Reflections on 2017 Goals and my 2018 Reading Goal

My book case of TBR books (the short one is research books).

So it’s the day after Christmas and the first real day of my vacation, so I thought I’d get my brain thinking about writing my looking back at my goals for this past year. Considering I didn’t know The Once and Future Queen was going to happen when I wrote these, this ought to be good.

  1. Write and publish at least two books. Yeah, so that didn’t happen. But I wrote one, so I get 50% credit, right?
  2. Write Isolde and Morgan’s stories for 2018 publication. Nope. But I have thought about both and did some planning for Isolde’s story. And then Sobian decided she wanted her own book…
  3. Continue to attend conferences and speak. This one I did and in spades! 2017 was quite a busy year for travel. The highlight had to be the Historical Novel Society (HNS) conference in Portland. Those are totally my people! Getting to sit on a panel with Patricia Bracewell and Mary Sharrat was such an honor and I am soooooo glad I got to meet Leanna Renee Hieber, my sister in all things feminism. The RWA conference was pretty awesome, too, but I don’t fit in as well there because I don’t write typical romance.
  4. Turn some of my blog posts/presentations into online classes. This is almost done. As soon as my voice is back to normal, I’m going to record these and get them live. Look for more information on or near January 1.
  5. Continue to learn about marketing and indie publishing. I’ve done this. Being Self-Publishing liaison for my RWA chapter helped because it makes me more attuned.
  6. Break even on expenses incurred in 2016 and 2017 by the end of the year. HAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!! Um, not so much. I wish I would have made this one. But I am doing better than last year.
  7. Lose 30 lbs by my 20-year high school reunion in September, which means exercising regularly and eating right. Not so much. I actually gained more weight this year.
  8. Reignite my social life. Yeah not really. But I don’t really care anymore. I love my writing and that is my life outside of my day job.

I’ve already started on my goals for 2018, which I’ll share closer to the first of the year. But there is one I can share now:

Read only books I already own. (This doesn’t include research, library books or those I review for HNS.)

Having been to so many conferences over the last two years (and having a serious weakness for book sales), I own at least 200 print books and probably another hundred ebooks that I haven’t read. So my goal is only read those; no purchasing of new books other than those already on pre-order. *smirks* we’ll see how long that lasts!

Plus, I plan to set my Goodreads goal to 100, since I’ve surpassed that the last two years.

Now I’m off to talk with Guinevere about Mistress of Legend!

2017 Goals and Word of Year: Write

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Happy 2017!

I was originally planning for my Word of the Year to be “savor.” I wanted to have a year to sit back and relax, to enjoy the fruits of the whirlwind that was 2016.

However, all that changed on Christmas Day, when I found out my cousin passed away unexpectedly the night before. She was only six months younger than me and she and I were the best of friends when we were little, so it hit me very, very hard. She’s the first relative that has died that I was really close to (no offense to the others) and the first person near my age. It really made me realize how fleeting life is and how we aren’t promised the 80+ years we tend to take for granted, so I changed my focus.

I have this horrible fear that I will die or something will happen to my brain (like a stroke or something) before I can get all the stories in my head written. That’s why I’m going to push myself this year to write my little heart out, which you will see reflected in my goals below. It’s also why I chose the word “write” as my Word of the Year.

2017 Goals

  1. Write and publish at least two books. This includes Mistress of Legend and a non-fiction book about Guinevere that I’m currently working on. The latter won’t be long, but it will be a synthesis of all my research. I’m really more putting it out for fun than as a money-maker. I will also release an ebook bundle of the Guinevere’s Tale trilogy once Mistress of Legend is out.
  2. Write Isolde and Morgan’s stories for 2018 publication. I’ve been wanting to do this for years now and it just feels right to make this a year of Arthurian legend. Doing so will keep me in the mindset and help the books have more continuity and consistency. Also, once those books are done, I can move on to other time periods and subjects without guilt that this one isn’t finished.
  3. Continue to attend conferences and speak. I am finding that I love to speak and teach, so I want to do this as much as possible. I have seven events between March and July, so this is shaping up to a good start. Some of my events are for readers, while others are for writers.
  4. Turn some of my blog posts/presentations into online classes. For those who can’t come hear me speak or who want to learn more, I’d love to start offering classes. This may be a stretch goal for 2017, but it’s been on my mind a lot, so I want to list it.
  5. Continue to learn about marketing and indie publishing. This is an ongoing goal because things keep changing and I’m of the opinion that you should never stop learning.
  6. Break even on expenses incurred in 2016 and 2017 by the end of the year. Running any business, including indie publishing, comes with it’s fair share of costs. I’m publishing less and plan to do less marketing this year to help accomplish this. And of course, hopefully I will see increased income from my books!
  7. Lose 30 lbs by my 20-year high school reunion in September, which means exercising regularly and eating right. All this “butt in chair” time writing and editing and such has led to a huge weight gain for me. But more important than the number on the scale are my health and self-confidence, both of which will improve as I lose weight.
  8. Reignite my social life. I’ve really let this slide over the last few years in favor of my writing career, but now that that is established, it’s time for me to find some balance. Luckily, I have some new friends (Mia and Greg, I’m looking at you), so hopefully I will have people to do things with. I already have tickets to finally see Rent live, so that is a step in the right direction! (Those of you who have read Been Searching for You know that Rent is my favorite musical. Can you believe I’ve never seen it on stage?) Bring on the concerts, musicals and plays, ballet, and anything else that sounds like fun!

So, there you have it, my plans for a busy, but hopefully balanced year.

What are your plans for 2017? What’s your Word of the Year?