authors. My turn comes up Wednesday. I’m a little nervous about ‘mandatory’ blogging even though it will be all about my story and my characters.
I’m sure there are other things I MUST do but let’s get on to the Wants—more fun.  And certainly easier to WANT something than actually DO it. Right?

I WANT to start my nonfiction book. I keep making notes but I can't get a handle on how I want to do it. I should probably just start writing instead of having fun with all the research.

I WANT to continue writing for Southern Writers Magazine in 2013.
I WANT to attend two conferences:  the OWFI in late May (to meet Jane Friedman). Check out this interesting post. And the Killer Nashville in August if I have a new romantic mystery to market.

I WANT to finish editing my published book, The Groom Wore Blue Suede Shoes. I got discouraged because it seemed outdated to me, but other authors have backlists that were published waaaaay before Groom was, and they’re not updating their books. What do you think of putting a disclaimer in the front letting the reader know it was published by Silhouette Romance in 1996. Is that done?  And then I have to actually learn how to publish it. Sometimes my brain hurts!
I WANT to make another couple of passes through my novel, A Bad Guy Forever. I think there are still scenes that need fleshing out.  It doesn't feel quite right yet. Then I want to submit it to a traditional publisher, if I can find one that doesn’t require an agent. I’m not sure I want another agent. And if I got one, would they submit to small presses and epubs? I can do that myself.  Publishing has become tricky. Sometimes I like the new direction; sometimes I think everything is all screwed up.

I WANT to write another novella. Maybe two.
I WANT to participate in the A to Z Challenge again this year. And continue to blog once a month for the Insecure Writers Support Group. Both of these groups are ‘heart-groups.’ I love them!

I WANT to get more active about reading other blogs and visiting/posting to my yahoo groups. I’m a member of several wonderful writing loops and they don’t know I exist--or have forgotten. Should I visit them twice a week, every day or what?  The Wild Rose Press author's loop is overwhelming! I can’t believe how much other writers accomplish. How do they do it? I move at a snail’s pace.
I WANT to revise Reinventing Rita. I've retitled it and can't remember the new title. Guess that means it doesn't work, huh?

I WANT to write some more romantic short stories for various epublishers and anthologies.

I WANT a career plan.  This week I'll locate my new 2013 calendar (where did I put it?) and assign firm deadlines to some of these tasks. There are specific things I want to accomplish while here in Oklahoma and we'll be moving out in June. I have six months to . . .
I WANT to accomplish much more in 2013!
And I want you to, too!
Share your 2013 dreams.



Sylvia Ney said...

Get more organized! ;-)

Charles Gramlich said...

I no longer make "resolutions" either. I make want lists like you do. Luck with all. I hope your mom gets completely better soon.

Angie said...

Thanks for the update, Jess! I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I hope she recovers quickly. And I'm so impressed with all you have been accomplishing lately. If you think you move at a snail's pace, then I'm flat out in a coma. I do want to work harder this year. Branch out into some other markets. Good luck and keep in touch!