Posts Tagged With: goals

Reflecting on 2019

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So first of all, I want to thank those who commented on my last post about Poland! I wasn’t expecting such a huge turnout! Funny how things happen when we’re not expecting them!

I’d also like to apologize for not posting as much on my blog as I normally did in years past, as well as for not being active on Twitter. I will try and make the former more of a priority. As with the latter, well…my plan is to come back to that when my debut novel is finally finished. I just don’t like to brag as much about my personal life as other authors.

Anyway, with 2020 just days away, it’s time look ahead to the potential fortunes of the new year. But before you do the countdown and crack open the bubbly, try and look back on 2019. I mean once it’s gone, it’s gone. A friend once told me that it’s good pause and reflect on the recent past and present. It helps appreciate what has been accomplished. We often get so caught on looking ahead to the future, we don’t stop reflect on what we have already achieved. What were your biggest achievements of 2019? Was 2019 not your greatest year? No worries! It might be a good idea to look back on what didn’t go so well so that 2020 can be better.

I thought I would share some of my top fives of 2019:

  1. I successfully completed my teaching contract in Poland
  2. I voluntarily created a LinkedIn page for my former school
  3. I helped a woman get home after she found herself stranded in my town
  4. I visited new countries: Hungary, Croatia and Turkey
  5. I made significant progress in my novel (ten chapters written)

 

Unfortunately, this year saw the end of five-year friendship. Actually, this friend lost me. After enduring months of his toxic attitude and jealousy towards me, I had to kick him to the curb. As much of a relief it was, it caused a lot of pain since we had been friends for such a long time. A lesson learned: any friend who is constantly jealous of you, criticizes your actions and holds a grudge for petty things is NOT a friend! The good thing that did come out of this is that I learned to stand up to people that rub me the wrong way (a weakness for many years).

Sadly, my uncle passed away this year at the age of 85. He was a wonderful man, always treated me like his own son whenever I visited him, and a tireless worker, father and husband.

I challenge you to look back and write down five of your biggest accomplishments of the year, and even one of two things that didn’t work out for you. Think of it as saying ‘thank you’ to 2019.

And on a final note, Happy New Year to all my loyal followers!

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Forget Everything Else and Just Write!

 

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It’s so easy to get bogged down when trying to promote ourselves as writers as well as sell our books. Marketing, book tours, newsletters, weekly blogs – the list goes on! It seems author promotion is as time-consuming as writing stories. While author promotion is necessary, we as writers cannot forget the one thing that makes us…well writers. And that is writing. With technology at our fingertips, it seems like our stories just write themselves and the Print button just magically hits itself with freshly printed 300-something pages of the Great American novel. Well…no that doesn’t happen! We have to make that happen.

Whether you’re querying to agents/editors, or just counting down the days to that long-awaited release date of your fabulous book, you need to keep the pen to the paper. Writing is, of course, the reason we decided to become authors in the first place, no? Musicians and songwriters have to constantly keep producing songs and albums, or they’ll end up as just another ‘One Hit Wonder’. Authors have to do the same, or they fall into the same hole. Of course, if just want to write one novel and nothing after that, that’s completely fine. For those that want to quit their day jobs and write full-time, they have to keep going. Writing is how you improve your skills and keep your story-telling juices flowing. The longer you go without writing, the harder it is get back in the groove. And eventually, you will forget how to craft great stories.

Now you don’t have to write stories everyday or every week. Let’s say you’ve written a novel (fully edited) and currently querying your manuscript. You could develop another story in that time. Just jotting notes about the plot, setting and the characters is writing practice. Even a hundred words a day or every two days is better than no words a week. Whatever it is, just put that pen to the paper and write!

I’m working on a novel and a novella, as well as attending school full-time. I know that I can only get a little done here and there. A friend I met a RWA 2013 told me that she writes during her lunch break, which I found pretty impressive. I’m not able to do that, I do the following:

  • write for an hour here, an hour there
  • bring my laptop everywhere I go and write while I’m waiting for a class, etc.
  • remind myself that I have my own writing style and stick to it
  • remind myself, ‘write the book first, then worry about selling/promoting afterwards’

Simple things like these can keep you on track and remind you that your main priority should always be writing.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Writing & Inspiration | Tags: , , ,

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!

Categories: Life | Tags: , , ,

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