Occasionally, life happens, forcing us to reevaluate our priorities and goals. The last few months for me have definitely fallen into this category.
There has been the spectacular (such as the RWNZ conference and the release of Hidden Traps). There has been the things that terrify me (such as my oldest turning 16). However, there has also been those things that I’m not exactly sure how to quantify.
By now, my faithful followers have already worked out exactly where this post is heading. For those new to my chaotic mind, it’s time to reexamine the goals.
The last time I looked at my goals was back in June. Back then, I was celebrating the fact Hidden Traps had just gone on pre-sale. Of course the book has now been released and has been out for nearly two months. My activities regarding that book have moved into pure marketing, and there is one thing that I have learnt about that: I know NOTHING about marketing. I guess like building a platform, I’m going to bumble my way through a trial-and-error process until I figure it out. (Then I’ll probably write a book based on the things that I’ve learnt along the way. Hee Hee…)
PitchWars for 2017 came around, and… Yep… I didn’t submit a thing. I didn’t have anything ready, other than Beacon of Hope, and what would be the point in submitting that if it was rejected two years running (even if it’s gone through major revisions — the beginning hasn’t changed)? But even though I have shelved Beacon of Hope, fiction is still on my list of things I’m working on.
Eagle Order, my thriller manuscript, is really taking shape. And during the RWNZ conference, I got a real boast to the ego. I took part in what they called cold reads, where the first two pages of the manuscript were read and assessed by literary agents and editors from traditional publishing houses. In both sessions that I took part in, the editors loved the pages, with the editor from Random House asking to see the synopsis for the story. It was a blush moment. Of course, I had to admit that it wasn’t ready for submission, but at least I know that the first pages snag the attention of the reader.
Back in June, I said that I wanted to have the draft of Eagle Order finished by Christmas. Well, I am definitely on track for that. If I can get my A into G, I can have it done much sooner — like by Halloween. By this time next year, I want to be querying that thing. And I feel confident about doing so.
There were some other things that happened during that RWNZ conference too, combined with some other elements — the details of which I won’t go into. Anyway, I realized that for so long, I had been giving so much of myself to others that I had forgotten to save some of myself for me (and my family). Priorities NEEDED to change. I still want to write and edit, but all the stress of trying to be everywhere at once was leaving me in a constant state of headaches. My health was suffering. My relationship with my children was suffering. My relationship with my husband was suffering. Something had to give.
I took a long hard look at everything that I was doing within the local writing community and decided to stand down from the committee of the Christchurch Writers’ Guild. I’m still the NaNoWriMo Municipal Liaison for my region, but let’s face it…administration of an organisation can be a headache filled with insanity. Instead, my activities within the local writing community are now ALL about having fun and encouraging others to write.
Also back in June, I mentioned a desire to relaunch websites and blogs. This is what really brings me to the current post. (I did mention that recent events have forced me to reorganize priorities.) For the past…I don’t know…eight months? Anyway, for a long time, I’ve posted a new blog post on this blog (my personal blog) every week, a new blog post on Black Wolf Editorial every week, as well as a new Tip of the Day and a recycled Tip of the Day on Black Wolf every week. That’s not to mention the weekly #SunWIP prompts on Twitter, the monthly episode of Conversations in Science, and all of the websites that I’m web admin for. Shall we say that I’m going a little crazy here.
Getting the time I NEED to focus on my writing and editing has been a mission. To that end, I’ve made an executive decision. Blog posts are being cut right back. On this blog, posts will go out every 2/3 weeks, bringing the number of blogs a month down to two: one for Conversations in Science and the second for the random chaotic thoughts of my mind. I might even start sharing with you, my readers, some of the crazy things that I’ve found out during my research. (And I’m thinking that the Conversations in Science posts can grow back to what they once where, but talking about some of the aspects of the science that doesn’t make the episode. Oooo… Now the wheels are turning.)
I have yet to decide how the new blog structure on Black Wolf will take shape, but I don’t need to mention that here. My readers on Black Wolf will get that information.
So… What are the goals for the remainder of this year?
- Finish the draft of Eagle Order.
- Start the next manuscript (another thriller) and get that one drafted as much as possible, so I can build an editorial synopsis at least.
- Get in the manuscript to the publisher for the traditional publication contract to be published in 2018.
- Look at starting the next book in the Hidden Traps series: this time looking at websites for writers.
- Enjoy life with my husband and family.
It’s that last goal that’s going to take top priority in my books. It’s that one that means the most to me.
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© Copyright, Judy L Mohr 2017