It’s a Wonderful New Year!

I share you this post from the warm sandy beaches of South Florida. I hope your new year is starting off right! I’m looking at 2014 as a year of prosperity for me, then again I say that every year and lady luck usually smiles upon me. As I look to the year ahead, I think about the things I want to achieve and how I will go about achieving them.

In short, some of my professional goals include the following:

  • finish my novel and begin the editing process
  • join an RWA chapter (I wish I had done this last year!)
  • attend one writing-related conference
  • read 4 novels (this helps with research)

In addition, I have some personal goals that I want to complete. I don’t know if I’ll be successful, but I’d be happy with achieving just one:

  • travel to a new country (I’m thinking about either Chile, Peru or Australia)
  • ski at least four times this winter – because winter is shorter than a lot of people think!
  • volunteer

Now a lot of people have been asking me the same question: when are you going to have your book done and published? For those who have been keeping up with my Weekend Writing Warriors snippets, you like what you’ve read and no doubt can’t wait to see it in print. I thank you all for your comments and am flattered by your anticipation. While I would like to say it will be done in six months, it won’t. For me, it’s not realistic. I was hoping to have it finished by now, but I still have 10,000 more words to fill – and that’s just the start.

I think I’ll have my first draft finished by summer, but then I have to go through the editing process. After self-editing my novel, I will hire a professional editor and revise and revise until I get it right. I’d say the editing process will take at least a year, maybe more. After that, I’m going to try to have the novel traditionally published (my colleagues have already mentioned a few interesting publishers). If the traditional way doesn’t work, then I will self-publish. To sum it up, I’m thinking it could be three or four years before you find my novel in Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc. Whether your jaws are dropping or not, that’s the facts.

I just want to make something clear: I don’t write full-time. I’m an ESL teacher and academic director. I plan my lessons, teach my classes, develop new courses for my school, lead workshops and attend conferences. I love my job, and I wouldn’t leave it to write full-time. I personally don’t think I would write more if I was writing full-time. I need to have other things in my life that give me meaning as well as occupy my time. But then again, there are writers that work full-time, raise kids and still find the time to write and publish their work.

There is another roadblock that could delay my writing progress: I plan to go back to school to earn my Master’s degree. I’m not sure which school I’ll be at, but what I do know is once I’m in school, I’ll have less time to write. You might be questioning my commitment as a writer, but I am simply following my dreams and want to see them through. I don’t have kids to raise, so I am fortunate enough to be in the position to go back to school.

So I thank you all for your continued support, and hope you have a better understanding of why I haven’t finished my novel after nearly two years of writing. I will finish this novel if it kills me, I promise you! Remember to make a list of goals you want to accomplish for 2014 and SEE THEM THROUGH!

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