Five Ways my Reading Changed (After I Published)

Ever since I started seriously writing, my reading has transformed. Before, I could sit and read just for enjoyment, but when you start aiming for a career as an author, you begin to also read for your job. And sometimes that means reading things that you wouldn’t just pick up for fun…but it also means you read things you wouldn’t read if you weren’t a writer, such as nonfiction books on craft. It expands your understanding, your knowledge, and your capacity for new stories (at least for me).

But you know what else? There are also attitudes that change when you start reading as a writer. In fact, for me, there are five big attitude shifts I had after I began publishing my own work. Let’s break them down.

Writers are people, not figures

Yeah, I know this one sounds weird, but as a reader with no connections to the publishing world, it’s really easy to forget that there is a person behind that author name on the cover. They’re real people with real emotions and feelings who may even read your reviews.

But once you are one of those names yourself, you remember everything that goes into a book and the struggles of the people writing them. It becomes more human, beyond the humanity you might see in the pages themselves.

The writing world is small

I know this doesn’t sound like an attitude, but let me dig a little deeper.

The writing world is small. Especially within your genre. You are likely to meet many of these people at least once in your life, particularly if you attend conferences or spend a lot of time on social media.

And people will see what you say about other writers or even agents. Both writers and agents talk to each other, so your comments and interactions will not be forgotten easily and may spread throughout the community.

Before I published, as a reader I felt entitled to say whatever I wanted about a book (not attacking the author, of course). But now, I know that my reviews can potentially damage my relationship with other authors, depending on what I say.

Before, I had no problem posting a one-star review on Goodreads. Now, if I don’t like I book, I mark it read and do not review or rate it.

I even went back and edited old bad reviews so that, while I was still being truthful, I wasn’t being mean. Because…now I remember that authors are people too, and my obligations are not ONLY to the readers.

They’re to all of us book nerds.

You see all the errors more

I was a grammar fiend before, and I’m an even bigger one now. I notice when the writing style is poor, when the plot is lacking, when the characters are flat, when a book has too many problems. I can pick out ways the writing could be improved. I find books more predictable than I used to.

But a lot of people still like those books with the problems (including mine). Every book has its audience. And now I understand that not every book is for me.

And that’s okay.

But you’re more understanding when they happen

Now that I know all the work (and money) that goes into publishing a book, especially independently, I am a lot more forgiving of editing errors than I used to be. It’s easy, even in trad books, for typos and inconsistencies to fall through the cracks. Just like every other job, publishing is performed by humans, and humans can make mistakes.

And you know what? Those mistakes are okay. I have learned that stories can be less than perfect and still be wonderful.

I read more…both for pleasure and for education

One of the features I love on Goodreads is the Reading Challenge. I love setting goals and being able to see how my reading habits have changed over the years.

And guess what? I may have less time, but I read more than ever before (at least in my recorded history).

The first year I did the Goodreads Challenge, I had a goal of 45 books and read 65. Last year, I set a goal of 70 and read 92. This year, I set my goal at 80 and expect to clear it easily (I’m already 6 books in).

But the volume isn’t the only thing that’s changed. So has the variety.

You see, where I used to read exclusively novels, now I listen to audiobooks, read short stories and novellas, read more nonfiction, read manga and graphic novels, and read both indie and traditionally published works.

My reading horizons have grown, and with it, my dreams.

