New Year, New Dream

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Do you have things you want to accomplish in 2019?  Reading goals?  Writing goals?  Life goals?

I love a new year – the chance to restart a challenge to ourselves that we may have fallen short of completing in the past, the opportunity to renew our dedication, reassess and see where we stand and where we want to go.  That last part is my favorite.  To think about where we want to go.  To restart our dreams.

It can be all too easy to get bogged down in what we wish we had already accomplished, what we had hoped to accomplish by the end of the year – but this is a NEW year and it’s a great time to look up from what we wanted to accomplish last year, celebrate the benchmarks we hit, learn from the ones we didn’t, and start fresh with a new set of goals in 2019.

I know goals may not work motivationally for everyone, but I’m a big believer in them.  They keep me inspired, keep me driven – but they also keep changing.  I actually have a spreadsheet where I keep track of my goals – yearly goals noted in one column, broken down into monthly goals in another column to help me achieve those yearly goals, and then another column of daily goals to help me stay on track to target those monthly benchmarks. It keeps me productive. I can change them, shifting them around to meet the changing demands of my life, but I don’t delete, I just strike-through – which also allows me to look back and see how my goals have changed over the years.

Ten years ago, in the year the Rubies finaled for the Golden Heart, my “Big Goals 2009” included “Query Agents” (which was on my list for many years until I finally landed an agent), “Submit to Shifter Antho” (which I did, and which launched my Serengeti series, which is still my highest grossing series to date), and “Complete & Submit Nocturne” (which I never did, even though I was trying to carve out a place for myself in paranormal at the time – but something else always seemed to pop up right when I would work my way down to that item on my list).

Some goals I made, some I didn’t.  Some were renewed each year, some fell by the wayside. 

Over the years, my goals changed, and my dreams changed.  I shifted to writing primarily contemporary.  I began self-publishing, freeing myself of financial dependence on my publisher only a couple years before they went under. 

Now it’s time to write my goals for 2019 and I have a feeling the only thing they will have in common with my 2009 goals is that they will both be designed to encourage me to keep writing, and keep trying to make a living in this crazy business.

I have some friends who like an ambitious (almost but not quite unachievable) goal – they need the shining beacon of that distant dream to motivate them to keep working toward it.  I’m much more of an achievement junkie myself – I want to be able to cross things off throughout the year and get that rush of having DONE IT.  Therefore my goals have to be things that are within my reach, but will also encourage me to reach. 

So what do I want to accomplish in 2019?  I need to complete edits for my book under contract with Hallmark, so that is going to be #1.  I want to keep self-publishing – to satisfy my loyal readers and complete my initial vision for my current self-pub contemporary series – so that becomes #2.  I want to keep developing new ideas, new proposals for my agent to shop – so that will be #3.  But then I also need to stay creatively excited.  Which means reading more, taking more time to refill the well and for simple mental health breaks.  Devoted me time.  That goes on as #4.  But I also want to be creatively excited by new projects.  To work on elective projects that may not have as practical an application for my current career trajectory, but that inspire me and fill the creative well with the energy they generate – like the idea I had for a play that is completely off-brand for me, but excites me just to think about.  That gets to be #5.  And that’s what I’ve got so far.  It might change over the year as opportunities come and go, but I’m fired up to dream big.

It’s a new year.  It’s time for new dreams.  

What are YOUR goals for 2019?  Do goals inspire you?  Or derail you?  Do you prefer the big, sweeping dream goals?  Or the smaller, check-the-box-when-you-finish goals?  Do you have any new dreams this year?  Have your goals changed in any drastic way?

10 responses to “New Year, New Dream”

  1. Gwyn says:

    My goal is to make writing–creating–a priority once more. First step, open the document, which I dread doing, truth be told. However, I promised me I wouldn’t go haring after new ideas until the five or six ‘nearly finished’ projects are complete. Once the story is written–draft form is enough–I tend to grow bored with it and want to be on to the next thing. Not good. So, time to slow down, which at my age shouldn’t be an issue but, somehow, is and invest in past visions so the new can emerge like butterflies without old shadows blocking the sun. Wish me luck!

    • You can do it, Gwyn! Step by step you can knock those nearly-finished projects into the “done” category and clear the decks for new ideas to flourish. Happy 2019! You’ve got this.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Keep that goal focused, Gwyn. Might be best to focus on finishing ONE of those five or six, and then re-evaluate your next step. I think goals are easier to reach when they’re a bit more bite-sized. But don’t let yourself off the hook until that ONE is DONE. You can do this!!

  2. Thanks for the post, Vivi. My goal is to rewrite my Kindle World books and start a new mystery series where they will fit. Not sure if it will be mystery and romance, only that they will contain horses.

  3. Arlene Hittle says:

    I want to write and publish the first two books in a new series, as well as two short stories for my erotic romance pen name.

    Oh yeah … and read at least 35 books this year.

  4. Elisa Beatty says:

    Writing has been kicked waaaay down my priority list the last few months while I’ve been supporting my 14-year-old with severe ADD through his first semester of high school. I suspect I’ve got another 3 1/2 years of this to go…..but I’m going to make sure I don’t completely lose my writing time this spring. I’m very eager for the Winter Writing Festival to start.


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