As the new year approaches, I’m thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2013 as an author. Perhaps if I share these goals here in a public forum there will be more chance of keeping them. I’m writing this post from the road in Florida. I’ll return home on New Years’ Eve, refreshed and recharged from time spent with family and friends and the sun. When I return, I’m hoping I’ll be ready to tackle these goals, or I could come home with a revised list after time away. Travel always helps me focus.
I accomplished many of my goals for 2012. I began writing full time. I published a novel that had languished far too long in a desk drawer (Live from the Road), I began blogging on a regular basis and developed a modest following (thank you), and I finished Trails in the Sand, which is almost ready for its big launch at the start of 2013. The only goal that didn’t occur: I didn’t become a bestselling author. . .yet.
Writing Goals for 2013
- Launch Trails in the Sand. I published it on amazon and have a print copy ready to proof. I plan to do a big launch for the novel by the end of January.
- Finish Safe Harbor. I started this novel in 2007 but stopped when I decided I needed to find a wildlife officer to interview. I left for the big Route 66 trip, which led to the creation of Live from the Road. When I returned from Route 66, I took a new job with Florida’s fish and wildlife agency and became very familiar with wildlife officers and experts. Now there’s no excuse not to finish the almost completed draft. I start by pulling out the spiral notebook where it’s housed and giving it a read. I always recommend that writers let pieces incubate, but five years isn’t what I meant.
- Publish a book of essays on my travels. I already have a name: Odyssey to Myself. I have most of the pieces written in various stages. It’s a matter of pulling it all together into one cohesive story of my travels from 2004-2009 as I discarded an old life and moved into a new phase.
- Pull together all of my gardening blog posts from my blog “Living Lightly Upon this Earth” into a book. I see it as a primer for gardening and preserving produce. Again, I have all the pieces here and there, I just need to pull it all together.
- Read the pile of books on my desk, both fiction and nonfiction. Reading is an essential part of the writing journey. How fortunate for me to have a career that requires reading for improving my craft.
- Establish myself as a bestselling author. Every year this one makes it to my list. Here’s to 2013 as being the year it happens. For me, this goal refers to making a living as an author. I want to be able to pay more than the electrical bill each month with the proceeds from my storytelling.
In 2012, I finally believed in my success as an author. Perhaps that’s all that matters. The realization came twice. When I finished reading the final draft of Trails in the Sand, I cried happy tears because I loved the story I created, whether anyone else did or not. The second time occurred this past week. My husband was reading. He looked up at one point and said, “Now that’s good – that’s just plain good writing.” I wasn’t sure what he meant because I wasn’t paying attention to what he was reading. When I looked at him, I saw he had the proof copy of Trails in his lap, and he was tapping his pen on words I’d written. That to me is success, but I’d still like to pay more than the electric bill with my work.
Do you set goals at the beginning of each year? Does it help keep you on track?