Saturday, January 10, 2015

Rhonda Marks Guest Blog - A New Year, A New Goal

Happy New Year!

I know you’ve all been saying that phrase or have been greeted with those words for the past week and a half, but are you really happy about the New Year? Did you make a long list of resolutions? Have you given up already or are you like me who hasn't even made the effort to start?

There’s a funny thing about being a woman my age (I’m a month away from being fifty-five): for the most part I’ve been-there-seen-that. Not much surprises me anymore. I guess that’s one of the benefits of being a seasoned individual. From the time I was a teen, I made my obligatory new year’s resolutions then promptly forgot about them and reverted to my old ways. Now I just skip that step altogether and try to make changes when I’m sure I can stick with them.

Change is hard, but especially so when you’ve declared to the world what your intentions are. It’s taken me decades to realize that my actions speak louder than words. For example, for years I told anyone who would listen that I was going to write a book. I had the names of my characters and a thrilling plot. Beside my bed were notebooks filled with ideas and half written scenes. You know where this is going, right?

In 2009, I attended Romantic Times Book Reviews Convention and entered Bobbi Smith’s contest for aspiring writers. I entered an excerpt from my novel, Making Time for Love and guess what? I won! One of my prizes was the opportunity to submit my novel to Bobbi’s agent to determine if he’d represent me. The problem? I hadn’t finished the damn book! A serious fire was lit when I was given two months to finish that book. And I did it. I carried my Alphasmart with me wherever I went. It was rough, but I did it. And the wonderful Evan Marshall agreed to represent me.

In 2014 I vowed to release a novella series and ramp up my backlist. Following advice from self-publishing queen Liliana Hart, I released the first three stories in my Who’s Your Daddy series in March 2014. Over the next several months, I published the last three stories. Then in December, I released my full length novel, Making Time for Love. Whew!! So what’s next, you say? This year I will be writing more novels and possibly branching out into paranormal and historical romance. I love both genres and want to stretch my writing muscles a bit. Maybe I’ll submit a few novels to a traditional publisher instead of self-publishing them. This is a new year and anything is possible.

What’s your excuse for not writing that breakthrough novel, getting into shape, or pursuing that goal you think about 24/7? Do you need to take an online course or two? Do you need to retain a personal trainer or join a gym? Have you been thinking about attending a writer’s convention but feel intimidated because you don’t know anyone? Stop the excuses and be about it! In 2008 I got on a plane and flew to San Francisco, my first time on the west coast, to attend that year’s Romance Writers of America conference. I knew no one, and I’m a certified introvert. If I can do it, you can too.

Let’s make 2015 the best year of our lives. We can do this!

Love,
Rhonda
Rhonda Marks

Amazon Author Page
Facebook/rhondamarks
rhonda@rhondamarksbook.com

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