The other day, my daughter and I were having a conversation about what it was she would like to do for the coming year. She’s a dancer, and wants to see if she can make a career of her dancing. She is only 13, with the rest of high school to finish first, but she is well aware that if she wants to go professional, she is going to have to work her ass off to be the best out there — and some. The performing arts are just as competitive as the publishing industry, if not more so.
Anyway, I had received an email from her dance school stating that they were holding auditions for the 2019 lyrical competition dance team next week. She’s never been part of a competition team before, because she never seems to have the time. However, when I asked her if she wanted to audition, she said something that hit a little closer to home than she realized.
“I’m never going to make it if I don’t take a risk and put myself out there.”
BAM! The fist hit me in the gut, and she never lifted a finger. She was talking about her own dreams and her own aspirations, yet her words carried a message that was powerful.
2018 in Review
Every year, I force myself to look back at the year just been, hunting out the little wins and the steps that I took towards my ultimate dream. The past year has seen some massive steps forward in my writing/editing career and I need to take a moment to celebrate.
In October 2018, my first PAID traditional contract was published. It was nonfiction, but I have three chapters in Putting the Science in Fiction, and the reviews have been awesome. Friends have seen the book and decided they needed a copy of their own just after reading the Table of Contents. My own copy of the book sits in pride and place, right next to Hidden Traps.
Black Wolf Editorial Services has started to support itself, with new clients seeking my services and trusting me with their novels. I still spend a significant amount of my energy on Black Wolf, because I believe in it (and I’m finally starting to believe in myself). And the biggest boost to my ego on this front… When I was at the RWNZ 2018 Annual Conference, I met someone who had been following Black Wolf for some time, but felt she wasn’t quite at the stage where she was ready to hire an editor. She was so excited to discover that I was a New Zealander, and not based in the US like she had thought. And she was even more excited to discover that I was a writer myself, and not just an editor.
Last month, I took a leap of faith and submitted a short story for publication. I still haven’t heard about it, but I will not be giving up on that story. That one in particular will find a home! It’s just a matter of finding the right home. And there are two other short stories that are complete and need to find a home. I foresee the submissions going out in droves until those stories are published.
However, it won’t be just the short stories that will go on submission. Christmas Eve last year, I finished the manuscript of The Eagle Order. It has been sitting in a drawer for the past year as I work on Pen Name, but I took a leap of faith and began the submission process with The Eagle Order last month too. It’s into the slush trenches I go.
Conversations in Science, my radio podcast, has taken a downward spiral. I have left KLRNRadio with the final episodes going out this month. I do want to keep the podcast going, but there are so many things to consider in doing it on my own. Finances are a big part of the equation. To put it blunt, it comes down to what are my hopes and dreams, and where does my heart lie. At the moment, Conversations in Science (or ConvoScience as it has become known) is taking an indefinite break. It might come back, but then again, it might not.
My Hopes for 2019
So, what do I actually hope to achieve in 2019?
Well, priority number one is to finish the manuscript for Pen Name. I don’t want to be writing next year’s goals post and see that I’m still working on Pen Name. That thing NEEDS to be done and out the door to my editor. (Yes, I have a developmental editor myself. I would be silly not to.)
I also need to continue with the new materials that I’m building for Black Wolf Editorial Services. Thankfully those have a short deadline on them, so they won’t be lingering around for long. So, with Black Wolf Editorial Services now coming along at its own speed, it’s time to ramp up my activities within my personal writing projects.
I will be going back to the Writer in Me post (and the workbook I used for it). I will be examining my writing practices in detail and changing things. I have already changed my social media habits (with some interesting results), but it’s time to complete the equation. It’s time to become a writing/editing machine.
To quote my daughter: I’m never going to make it if I don’t take a risk and put myself out there.
The Annual Goals
So, come this time next year, I want to have the following things checked off my benchmark list:
- Have 1 (or 2) short stories published.
- Get novel submissions out into the big bad world of Traditional Publication.
- Be well on my way to finishing another novel.
- Fully plan out the next books in the Hidden Traps series, focusing on keeping teens safe on the internet, and platform specific books for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Continue to foster my connections for Black Wolf Editorial Services.
- Help/Support my family as they work towards their own goals.
Well, I better get to it. If I want my dreams to come true, I’ll need to work my ass off to be the best out there — and some!
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© Copyright, Judy L Mohr 2018