We just got back from a wonderful trip, a cruise from Italy to the Caribbean, and 3 fabulous days in Disney World with our children and grandchildren. I would do the whole trip again, except that my husband took ill and so, being in a tight space for so long, of course I got it just as we were coming home. But the trip was fabulous. Beautiful blue water and beaches--things I crave now sitting here with the rain pouring down. I had that cheeseburger in paradise, found a place I want to go to rent a
little cottage by the beach for a month next year. I'd wanted to do a writer's conference in Italy, but I've decided to do this instead. I need solace. You'll see why.
It's been a productive year. Loved the post yesterday about boxed sets and yes, I've done a bunch of those too, 7 to be exact. They are time consuming, but helped my ranking, even if they didn't throw a lot of sales to my other titles. I still think they were worth it in terms of hitting lists, namely 3 times NYT in 9 months. I even hit a USA/Today list in my own boxed set, Ultimate SEAL Collection, which was nice.
I've released four SEAL Brotherhood books this year, books 5-8, am about to release my first paranormal book in nearly two years, Underworld Queen, which is also a continuation of my Guardians series, wrote one SEAL novella for Bella Andre's Game For Love world, SEAL's Goal, and co-produced, with my awesome storyteller, J.D. Hart, 10 audio books this year. I've attended ten conferences.
This year has gone by so fast I can hardly believe it's nearly over. When I run into people who tell me, wistfully, "Oh yea, I'd like to write a book some day. I have a really great story in mind..." and then they go on to tell you something you have a hard time following, I sit back on my heels and nod like the Pope and say internally, "Bless you, my child." Now I know what other writers were thinking when they warned me about giving up my career as a Realtor to write full time.
Being a writer is hard work. Sometimes the work isn't equal to the pay (blinding flash of the obvious here), not like in a "real" job where you show up and you get paid, sometimes regardless of how much you get done. You may work for months on a project and get paid very little, or much later, like a year to eighteen months later, or sometimes not at all. We have to pick and choose what we get involved in, where a good use of our time lies, and which people to surround ourselves with. We have to stop chasing rainbows and just do what we can. No one can do it all. And what works for one author, might not work for another. And we have to stop comparing ourselves to other authors. Ouch, that one hurts. If you're doing it right now, stop it!
Now we have Facebook changing the game as far as promotion, taking down pages and not not allowing promotion. Some who haven't paid attention to these changes are going to be disappointed with the results. The rest of us have to learn how these new mandates affect the most effective and free method of advertising our books. We have to find another way.
I just think about the premise of my Guardians Series: Heaven isn't 100% perfect by design, the Underworld isn't 100% evil by accident. That just about sums up my year, a year of pleasant and not-so-pleasant accidents, in a well-planned and orchestrated year that wasn't nearly 100% perfect.
Next year? Yup, I've normally got that all planned out by 12/31. Sort of my personal rule that stuck from my years coaching Realtors. But just like I used to tell them, in getting ready for the next year, your most important ally is your attitude.
So, here's my New Years advice for writers out there: Smile. Be resilient. Learn to say no, but don't be afraid to say yes. Learn to thank people more. Accept defeat and disappointment with grace and dignity. And keep doing what you love.
Happy Holidays, everyone. And may you start the best year of your life in a few days!
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.