2013 was a butt-kicking kind of year. Good for the soul, admittedly, but not much good for anything else. I had planned to write a year-end retrospective piece weeks ago, but my efforts to get a jump on 2014—or at least take it by surprise—seemed a better use of my limited time. So here it is, nearly February, and I’ve learned a little in the past twelve months that I wanted to share, or at least document, so that I have no excuses come 2015.
1. Go my own way. Fleetwood Mac may have said this years ago, but I guess I need reminders. Writing is a solitary pleasure, and I can’t say yes to all the wonderful alternate possibilities. Not that I’m much for herds. But some things I have to do, some I want to, others, I can’t let darken my thoughts. Also in this category is not-pleasing everyone. While that’s never been a significant concern of mine, I’m human. But pleasing me is damn hard enough.
2. Give it a shot. While I’ve been accused of being a know-it-all, mine is more of a situational affliction—music lyrics from the last century come to mind—but the rest of it—hell, I don’t know. If it won’t kill me or condemn me, in 2014, I’m willing to give it a shot. To wit, in addition to learning how to kite-board, I’m also writing a series.
3. Damn those pesky torpedoes. Few people have the luxury of designing their days. I’m not one of them either. Torpedoes routinely lock-on to my carefully laid plans, and occasionally detonate before breakfast. But as I’m fond of saying: it is what it is. Moping over what it should’ve been won’t get my pages written any faster. I need to sweep the torpedo debris aside and get my @$$ back in the chair. Every. Time.
4. I can’t go to every party. Actually, I’d like to if there are real people and non-virtual glasses of red wine. Then, I’m in. I go to far too few of those. But as an indie author, I’ve tried to do it all and, for me, the cost is too high. I need to cut loose of the activities that are low return. Just because I can design my own cover doesn’t mean that I should.*
5. Mind my own business. I’ve decided to write more about what interests me in the world. Lord knows no one read this blog for advice. Self-publishing has enough experts offering their recipe for success. The honest ones will tell you that success isn’t a one-stop shop. Hard work. Perseverance. Assessing my weaknesses and building on my strengths. Repeat until I arrive.
So, look out 2014. It’s early. I’m rested. And I’m not taking any of your crap.
* No, I can’t really design my own cover . . .
Belated pictures of my puppies with their Christmas presents:
Maela opening her squeaky toy . . .
Bayley, who has no idea what to do with a squeaky toy . . .