Press Pause, Hit Reset

I used to think New Year’s Eve was a silly thing to celebrate. Mostly, it was Amateur Night for drunks (still is). But as I got older, and got more about setting goals and including a time component to them, I realized there’s something to that changing of the calendar.

PauseIt’s a chance to hit reset, to start over, begin anew with new, or revised goals.

Not resolutions – I don’t do those, as they always seem doomed to failure and fizzle out by mid-February (or March at the latest). But the turning of the calendar gives us a reminder to press pause, evaluate the last calendar, see where we went and what we did–or didn’t do–and then see what we could do this year.

At first glance, it doesn’t seem like I did much with my writing last year. I do formatting, cover design, and print book interior layout for my publisher, Mythical Press. One of my big goals last year was to do this for an anthology that included a Saturn Society short story, as well as works by five of my local writing friends.

Initially, I was supposed to get the materials by May. Due to editorial snafus and who knows what else, I didn’t end up getting the last of the submissions until the end of November. I had the e-book cover already designed and could have busted my butt to get the rest done last month, except I was already committed to other things, like my relative’s e-commerce site (which did get completed, though they’re still tweaking the product descriptions, etc.). Also, it was the holidays, which is hard enough to keep up with…

So that did not get done. I also wanted to get one other novel written, which also did not happen.

But when I look at what did happen, it’s not too bad:

  • Hangar 18: Legacy was finished and published
  • I outlined and wrote 75,000 words on a new Saturn Society novel (my original plan was for something else, which would be finished at this length, but SS novels are long)
  • I won NaNoWriMo with the above (the other 25, 000 words were written before and after November)
  • Took two online workshops
  • Designed cover for the anthology

In addition, I did several things that weren’t on my list:

  • Wrote “Time’s Tempest: The Storm” for the anthology (wasn’t originally on my list, because I wasn’t sure I’d put something in that anthology). “Time’s Tempest” is a Saturn Society story featuring different main characters, though it does tie into novel #3. This is going to eventually be a serial novel, in 7-8 parts, each of which I think will be about 20,000 words – a long short story/short novella.
  • Took an additional workshop
  • Developed new website for Mythical Press
  • Designed six book covers for writing friends
  • Cover designed for the work-in-progress SS novel
  • Wrote 10,000 words on a follow-up “Time’s Tempest” novella

Sometimes we really need to press pause to see how much we really did accomplish.

ROW80Logo175So what’s up for 2014? ROW80 does a nice job of breaking it down into quarters, so we’ll start there.

  • Format, design print cover and interior of anthology for Mythical Press
  • Finish first draft of “Time’s Tempest #2” (about 10,000 more words)
  • Research for Time’s Tempest #3
  • 10,000 words on SS novel #3
  • Finish first draft of Time’s Tempest #3

I’m all for keeping it simple. For this week, that breaks down to:

  • Format anthology for Smashwords upload
  • 2500 words on TT or SS#3
  • Fitness 3-4x

What about you–do you like the figurative hitting reset that comes with a new calendar year? What are your big goals for the year, whether or not you participate in ROW80? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

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