And honestly, what more could I ask for?

~~~

Writer friends, what things have you noticed about your reading since you began writing? Readers, do you have any opinions on these attitudes? Let’s chat in the comments! ā¤

A New Writing Year: 2020

Wow. 2020. I can’t believe it’s already 20 years after Y2K! XD

In all seriousness, I’m so excited for a new year and new goals. I learned a lot last year, and this year I hope to learn and do even more.

But I’m not going to focus on personal goals this year; I’ll save that for the yearly wrap-up in December. Instead, I’ll focus on all the writing work I hope to accomplish in 2020, as well as update you all on where I’m at creatively.

As always, each of these goals has a number of smaller milestones and goals, so I’ll stick to bigger ideas. Otherwise, it’d get too big too fast! So here we go.

  • Finish This Cursed Shadow. Yup, that’s right. I’m still working on it, guys. I apologize for taking so long, but I want to make sure I can give you a quality piece of writing. When I have it close enough to ready, I’ll select a release date and hand over more info!
  • Publish “Freeze Thaw” and the spring, summer, and fall Seasons of Magic for the year. Freeze Thaw is currently with editors, and I’m beginning the spring story already!
  • Begin the newest project, to be released either during the release of the This Curse series or after that one is finished…depends how quickly I can get them done. But since you’re here and reading so patiently…let’s just say fox shifter urban fantasy! Be sure to subscribe to the newsletter for updates.
  • Land an agent! Yes, this one is less in my control, but I have high hopes for Sea of Broken Glass! I got a revise & resubmit in October, and I’m hoping to do the resubmit part by the end of January. And if that agent still passes, I know the book will be even better to keep looking for that perfect agent!
  • Improve my formatting skills. Right now, I can do basic formatting of my stories, but I’d love to improve that skillset to be able to make fancier interior spreads for you guys. I’m an artist, and I love making everything as pretty as I can!
  • Learn how to make book covers. This one is ambitious and will require that I take an online typography course and do some self study, but I’m hoping to be able to cover some of my own books in the future. I know not every author recommends making your own covers, but again, I’m an artist, and I’d like to at least learn how!

So that’s that! All the writing goals I hope to accomplish this year! I’m very excited for everything that’s to come and for all the projects going on, and I can’t wait to share it with you. šŸ™‚

Thanks for a wonderful 2019, friends, and here’s to an even better 2020! Happy New Year!!!

~~~

Do you have any personal or writing/reading resolutions this year? What are they? Let’s chat in the comments!

What I Accomplished in 2019

2019 was a big year for me! I had a lot going on both personally and professionally in my writing life and science career. So today, I’d like to look back at what I hoped to accomplish this year as well as what I actually did accomplish.

Personal Stuff in 2019

So this year I did a bunch of pretty awesome things and/or had some awesome things happen:

  • Had my 1 year anniversary ā¤
  • Visited Peru
  • Visited Minnesota
  • Met Nichelle Nichols
  • Earned a promotion to Senior Scientist at my day job
  • Gained a nephew!

Writing Accomplishments in 2019

Guess what? This was also a HUGE year for my writing career. All of these were resolutions last year, and guess what? I did them! Check it out!

  • Published my first novel ever!
  • Published another 2 novellas
  • Queried Sea of Broken Glass…and got a revise & resubmit!
  • Learned So. Much. Marketing.

Looking back on a decade

Yeah, so turns out we’re closing out the 2010s, and a lot of people are talking about what they did over the last 10 years. So let me outline my decade for you:

  • Graduated with my BA in Biology in 2011
  • Attended grad school and obtained my MS in Neuroscience in 2015
  • Learned how much I love to write…and that I wanted to publish
  • Began a job in biology where I get to work on the cutting edge of drug development
  • Earned an award at the day job for key work on a big project
  • Advanced from Scientist to Senior Scientist
  • Made huge strides in learning the industry of publishing and books
  • Became an indie author
  • Had my heart broken, then found the love of my life
  • Lost two grandparents and several pets
  • Fell in love with new pets
  • Married the love of my life
  • Started my own business
  • Visited Iceland and Peru
  • Went to my first conventions: Katsucon, Wizard World, Galaxy Con, and Book Con
  • Got a Revise & Resubmit on a book close to my heart
  • Learned who I want to be šŸ™‚

I have come a long way over the last ten years, including a lot of heartache and struggle that helped me become a better, more compassionate person. I learned who I really am and who I want to be. I found the place in life that makes me happy, and I’m looking forward more than ever to what the next decade will bring us.

Final Thoughts on 2019

I don’t have as many things to list as last year, but I love my accomplishments all the same! I made some huge strides in my career, both writing and science, and I took some big steps in creating the writing life I want, including publishing and writing the stories I love and readers are loving, as well. I also had a great time with my husband on several trips, big and small, learned more about our big, wide world, and saw my extended family grow in exciting ways.

Though some sad and stressful things also happened this year, I choose to focus on these good things. And I love that I’m in a place where I can say the good outweighs the bad. I sincerely hope you can, too!

