Friday, December 31, 2010

Reflect first; Plan second

So, here it is, December 31. I'm supposed to be thinking about the new year, making some resolutions, figuring out a plan to keep at them, and looking to the future. I should also be considering that New Year's Day meal that I usually cook--you know, the pork and kraut and blackeyed peas, all of which are supposed to bring us luck and money and other good things.

I've heard that you should cook a penny in the kraut, and that whomever gets the penny in their serving is the one the money will come to the next year. But since it's likely I'll be the only one eating the kraut, and the fact that I'm not too keen on a dirty penny being cooked along with it, I think I'll pass on that one.

But back to the New Year's thing. I will make resolutions but before I can do that, I have to do a little reflecting on this past year. I took a couple of huge leaps in 2010. It will be a year that will remain one for the books, in my book. (pun unintended)

Accomplishments this past year:
  • I left my full-time day job of ten years in January. This is huge leap #1. For 31 years, I worked for someone else. Now, I'm working for me and focusing more on writing and books. I still do some work part-time for the previous employer, and am glad of that fact, but for the first time in 20 years now, I have finally found some balance between the writing world, and the day job world.
  • I formed a new business in February, an LLC. Basically it started out being my writing, workshops and consulting biz, but it quickly turned into more...
  • Huge leap #2. I started a publishing company. I'd thought about it for a long time. I'd researched how to self-publish my backlist of books, since a lot of people are doing that these days. I really and truly thought, at the time, that this little itty-bitty publishing company was going to be a small extension of my writing. I was wrong. The house has 33 authors under contract and we have books scheduled to be released, at least one a week, through January of 2012. I have contracted cover artists, editors and proofreaders. I am working 24/7 to make every inch of it work, and loving every single second.
  • I should also note that during the year, I published four novellas under two pen names, and re-released three of my backlist titles, for a total of seven releases this year. Not too bad, on top of everything else. I should also note that I received a CAPA nomination for one of my books, Better Than Chocolate. We'll find out the results of that in February.
Things to work on (or I suppose, these are my resolutions for the coming year):
  • Now, I struggle with finding the balance between writing and publishing! (there's never an easy answer to balance, is there? Just call me Libra, always in need of the balance)
  • I have six writing contracts pending for the new year. I am striving to make those deadlines! (oops, one is already missed, so I'm striving to make that one up real quick like)
  • Routine and schedule. For years my daily routine was: get up, coffee, shower, get out of the house, work, come home, write. Oddly enough, one would think when you are home all day, you'd have plenty of time to: do laundry, clean the house, write, tend to the lawn, and publish a few books. Nope. Nada. Doesn't happen. Why? My routine has CHANGED. I've been working on this for a couple of months now, trying to develop some better habits, and motivating myself to get out of the chair behind the computer and, well, vacuum and shower and such.
  • Which brings me to the last thing to work on: exercise. I eat a fairly health diet. I don't get enough exercise. This will change, and will be part of that routine thing above. I walk--occasionally. I'm so out of habit. So putting a plan into place (join the Y?) to exercise more is a definite good thing. 
I'm betting many of you are thinking about your resolutions, or things to work on for next year, too. I'd love to hear about your accomplishments this past year (celebrate!) and your plans for the next. What's on your plate?


Nancy Naigle said...

Congratulations on a wonderful year of accomplishments in 2010. I know 2011 is going to be even more memorable.

Thanks for helping me achieve my 2010 goals. I'm so excited to debut with Turquoise Morning Press and grow together.

In 2011, I'm going to be better about juggling my career, family, dreams and health. I've neglected me for a while - you know from a eat right and excercise perspective - and it's time to get that in balance so I have the energy to accomplish all I've planned for 2011 and then some! I'll see you on the virtual aerobics floor :) We can bust a move together.

Hugs and happy new year wishes,

Maddie James said...

Sounds like a plan, Nancy! Well keep each other motivated! We can do it.

You're right, to do all that we want to accomplish, we have to be healthy. I should move exercise up to bullet #1.

Suzanne Barrett said...

I have the same goals. It's way too easy to stay behind the computer in one's robe and slippers. I used to teach up to 10 water fitness classes a week, and now I only have one. The gym where I have a free membership is 12 miles away, so I easily find reasons not to drive down the mountain. Need something for the dinner menu? The DH can pick it up since he's already down there.
Ugh! That has got to stop. I NEED to get my derriere out of the chair and move more of the time. So, this is the year I make myself move. A lot more. That means I have to be more efficient at the computer, and then be more efficient when I'm not there. My body will thank me and I'll feel better about myself.

