Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Year. New Focus.

Hello My Friends!

Everyone says that the New Year is a time for reinvention. That as of January 1st, the past year and all of the challenges we faced are gone. Three-hundred and sixty-five days is a long time. If we can have one night to make all of those days, including the mistakes, disappear and float away into a beautiful memory, then why not? Bad days and long nights forgotten in a deluge of champagne toasts and midnight kisses. For me, it's primarily the "idea" of a new beginning that makes me yearn for January 1st each and every year.

We all want to believe that everyone has a chance for a do-over. That if we want to do something different with our lives, be someone better, that all we have to do is wait for that final 10-second countdown at the stroke of midnight. That annual reset of the clock. It's a wonderful concept and one that can give us a false sense of renewal. Why do I say this?

As individuals and authors, we can reinvent ourselves at any time. The calendar should not dictate when we decide to reset the clock or flip the hourglass over to allow the sands of time to begin anew. We can start that journey at anytime. And we should. At least once a week, I commit to doing something better, different, and with more passion. Whether my goal is to be a better writer, self-editor, blogger, mother, friend, etc., I dedicate myself to doing better. Do I always meet my goal? No. But the point is that I try.

One of my author friends posted something on Facebook recently and I understood her words and her frustration all too well. As authors, we give so much of ourselves to our books. Regardless if the books are 10,000 words or 100,000, when we finally hit "Submit" and post that book for sale, we often sit with fingers crossed, waiting for that first sliver of feedback. That first review on Amazon that gives us the validation that what we have poured our blood, sweat and tears into, has been accepted and welcomed by our readers. It is not easy. For most of us, we LOVE to write and we will never stop doing what we love. There are readers who will stick by us, come hell or high water, and I will remain loyal to them as long as they are loyal to us.

But, I digress. Back to improvements and doing better in 2015. Earlier today when I was working my regular day job, I read an article that came across my email and I was hooked. It spoke to me. It helped me put things in perspective. It motivated me and gave me perspective. There are several things I took from that article and I hope to remember these three items for the next 12-months.

1) Clarity - Who exactly am I writing for? Myself and my target audience. That's it! If I try to focus on writing books for someone else, they will fail. They won't have my voice, so I need to know and understand exactly who I'm writing for.

2) Focus - The specifics and quality of the story is EVERYTHING. Unless the story is good, it won't matter how much time I spent on the story. It's not good enough for my readers and they will let me know. In no uncertain terms!

3) Visibility - Assuming that readers will find me and somehow be inexplicably drawn to my wonderful stories is extremely naive. If I want this, I need to WORK for it. That means, being involved with readers, posting snippets of books, connecting with people who think the way I do and maybe, just maybe, love the same way.

I love writing. I really, really love writing. Creating characters and stories that others can relate to and love to read about, makes this all worth it. There is so much to be done during the next year and I hope that all of you will continue on this journey with me. There is a lot that I want to accomplish this year and I feel strongly that I'm on the right path. There are at least three novellas that will be published this year. I may even have a few surprises for everyone.

Yes, the beginning of the New Year is all about having a new focus and reinventing yourself. Just remember, the calendar doesn't dictate when you can be more and do better. Only you can determine how you want to make your mark on the world.

It's been said that it's best to "Speak softly and carry a big stick." I say....Step into this bitch by kicking down the door and announcing your presence. Who's with me?

Love and Hugs,

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