Be sure to come back next week to hear what my resolutions will be for next year (I’ve got some big things planned!), but until then, tell me all about your year! What did you do? What did you love? Let’s chat and celebrate the end of 2019 together!

Underwriting vs. Overwriting: Which Are You?

Do you write too much? Or not enough? And what does that mean for traditional publication?

There is so much advice floating around out there about how important it is to follow the expected and established word counts in the industry. For example, many agents, editors, and publishers will not consider works that fall outside of expected word count ranges, and it may even be a reason to reject the work.

The reason is pretty simple: these word counts have been established based on audience and genre, and falling outside these ranges can be indicators of serious deficiencies in the novel (or that it may not be a novel at all, but rather a shorter story) or a lack of knowledge of the industry by the author.

And honestly, with such an overcrowded market, some agents will look for any reason to reject manuscripts, just because they have so many submissions (at least that’s what I’ve heard… please, feel free to hop in the comments and correct me if I’m wrong!).

So it becomes necessary for those of us seeking traditional publication in any form to pay attention to our word counts. And that can identify your writing tendencies.

Underwriting is when a writer will finish a first draft with a lower word count than they need. So, for example, Sea of Broken Glass was only 74k words at the end of the first draft. For reference, a typical young adult fantasy (the genre for SoBG) is expected to be between 80 and 100k words. Once again, anything outside of that range, and traditional publishers or agents may reject it for not conforming to industry standards.

But when I finished at 74k, SoBG was missing a lot of scenes and details that were needed to pull the story together. And when I rewrote it (draft 2), I ended up adding over 20k words. Right now, while it’s with betas, it’s a little over 96k words long, by far the longest thing I’ve ever written.

It just didn’t start that way.

And then there’s the opposite problem, overwriting. In overwriting, a writer will write WAY more words than needed for a book. So let’s take an example from a friend of mine. She had a YA fantasy that clocked in at near 200k words… twice as much as most agents and publishers will allow. So when she went back to editing, instead of bulking it out, she had to find ways to cut her word count by a lot.

Every writer has their own style when it comes to drafting and editing, and even specific books by the same writer can be different from a writer’s “normal.” But in general, the more works a writer writes, the closer they may get to their target word counts after draft one and the more they will recognize where they tend to fall on the scale.

So that’s me! Underwriters unite!

In the next couple of weeks, we will discuss a few ways to resolve either of these issues, first for the underwriters, then for the overwriters. Hopefully with a few tips and tricks up your sleeve, you can figure out how to drag your novel closer to its target word count.

