Welcome to 2018, and the first Romance Writers Weekly Blog Hop of the year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. Here in Northern BC we had very cold weather (even for us) which brought beautiful bright blue skies, so it was a worthwhile trade off. Three turkey dinners and numerous family visits later, it’s time to get back in the swing. Leslie Hachtel starts off this year with an oldie but a goodie:
Let’s talk about your New Years’ Resolutions.
If you joined me from S. C. Mitchell, welcome!
I’ve been seeing a lot of TV interviews about resolutions recently (shocking, I know!), and there seems to be a recurring theme this year – make them achievable! While this may seem like common sense, I totally get why we all need a reminder once in a while about making goals that are within our control.
Bear with me, here. I will be taking a long and roundabout route to my resolution, and will be sharing some honest details about my writing career, but I'll get there.
For years and years, I had a goal – finish a book. I didn’t even have a particular book in mind (I started many during those years that have been lost in the mists of time). I just wanted to say I’d written a book and it was done.
And I did. In 2011, I finished Mountain Fire, and, of course, my goals changed. Now I wanted it published—and I wanted to write more books.
I’ve achieved both of those goals since—and my goals changed again. Now I want to make money selling my books.
Like many authors, I also have a full-time job. This means I have a limited amount of energy to put into writing, editing, publishing, and promoting my books. Unlike many authors (it seems) I need a full 8 hours of sleep and a decent amount of downtime, too, so this limits my writing and its related work even further.
Even so, I still achieved a respectable amount last year. I finished my sixth full-length manuscript and gave that first draft a full edit, as well as revised Mountain Fire and handled its re-release since I received the rights back in October. What I didn’t achieve was making a profit at my writing.
I have to admit, that started to weigh on me. This isn’t a hobby for me. I want to make a career out of this. I don’t have to be rich and famous, but I’d like to make enough money to have it be my “retirement job.” You know, the one that supplements our savings, keeps me active and involved, and makes me feel good.
Did I put as much effort into my writing career last year as I could have? Maybe not. Will I try and do better this year. Again, I answer—maybe not.
And this is where we get to my New Year’s Resolution. I need to have a career/life/writing balance that works for me. And if that means writing comes third some days, then so be it. And if writing comes third, then marketing and promotion comes even further down the list. And if you don’t market and promote, you don’t make sales.
That’s something I’ll just have to live with, and learn to accept. Which, to be honest, nine days out of ten I am perfectly fine with. But those tenth days can be soul-searchingly tough, sometimes.
My New Years Resolution, then? To remind myself I write because not writing is not an option. I feel better about myself every day I put words on the page, even if they’re bad words, even if there are few of them. Will I still worry about making money at this? Of course I will. Like I said, it’s not a hobby. But I resolve to remember the reason I write. Because I love it.
How about you? Do you have a plan or a project that isn’t quite coming together the way you’d hoped, and yet you can’t put it down? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Then be sure to hop on over to J.J. Devine and see what challenges she's set for herself this year!