It’s a new year, the beginning of a new decade, the perfect moment to take stock. In recent years I’ve chosen a watchword to epitomize my approach to the coming twelve months. I’ve decided to continue the practice for 2020.
I like the idea of a watchword. It’s less prescriptive than a set of resolutions. More like a theme. An idea that recurs and pervades.
My word for 2019 was CONCENTRATE, defined as:
- To focus all one’s efforts on a particular project or activity; and
- To distil something to its essence by removing or reducing any diluting agents.
For 1., my priority project was to indie publish The Seeds of Power. I made it (just). Yay!
For 2., my intent was to remind myself of the choices I’d have to make in preparing the book for publication—content edits, title, genre positioning, covers, blurbs, and so on. I wanted the book to be professional and marketable, but most of all I wanted it to be the clearest, strongest, most intense version of my voice and story vision that I could achieve. I think I got that too. Double yay for 2019!
After three whole weeks as a published author I have a pretty good idea of how I want to approach 2020. First and foremost, my priority is to keep writing. I want to write a second Elan Intrigues story, provisionally titled The Pulse of Princes, and then update Alexis’s book. Second, I need to prepare The Pulse of Princes for publication. At least I have a better idea what to expect this time, and I found some great professionals to work with. Third, I need to get to grips with marketing. That’s the last part of the indie author trifecta. It’s not my strong suit, and it’s the bit I didn’t really get to grips with in 2019.
So: my challenge for 2020 is to learn how to write-publish-market, while still enjoying the maximum personal pleasure and satisfaction from my efforts.
After filling a notebook page with false starts, I chose my new watchword—WALTZ.
A waltz is a three-beat dance of balance and elegance. It mixes technical skills and creative artistry. It’s relatively easy to learn the basic steps, but to achieve excellence takes time and application. If done well, it appears effortless and brings joy to both the onlooker and the performer.
That’s what I aspire to in 2020.
How about you?
Happy New Year! And here’s hoping that this year all the Eight Ladies, readers and friends of this blog achieve their heart’s desire, whatever it may be 🙂 .
Wonderful goals, Jilly! And I’m sure you’ll accomplish them. I feel a bit like I’m hanging on by the skin of my teeth, especially in the realm outside of my core interest, which is writing the book. I’ve had fun with it the last few days, although it’s been difficult to pick up the threads after a long holiday. But it’s all good.
What I’m least good at and least interested in doing is all the rest of getting a manuscript to publication. I will, though, get something published this year. But I know my ambitions exceed my grasp. I guess that’s not always a bad thing.
Happy New Year! And best wishes on surpassing all your goals.
Well, unlike me you actually worked in publishing as a day job, so you have plenty of experience of production and marketing. Now you’re independent, and choosing to spend your time and money in the way that brings you the most satisfaction. Sounds like a plan to me 😉
Though I am glad to hear that you’ll get something published this year. I want to read those Phoebe books!
What a wonderful watchword, Jilly.
My 2020 word is “momentum.” I’ve had great momentum this fall getting this book done. I have (very stretch) aspirations to get 2 books and a novella done (at least in rough draft form) in 2020…so I need to keep the inertia going!
TWO books and a novella? I know you write in big chunks and can get the words down fast, but…yikes! “Momentum” sounds like the perfect word for your plans. Good luck!
It might be a little crazy, but I’m going to try to at least get a first draft done.
Excellent, beautiful word, WALTZ! So much resonance! One of the things I got done during my winter break was read your book, and it was so good! You certainly did the right thing with Concentrate, and I think WALTZ is a great direction for 2020.
Can’t wait to see what comes next!
Thank you! I really like the word. Creative and technical and a thing of beauty if I can get it right!
I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed The Seeds of Power. Yay! Thank you! And watch this space 😀
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