Until then, let’s talk in the comments! Where do you fall on this spectrum? Do you follow traditional word counts for your works?

~~~

NEWS!

Of the Clouds releases next Saturday, so Friday’s post will be moved to Saturday, and this blog post series will continue after that! Hooray!!!

Making My Own Luck

Can we really make our own luck?

Lately I’ve been reading The Business of Being a Writer by Jane Friedman. If you’ve never heard of Jane Friedman, I’d definitely suggest looking her up, particularly if you want to make writing a career. She’s got some great advice and information for the business side of things.

Anyway, one of the things she talks about early in the book is the idea that part of success is luck. Well, yeah, we already talked about that back in March.

But more than that, she cited a study from the University of Hertfordshire (look up Richard Wiseman and The Luck Factor) that looked at people’s perceptions of their own luck. Basically, what it came down to was that if a person considered themselves unlucky, they were more apt to miss opportunities or to skip trying for certain opportunities whereas someone who viewed themselves as lucky stayed more open and were more likely to see opportunities as they arose.

It was all about mindset.

And isn’t that so true? How many times have you skipped applying for something or submitting something because you were convinced you wouldn’t get it? I know I’ve given up on my share of opportunities for that reason.

But we can make our own luck. We see it time and again, how our mindset about our chances of success can be predictive. If you really want it to happen, if you expect it to happen, you’ll see more of the opportunities and take more chances to make it happen… and that can increase your chance for success.

Now, of course I’m not saying that positive thinking will make you a bestselling author.

No, what I’m saying is that we need to evaluate ourselves. How is our outlook on our career affecting us? Does it affect our mental health? Is it limiting us?

Or is it helping us to expand our horizons, take chances, and really put ourselves out there?

If your answer is that you are limiting yourself, that’s okay. I limit myself, too. But let’s use this as a springboard to recognize those times when we’re cutting ourselves off at the knees. Let’s use it to encourage ourselves to move forward and take a few risks. And let’s find the people who will let us know when we’re selling ourselves short.

One step at a time, let’s change our outlook on our careers. Let’s make our own luck.

And let’s keep writing.

Get to Know Me Tag

So I saw this over on Jenelle Schmidt’s blog, and it looked like a ton of fun and something you guys might enjoy! Besides that, my first book baby is out in the world now, and new people are finding my website every day. So today, I am going to participate in the Get to Know Me Tag game (Writer’s Edition) and give you all the inside scoop about Selina.

And if you want to participate, I’m tagging YOU. Throw your link in the comments below!

This tag (if I’m understanding correctly) was created by Savannah Grace over at Inspiring Writes, and it does come with a few rules:

  1. Link back to the blogger who created the tag (see Savannah Grace’s blog above)
  2. Thank the blogger who tagged you (technically I accepted Jenelle Schmidt’s open tag…so thank you!)
  3. Share the tag graphic (see the post header)
  4. Tag 11 other bloggers (like I said, I’m just going to tag all of you who want to participate!)
  5. Don’t feed this tag after midnight-oh wait, that’s Gremlins, you say? Okay, this isn’t really a rule for the tag.

Without further ado, my answers!

vital stats and appearance

Name: Selina J. Eckert

Nickname: I have many, but the most common one is Lina

Birthday: March 4

Hair color/length: I have dark brown hair, straight with a part on the right side. It’s about mid-back length now, but at one time it was waist-length, and more recently it was shoulder-length.

Eye color: brown, like a cola brown

Braces/piercings/tattoos: I had braces until my very last day of 8th grade. No tattoos, but I have my ear lobes double pierced. I usually only wear one set of earrings though.

Righty or lefty: Righty

Ethnicity: Mostly German and Pennsylvania German (PA Dutch…who aren’t Dutch, FYI), also Welsh

firsts

First novel written: I think it was sometime in elementary school, when I was obsessed with Westerns and tried to write my own on folded up computer paper. I made it through Chapter 1 and a drawing for the cover!

First novel completed: Back in middle school, I wrote a sci-fi novel heavily influenced by Star Trek starring a female captain and largely female crew. Even back then, I wanted more female protagonists! I can’t remember the title now, but it involved a scary alien race who lived on a rogue planet named Pitch and ate people…

Yeah, the book was terrible. BUT it was the first thing I ever finished, and I was really proud of it! It still lives somewhere, I just can’t remember where the binder ended up. Because yes, I printed it off and stuck it in a binder and that is the only surviving copy.

Award for writing: None yet, though I was a two-time finalist in Rooglewood Press’s fairy tale retelling contests! I’m going to get those short stories out in an upcoming anthology (hint hint).

First publication: If we’re talking novels, that would be my indie book This Cursed Flame that just came out two weeks ago! If we’re talking in general, I won an essay contest back in middle school for a bank that got published in the local paper. I got a plaque out of it, too.

Conference: As a reader, I went to BookCon in 2018. It was fantastic. I had wanted to go for years and finally had a friend to go with! As a writer, I went to a conference in Philly in I think 2017.

