So, last year, I did this post on how 2013 changed my life. I'll admit I'm snickering a bit looking back on it, especially the part where I declared I never wanted to write first chapters again (like that would be the hardest thing I encountered in my next draft hahahahahaHAHAHA) and am slightly disappointed in myself that I didn't send cake to my editor. But then, 2014 has been a feisty year.
I won't do a month-by-month breakdown like I did last time, because last time I wanted to show how very quickly things can change in the writing business - how you can be cursing your decision to ever write a book one day and have a call with a top-notch literary agent the next. This year I wanted to share the things I learned about being a full-time author. Both the amazing freedom of it and the guilt that comes with setting my own hours. And with that in mind, I have resolutions for next year:
Give Myself a Break
I love being a full-time author. I love having full days to dedicate to writing, reading, and networking, and I realize how fortunate I am that I can even do this, because many (most) writers juggle day jobs along with their books. When I first switched from a 40-hour day job + writing to just writing, I felt like I had to use every second of the day, even when that surpassed 8 or 9 hours. I had all this time! I needed to finish another book ASAP! And it stressed me out. So I'm going to shake myself this year, any time I feel the non-writing guilt creep in, and remind myself it's okay to not be writing.
Set Goals ... and Re-Set Goals
At the beginning of the year, I had one goal: sell another book. A problem when 1) I hadn't yet written said book 2) I have no control over the actual selling part 3) I have no control over the timeline of the selling part, even if I had a completed book. If you've been following me all year, you know how evil my second book was to me. Needless to say, I did not sell a book this year, and I'm STILL working on revisions for the book I hope to sell next. So I'm making smaller, more realistic goals that don't depend on so many steps ahead of them to be complete. I may not have sold a book this year, but I finished one. And with this finished one in hand, my 2015 goal will be to get it submission-ready (meaning, it's ready to be seen by my editor/publisher). And if I can do that, THEN my goal will be to sell it.
Enjoy Every First
With Duplicity releasing this coming March, 2014 was full of exciting first things. Copy edits! Cover reveal! First pass pages! Advanced reader copies!! I met my publishing team in NYC, which was amazing, and still a surreal experience when I look back on it. (I shook hands with brilliant people. I toured the Flatiron building and grabbed R.L. Stine's newest book OFF HIS EDITOR'S SHELF.) And in 2015, I will hold my book for the first time as an actual hardcover. I will see my book on the shelf in a bookstore. I will have at least one signing. I've been stressing about the steps between now and release - the promotion part of it, the setting-up-of-a-million-things, the interviews, the OMG-my-book-is-in-the-world - but I don't ever want to forget this time when everything was new, when everything was possible.
Learn To Dance
Because life is more than just writing, and I think people who can dance well are the most fun people, and I don't want to be THAT PERSON anymore at weddings.
What are your resolutions for 2015?