Thursday, December 31, 2009

Life in the Rear View Mirror

Imagine your life as a car. You are the driver. The car is your life. The road is your destiny which will fork and split depending on your decisions. Sometimes destiny is well marked as a good map. Other times, you may take a few wrong turns but will eventually find your way once more.

Regardless of the route you take, the one constant is the past, staring back at you in the rearview mirror. Why is this significant? Because only by keeping an eye on the past can you move forward with any kind of certainty.

This past weekend, I sat down and wrote out my goals for the 2010 writing year. Am I dreaming big? Probably. Am I shooting for possibly unrealistic goals? Most likely. But where would anyone of any kind of success be if they merely dreamed in mediocrity? I’m planning 4 full length (75K or over) books for 2010. At this point, only one novella is planned. Which is not to say I won’t write more or meet those goals but I’ll try.

That’s part of the challenge and all of the fun.

2009 was my debut year as a published author. To say it was crazy is a vast understatement of how it felt to live through the chaos. Yes, book releases for 2010 are stacked up like taxing planes in Charlotte’s airport but that is because I had a mess of “banked” work. I now need to refill the bank and wait for a lull in my release schedule—in 2011.

Why was 2009 important? Name recognition. As a new author, one of the toughest jobs you have is convincing folks to buy your books over someone who’s been tried and true in the industry. Have I accomplished this? To a certain degree but not nearly as much as I would have liked. With each new day, I make a tiny bit more headway in the crowded waters.

But 2009 taught me a hard lesson. Slowing down in 2010 is a must. Yes, those in my inner circle know I just cranked out a short story in one day. It was a one off sort of thing because my muse nearly strangled me. She was a bit miffed to be on hiatus for awhile. Not she’s been appeased and has flown off for the islands. I hope her bitchy self gets a sunburn.

My point in this ramble? Set a list of goals for yourself. You may meet all of them. You may meet none of them but at least you’ll have a road map to guide you through the pitfalls that will come your way on life’s highway.

As Kasey Kasem once said “Keep your feet on the ground but keep reaching for the stars.”

Power on and here’s to a successful and happy 2010.

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