Goals

Author Goals for 2015 Pt. 3: Reviews & Conferences

This is a continuation from Monday’s blog, The Serendipity of Christmas Generosity. It took time to get to the place where I was ready to commit to writing after the events described in my previous post. But that bit of serendipity certainly affected what I’ve done this past year as well as where I’m going next year. In Part 1 of this series I shared an overview of my goals and now I am posting a discussion of why each is important to me as a writer this year. Part 2 covered why I want to engage with a local writer’s group.

This week I decided to take on two goals in this post.

Reading GroupReviews

One of my goals was to read and review more books. As I mentioned in my original post about my goals I’m a VIP member of Rave Reviews Book Club and to meet my membership requirements I need to review a minimum of four books. I’ve already reviewed one so I need to review more. However, I’d also like to review more than three books during 2015.

Why haven’t I been more busy with this goal this year? I’ve been busy with a big revision of my own book. I’ve also been busy with growing this blog, social media and my crowd-funding campaign. Now that I’m done with my revision I can focus more on reading – just as soon as I replace my broken e-reader.

However, the main idea behind the goal is to connect and give back to fellow authors. Initially, I’ll be targeting my chosen genres – fantasy and SciFi. I’m even considering posting my reviews as blog posts as well as on Amazon, Goodreads, etc…

Conference Attendance

HandshakeI already attend a local conference which is convenient and inexpensive. While I enjoy the conference and all that I learn as well as the interaction with other authors, I do want to experience a different conference.

Much like my first goal of attending a writer’s group, I’d like to network with a wider range of authors. I’m looking for something close, convenient and inexpensive. However, another goal is to simply get out of my regular schedule and nurture both my creativity and motivation. Along the way, I hope to learn more than a few things.

What goals are you considering for next year? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Goals for 2015 – Helping Hands

Help SomeoneThis is a continuation from last Monday’s blog, The Serendipity of Christmas Generosity. It took time to get to the place where I was ready to commit to writing after the events described in my previous post. But that bit of serendipity certainly affected what I’ve done this past year as well as where I’m going next year. In Part 1 of this series I shared an overview of my goals and now I am posting a discussion of why each is important to me as a writer this year.

We all need help at some point, especially when it comes to writing. Someone else may know more about a writing technique or what works and why with marketing. Sometimes we just need the encouragement of meeting with like-minded people who share the same struggles.

In my post last week regarding goals, I indicated I wanted to connect better with other writers. I already receive incredible support as a VIP member of Rave Reviews Book Club. Other members are quick to share social media updates. I’ve already received Member of the Week and PushTuesday awards as a member. And I’ve had some honest reviews from fellow members. Likewise, I tweet/retweet often about other club members, read and post reviews as well as host book blog tour stops.

But this upcoming year I want to make contact with one or more local writing groups. In short, I want to find more support among writers. Forging further contacts in person could be a fantastic help and support in addition to what I receive online. The internet has its limitations that in-person interaction provides.

Helping HandAs most of us know, writing is a lonely job. By definition, being an author means shutting out the distractions of the world in order to complete writing projects with regularity. However, just meeting with other people can boost a writer’s motivation to complete tough tasks like book revisions, marketing, book signings and blog tours.

In a writer’s group I might find and share tips of all kinds, critiques, writing craft instruction as well as develop more friendships that network into more contacts. Knowing more people can be helpful for marketing as well. Additionally, the exchange of ideas can boost creativity and lend guidance for any number of writing tasks.

I know of one group that is a forty-five minute drive from home during the week. They only meet once a month but I could probably make time for at least a quarterly visit. I plan to do a little further research and find out if there’s another group that’s closer and try to make contact as available. It won’t hurt to make contact see what fits, learn more about writing and see what happens.

The Bow of DestinyAre you a member of a local writer’s group? What benefits do your receive from a writing group – local or online? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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The Serendipity of Christmas Generosity

Christmas Present Wrapped in Gold and SilverI read an interesting post yesterday by Raymond Philippe entitled, Writing Goals And Objectives. Go Ahead – Dream! This article got me thinking about a mistake my father made several years ago that put me on a different path. Since it’s now the Christmas season I’ll go ahead and share this as I begin to write during this month about where I’ve been this year and where I’m going in 2015.

It may have been 2008 or 2009 but either way it was during the economic upheaval when most of us weren’t willing to spend much if anything. I was in the same situation as many – slim on money and worried about keeping a job. Christmas rolled around and it was rather thin on gifts but a good time with family.

However, my dad brought out gifts that were surprisingly nice given the state of the economy. I received a GPS which was very generous except for one thing – I already had purchased one a few years earlier when times were better and I had gotten a good raise with a change of position. I kept politely quiet and didn’t mention it at the moment but a return was in order.

A few days later, I explained the situation to my father and asked if he had the receipt. He didn’t have one but told me from which store chain he’d bought the GPS and was apologetic about his well-intended mistake. I called the local store and inquired about returns without a receipt and was informed I could get only an in-store credit without one. This was fine except I didn’t know what I’d spend the credit on as a good replacement for such a gift.

I went down to the store, made the return and got the credit without a hitch. I was still at a loss about how to use the money so I took a walk through the store and found laptops on after-Christmas sale. They even had rebates on them for extra cash back. I wanted one but had no immediate reason to purchase one. I went home and thought it through.

Santa Claus Using LaptopI hadn’t been writing much – if at all – for several years but I had an inclination to do so. The more I thought about it, the more a I realized I could use a laptop as a tool to jump-start my writing. I got on my old desktop computer and searched the store chain website for laptops that were still on-sale with a rebate. I found one of the least expensive ones but the credit would only cover almost half of the cost. However, with the rebate the cost would be minimal. I jumped on the deal, bought the laptop and sent in the rebate.

I later called my dad and let him know how things had turned out. I told him what I was going to do with the laptop and he was pleased. From that point, I began to explore writing in this digital age using that laptop. That eventually led to where I am now – my firm commitment this last year to my writing and being on the cusp of self-publishing my first full-length book.

It was an honest misake on my father’s part but that gift led me down a circuitous path toward publication. The laptop has since been retired with a failed screen after almost four years in service but I still have it and it runs with the help of an external monitor. My laptop serves as my desk and I do many tasks with it including a great deal of writing these days.

My father passed away in 2012. He knew that I was writing and even had a bit of publication success with a short story but I’m not quite sure he understood how much his mistake affected me. It was serendipity for my writing and I’m very grateful for the generosity. I think my dad was always frustrated that he couldn’t do more for those he loved but I think he did more than he understood.

In the book, The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron discusses launching out creatively. Her feeling is that when we reach out creatively we begin to encounter many happy accidents of serendipity that carry us along the our personal artistic path. I’ve found this notion to be true more than once and I’m sure I will again. It’s something I should consider more often as I work creatively.

This year I’ve dared to dream big with the beginning of my author platform and pushing to publish. Next year I will continue to dream even more by actually completing that project and – maybe – one or two others. During this week and the coming weeks, I’m going to share more about where I’ve come from and where I’m going as encouragement for other writers and artists who are either beginning their creative journey or those who may find themselves floundering with hesitation, doubt or some other creative block. It’s nothing special – just how I forged ahead with my plans through some ups and downs but I hope it helps someone along their own creative journey by sharing my own plans and ideas.

The Bow of DestinyWhat gave you a jump-start with your creative endeavors? What’s holding you back? What ideas for moving along in your journey can you share with others? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Clip art licensed from Microsoft Office.