On the plus side, 2010 has been the year I made a commitment to get my books either published or re-released and Turquoise Morning Press has been the vehicle for doing so. That's one area where I do feel I've accomplished something. I'm looking forward to an eventful 2011.

Happy New Year to all.
Haben Sie ein Glueckliches freues Neues Jahr!

Renee Vincent said...

I have not given any thought to my resolutions this year...but I'm like you. I need to get a better schedule - for my family's sake. Sometimes laundry and housework get put on the back burner while I'm writing and promoting. Ok, fine! All the time. There I admit it. haha
So yeah, I need to come up with a schedule that works for everyone.

Happy New Year, Maddie!
BTW, love the new look of the site. VERY calming. I love water.

Bobbye Terry said...


Your sudden change of career sounds familiar. I hadn't written in five years and when I got laid off because they sold my division, I found myself happier than a pig in slop. I know I have to find a day job to survive, but have thoroughly enjoyed writing fulltime with six book contracts and eight short story/anthology contracts in one year.

Here's hoping I can repeat that in 2011! I raise a virtual glass of champagne to you.


Maddie James said...

And right back atcha, Bobbye! I still need the part-time work, and I know that if it went away, I'd have to fine something to fill in the gap. But i'm still plugging away... Best to you and hope you find something that you like doing.

Renee, thanks about the site design change. I just got tired of the purple. LOL And I do love the water.... You know me, ocean freak here!

Suzanne, we should motivate each other to move! I think that's the biggest goal for me...just get up and move. It's so easy not to. :( But my joints will thank me.

Janet Eaves said...

BIG Accomplishments, my friend, fellow writer, and newest publisher! But you have always worked hard, strove towards, and succeeded, in all those areas of your life that meant the most to you. I am more than proud to call you friend!

This has been an odd year, last couple really, for me on a personal level. Between the hardships of this economy, the adjustments of having children go from being children to becoming adults, and having a husband that travels more than not, I sometimes get lost in the chaos of it all. But the one thing that keeps me sane is writing, and thanks to you and my other publisher, I get to share my escape from reality with others who need a little escape also.

I also have neglected me in all this. I have gained massive weight over the last few years that makes looking into the mirror a nightmare… I don't even know that woman. So that is 2011 goal #1. Take care of me. Eat right, exercise DAILY, and take back control. Goal #2 is to harness the imagination and settle into writing books that are both already contracted, or promised. That is four at this moment. And a fifth, the big one that I have set back too many times to write and publish smaller ones is going to get finished… then I am putting it out there to see what it does.

2011 is the year I take control of me. God willing!

Happy and prosperous New Year to all!


Maddie James said...

And you will, Janet. I know you well, and you will do what you set out to do. I'm sorry for your rough year and hope that 2011 is so much better for you and the family.

As to the writing, we started this writing adventure together, way back when...1990? And we shall persevere!

jeff7salter said...

As I've told you, I'm inspired by your successful publishing venture and see wonderful achievements in the future for TMP under your hand.
I don't eat 'right' but I guess I get by. I do have the exercise thing down, however. I started exercising again six years ago (in mid-Jan. of 2005). I've had a few months this past year where I only got 7 or 8 sessions in a given month, but my overall average for the six years is about 11 times per month. I want to be more regular about that in 2011.
My other goal is to join your TMP team, but that's another story.
Hope your NY is even better than last year.

tonya kappes said...

Hi Maddie! WOW! How in the world did you keep up with all of what you did??? I can't wait to see what you do in 2011 and I'll be right there with you:)

Susan Hatler said...

Your 2010 risks and accomplishments are inspiring. What better way to spend each and every day than doing what you love? Thx for bringing me into the TMP family...what an amazing group of authors. Hugs for 2011 and, as always, HAPPY WRITING!

Maddie James said...

Hey Jeff. Thanks for stopping by my place. I wish I had your exercise habits!

Tonya, I don't sleep much. LOL Actually, I sleep really great, but when I'm awake, I'm always working on something!

Thanks, Susan. Glad you are part of the team, too!

JM said...

I admire you for all you've done in the past couple of years. You've really kicked butt. Even though it was a drastic lifestyle change, you handled it with panache. 2011 will be a wonderful year.
2010 was a momentous year for me too, and I plan on keeping that momentum going.
And getting off my ass. Weight has GOT to go. At least some of it.

Maddie James said...

J.M. you've had great success this year. Two books sold, right?

Are you up to a weight challenge? Let's say... 10 pounds gone by the March KYRW meeting? It's just 10...what do you say? Hmmmm? (more would be a bonus)