The short answer is a lot. At the moment I have three series that are in various states of incompletion. Sadly, if I look back at my goals for 2015, I probably said exactly the same thing. I’ve made good progress, but I’m not anywhere near as far along as I’d like to be.
I was chugging along happily on the second book of my Minnesota series, the one I call “Love in the North Woods”, when life threw me a curve ball this past fall and progress slowed to almost nothing. Due to some changes at the day job, I’ve been required to put in a lot more hours. Essentially, I’m working full-time. I know a lot of writers work full-time and still manage to write, but I can’t seem to do it. I’m finding by the time I get home, I have very little mental or physical energy left to write. (Note to self: Make getting more exercise and eating better personal goals for 2016.) I tend to be a “large chunk” writer; I need long stretches of time to write. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.
Whatever time and energy I did have available was devoted to promotional efforts. In December I had a .99 cent sale on a couple of my books, and on January 4 I released a new novella (see my excerpt on Jan.4) Both kept me busy.
I’ve missed working on my fiction the past few months. I find myself resenting the day job even though I like the work and the people I work with. I don’t enjoy that feeling. Fortunately, this is a temporary thing. A new person is soon to be hired, and this person will take over many of my duties. And then I can get back to what I really want to do – write.
I’ve learned a few lessons, the biggest one being don’t waste time. You never know what life is going to hand you, so you have to take advantage of the time you’re given. Because I worked part-time/casual, I had the luxury of taking a day off now and then, and skipping the writing if I felt like it. There will not be a lot of skipped writing days in my future.
The other thing I learned is to quit feeling sorry for myself. So I have to work a few extra hours. Big deal. Find a way to make it work.
So my goal for 2016 is Carpe Diem – Seize the Day. I’m going to write when I get the chance, even if it’s just a hundred words (thank you Maggie Wells for that suggestion). Because I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.
What are your goals for 2016, either personal or writing-wise?