As I mentioned in my last post of 2018, New Year New Writer – Zen Edition, in 2019, I’m working on balance. Balance between extreme fitness goals and creature comforts, online life and IRL friendships, work and play. One of the things I need to do to before I can even think about balance, though, is whittle down my to-do list du jours.
Some people might suggest not writing a to-do list every day. To those people I would say What is wrong with you? And when I’d recovered from my shock, I’d politely point out our brains must work very differently, and I’d spend the rest of the day wondering how anyone functions without a to-do list.
Yeah, not writing the list in the first place is not going to be a solution for me.
That leaves completing items and so I can cross them off my list. In the case of the first month of 2019, that involved clearing the decks of projects and other detritus so I will be free of them for the rest of the year.
Regarding writing projects, that means moving each manuscript to the next phase of its existence. This includes:
- One Kiss from Ruin. January: FINALLY finished the final final revision of One Kiss from Ruin and moved it into the final editing/proofreading phase in January (okay, the beginning of February, but as of today, it’s with the editor!). February: Move to launch phase: Fix errors, format book with cover, distribute to review readers/launch team, and release it to the world!
- When We Were Friends, previously known as Take the Money and Run. January: Finished final tweaks, renamed it with a marketing title, rewrote the query letter blurb, and identified wish-list agents. February: Move to marketing phase: Submit to editors, await feedback, submit pages/full manuscripts as requested, prepare to repeat ad infinitum.
- Two Scandals Are Better Than One. January: Quick fixes and “low-hanging fruit” edit; then let it rest. February: Move to revision phase: Complete first major revision and submit to beta readers.
- Three Husbands and a Lover. January: After writing the first several chapters, updated the timeline, book blueprint, and scene outline; completed first third of the book. February: Complete second third of the book.
That’s it for the writing/revising/editing part of my work. There’s also marketing to grow my newsletter, drive sales, and most importantly, connect with readers. I’m still testing different platforms, ads, and approaches. So for that, nothing I can really cross off my list. Just keep on keepin’ on.
And for my final task on the career front, I spent the last part of January going through 2018 expenses and evaluating which were helpful investments in my career and which were not. I’ve identified some creativity and marketing groups, apps, and websites (like image download sites) I joined that were helpful at one time but no longer work for me, and one or two that never really worked for me at all. I’m canceling subscriptions, dropping FB groups, and deleting apps that don’t “spark joy” or won’t serve the needs of my career in 2019.
As for other areas of my life, I’m continuing to clean up my eating habits (read: cut out sugar!) and figure out which workouts I can do and how hard I can do them without re-injuring myself. And I have a few dates planned for February – celebrations of Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, and my husband’s birthday (Feb 29th, which doesn’t even exist this year, but my husband refuses to wait four years between celebrations).
How’s by you? Did you make any lists and experience the joy of crossing items off them? Any big plans for February or the rest of the year?