Jilly: 2018 In A Word

Happy New Year!

Do you play the watchword game? That is, choose a single word to epitomize your approach to the coming year? It’s not as restrictive as a goal or resolution. More like a theme, defined as ‘an idea that recurs and pervades.’

Elizabeth told us on Wednesday that her word for 2018 is FINISH, to be applied to one project per month, not necessarily writing-related.

Last year I wanted a call to action. I settled on PUBLISH, and here’s how I explained my choice:

That doesn’t mean I expect Alexis to be published by the end of 2017, though that would be thrilling. It means that everything writing-related that I do this year should be directed towards that end. By next New Year’s Eve, at the very least I should know the specifics of how and when that book, and that series, will get published.

I think I did pretty well with that.

  • I finished Alexis Book 1 and, with Jeanne’s help, tidied up the ms well enough to win a contest and get some nice comments from the judges.
  • I made a final decision to pursue indie publishing, joined Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing 101 course and worked through the lectures.
  • I signed up with Jeanne’s editor, Karen Dale Harris, and sent Alexis to her. I received my report just before Christmas and I’m now working my way through Karen’s comprehensive and challenging feedback.
  • I decided to write two more stories from Alexis’s past, one to be given away on my mailing list and the other as a prequel to kick off Alexis’s series. I resolved to get both of these finished before I release the first Alexis book, even if that means I have to let the ‘go live’ date slip a few months.
  • I spent a lot of time thinking about my titles, covers, and all kinds of other useful indie-publishing need-to-know decisions I learned about from the Mark Dawson classes. I now have a pretty good idea of how I’m going to handle most of them.

This year I’m going for a different approach, because although I keep inching forward, I’m feeling a kind of mounting frustration that I still have so much to do and it’s taking me so damn long to hatch a book.

Continue reading

Elizabeth: This Year’s Word

Here we are, at the beginning of another brand new year.  Now that the holiday decorations have been put away (maybe), Auld Lang Syne has been sung, and toasts have been made, it’s time to decide what’s in store for the next 12 months.

Judging by the increased number of folks at the gym this evening, at least a few of my co-workers have made a resolution to be healthier this year.  I’ve never been a big fan of making resolutions, but I do like the idea of having a word to help guide my decisions during the course of the year.

Last year, my watchword was Joy, and my goal was to make sure that the things I was doing and the projects I was working on were things that gave me joy, rather than just things I felt like I should be doing.   In some cases I was successful, in others not so much, but despite being tripped up by real-life a time or two, I’d say the year was more of a success than not.  Not the unqualified success I’d like to have had, but still good.

This year I’m going with a watchword that is a little more focused:  Finish. Continue reading

Justine: Flexing Your Writing Muscles

manlifting-weightsIn many ways, writing is like working out. The more you do it, the easier it is, and the more stamina you have. On the flip side, when you stop working out, it’s a bitch to get back into it again.

One of my New Years Resolutions was to get moving for 30 minutes a day. Aside from not writing, I’ve also been neglecting myself, and I decided, after reading this stunning NY Times article about how much of your LIFE you can lose by being inactive, that I needed to Continue reading

Elizabeth: Just One Thing

JustOneThing

Even without a calendar for confirmation, the crowds at my local gym and the counter full of snacks in the kitchen at work, left there by those who have cleared out their cupboards to get rid of temptations, are a clear indicator of the start of a new year.  The crowds will die down in a few weeks and someone will eat the treats, but maybe a few of those good New Year’s intentions will stick.

Here on the blog, now that we’ve shared our own ideas for 2017 – my watchword is Joy – it’s time to move from planning to doing; hopefully in a way that will make those plans stick as well.  That presents a bit of a challenge, when there are a lot of things that need to be done.  How to choose?

At the day job, we’re big on To-Do Lists.  We have lists in spreadsheets, and project plans, and calendaring applications – lists that only ever seem to get longer and longer, no matter how many items get crossed off.   A long list of tasks can be daunting, and studies have shown that trying to multi-task can often make things worse instead of better.

This year, I’m trying something new. Continue reading

Elizabeth: In a Word, Joy

joyAs is traditional this time of year, we’ve been doing a bit of goal setting / planning here on the blog recently.  Jilly kicked us off by sharing her 2017 watchword Publish, and several others chimed in with fun, happy, finish, clarity, intention, story, and live.  All great words.

I’ve been mulling over my own watchword for several days now; considering and then discarding any number of possibilities.    In the past, I’ve generally decided on an idea or direction for the coming year.    I was tempted to go with write for my 2017 watchword, but that seemed a little too close to my 2014 “resolve to write” idea.

Back in 2011, my Idea was to embrace a “so what if you’re afraid – do it anyway” mindset.  That was the year I took my first graduate writing class and my first class at Oxford.  In 2012, when my momentum seemed to slow, Continue reading

Jilly: 2017 In A Word

PublishHappy New Year! Here’s wishing you all a happy, healthy and fulfilling 2017 😀

If you had to choose one single word to epitomize your approach to the coming twelve months, what would it be?

A watchword is more flexible than a goal or a resolution. More like a theme, defined as an idea that recurs and pervades.

I last played this game in 2014, when I chose MORE (click here to read that post and the comments, where you’ll find some interesting choices). I already had a specific, measurable writing goal for the year—to finish my contemporary romance WIP—but I knew I was letting my inner editor hold me back. I kept under-cooking the conflict, emotion, action, tension, everything…so I chose an intangible, aspirational word to remind me to go for it.

This year I want my watchword to be a call to action, so Continue reading

Elizabeth: What Are You Waiting For?

NewYearWishThis past week I, like many others on the planet, have spent some time thinking about what happened in 2015 and making plans for 2016.

My plan for 2015 was to write and to rediscover the joy of writing that had been lost somewhere in between a bunch of creative writing classes and my first draft manuscript.

So, how did I do?

  • Posted 52 Wednesday and 16 Writing Sprint blog posts right here at Eight Ladies Writing.
  • Completed manuscript #1 and qualified for RWA PRO membership.
  • Completed the draft of manuscript #2 and proved that it really is possible to write 50,000 words in a month.
  • Received a request for a full manuscript from a big-name agent

The best part is that Continue reading