“She’s asking a lot of really great questions — ones that I never thought to ask,” my friend said. “It makes me wonder … when did I stop asking why?”
Her question made me think, have I stopped asking why with my author journey? The answer: sometimes, yes. I’ve always been an ambitious person, prone to pushing myself too hard and occasionally getting tunnel vision. Sometimes, I can fall victim to “fear of missing out” (FOMO), which convinces me to do things that don’t align with my goals. Likewise, when I set goals for myself, sometimes I feel like changing them — even if they no longer align with my larger aspirations — means failure.
This conversation with my friend occurred on the cusp of a cross-country move. It’s my second in two years (perks of having a husband in graduate school!), and they’ve both caused me to reevaluate myself. Like starting a new school year or getting a new wardrobe, this move is a chance for rebirth. I’ll be meeting new people, exploring a new city, and establishing a new routine — a totally fresh start.
The conversation also coincided with writing/editing my third novel. For some reason, Desertera #3 felt different. I felt more comfortable and confident in my writing ability, style, and system. The third book also marks a milestone for the series– at least, that’s what I’ve read from successful authors (“Three books is the first tipping point. Readers know you’re serious.”).
All this is to say that I’ve done some reevaluating about my personal self, my author self, and my goals. And you know what? I’m refreshed, realigned, and excited to get back to it!
As a first step, I redesigned my author website. While the previous template was effective, I felt like it lacked personality. This design is a little more me, but I’ve still got some work to do in the graphics department.
As a second step, I revised my New Year’s resolutions. I treat them more like short- and long-term goals than traditional resolutions, and some of them no longer reflected my aspirations for 2017.
Here’s my new list, complete with my regular updates:
Writing & Publishing
- Create 5 days per week — a little behind, due to bereavement leave and my move
Write Desertera #3— done!
- Edit Desertera #3 — in the proofreading stage!
- Publish Desertera #3 — planned for early August
- Write a second novel — totally possible, I can’t wait to start my next series idea!
- Edit a second novel — probably can’t publish it, but I should be able to start editing
- Start writing Desertera #4 — a long shot
Make 2018 publishing schedule— I need to start thinking long term!
The BIG change: I’ve decided I don’t want to pursue a new nonfiction book at this time.
- Make $2,000 from Boxthorn Press — on track
Create freebie for Writing Newsletter subscribers— done!
- Create short story for Reader List — my July Camp NaNoWriMo goal!
- Blog 1x per week — reduced from 2x per week
- Maintain content marketing schedule — restructured and reduced
- Diversify existing products — pending research into new audiobook distributor
- Do 12 marketing promotions — changed to focus on book launch
- Read 52 books — hoping to catch up this summer!
The BIG change: reducing my content marketing efforts to focus on writing and publishing.
- Work on positivity — going really well!
- Exercise 3x per week — hahahaha, I need to get my shit together …
- Break a bad habit — starting a new routine to help today!
- Recoup savings account post-Yale — we’re pretty much there!
Make post-Yale plan— done! Visit final NYC sites— done!
- Visit new state — planned for August!
Visit new country— done! Oh, Canada!
No changes here … but obviously I still have some work to do!
Goals for July & Camp NaNoWriMo
- Write a Desertera short story
- Get Desertera #3 ready to publish
- Start outlining new series
- Rewrite my long author biography
- Read and review (on Goodreads/Amazon) four books
How do you handle evolving goals? When is the last time you took stock of your aspirations and routines? Are you participating in July’s Camp NaNoWriMo? Share it all below!