Query/pitch: I started querying This Cursed Flame in maybe 2014? 2015? I can’t remember. But I eventually pitched it at a writer’s conference, got a slightly positive response, then silence in 2017 and pulled it to rewrite and indie publish.

favorites

Novel (that you wrote): Honestly, it’s the one I’m working on now, Sea of Broken Glass. I feel like my answer will constantly change as I write more.

Genre: Fantasy.

Authors: Brandon Sanderson, Rainbow Rowell, Patricia Briggs, Anne Bishop, A. L. Knorr…I’m sure there are more, but I can’t think of them right now.

Writing music: I don’t usually listen to music, but if I do, it’s typically whatever has been stuck in my head most recently. Or I will just use ambient sounds (thank you Coffivity and Rainy Mood, my two favs). But most of the time it’s silence or the TV in the background.

Time to write: I don’t really get to pick. I write in whatever time I have available, since I work a day job on top of my writing career.

Writing snack/drink: I don’t really snack while writing, but I will drink things like water, milk, soda, tea, and coffee. It really depends where I am and what time of day it is.

Movie: Tangled. Followed closely by Moana.

Favorite writing memory: I think my favorite memories are during grad school when I would get home from school, sit down with my computer, and write ALL NIGHT. I finished 3 novel drafts in like four months. It was amazing. And I’ve never been able to do it again.

Childhood book: The Adam Raccoon series by Glen Keane (yes, the Disney Glen Keane). If we’re talking novel, I did read Treasure Island about six times during middle school, so you do that math. šŸ˜‰

currently

Writing: Oh boy.

  1. Sea of Broken Glass, my YA fantasy sister story.
  2. Of the Clouds, my Rapunzel retelling releasing in August.
  3. A fairy tale retelling short story anthology.
  4. A secret new novel that takes place in PA coal country (think The Raven Boys).
  5. AND the next This Curse book: This Cursed Shadow.

Listening to: I am always listening to RED and Twenty-One Pilots. I am obsessed.

Watching: Kim’s Convenience on Netflix. Bob’s Burgers.

Learning: I’m working on the ACES editing certification. I’m also always learning biology things at work. I’m learning marketing and writing for my writing career. I’m learning how to be a better person, sister, daughter, wife. I am learning how to use watercolors better.

future

Want to be published: I am indie published! Check out Amazon (or Goodreads, or any other major retailer)! But I also want to be traditionally published with Sea of Broken Glass.

Indie or traditional: I want to be what’s called a hybrid author. That is, I want to be both indie and traditionally published.

Wildest goal: I’d call this more a dream, but I’d love to one day be a bestselling author.

Final Thoughts

That was fun! It’s so nice to look back on how far I’ve come and where I still want to go. If you participate in the tag, let me know. Otherwise, hop into the comments and tell me some fun facts about yourself!

Thanks for reading!

The Luck o’ the Writer

Yeah, I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna make a St. Patrick’s Day-inspired post.

Around this time of year, I tend to watch Leap Year at least once. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a charming, hilarious movie set in Ireland. The main character Anna, played by the fabulous Amy Adams, is tired of waiting around for her cardiologist boyfriend to propose to her, so she calls upon an ancient Irish tradition that may or may not actually exist: if she proposes to him on Leap Day, he must accept. Well, shenanigans ensue, and without any spoilers, things don’t exactly go as expected. There’s a lot of Anna trying to control her life and her relationship and a lot of the world telling her she can’t.

But that movie, and the only holiday in March, got me thinking. As writers, there are so many things out of our control. So many things based in luck (ah, there’s the rest of the St. Patrick’s Day cliche).

We can control our writing. Our editing. Our interactions with readers and potential readers.

But we can’t control when an agent will read our query. How the market will be when our book is ready. What mood a person is in when they read your book.

All of these things influence the success of our work. It can mean the difference between a shining review and a mediocre review. It can mean the difference between finding an agent or not. It can mean the difference between selling a book or not.

And for a lot of people, especially when they start (though it never gets much easier, from what I can tell, particularly if you’re traditionally published), it’s hard not to be able to control how well your book does. Sure, there are things we can try, there is marketing we can do, and we can independently publish. But we can do all the things right and still not see the success we want to.

Today I just want to remind you that even if your book never sells a single copy, even if you never get an agent, that doesn’t mean your book isn’t valuable and isn’t good. Sometimes the luck isn’t on our side. The wrong agent reads it, or another, bigger book releases on the same day as yours.

Don’t let that stop you. Keep working hard, keep learning, keep doing everything you can, but don’t beat yourself up if things don’t work out right away. Do what’s best for you and your book, and don’t take it personally if it fails. Learn from it. Grow with it. In an industry where we only have so much control, take control of what you can. Give yourself every chance for success.

And whatever else you do, make sure you keep writing.

This Cursed Flame Cover Reveal!

It’s time… to announce the cover!

Guys. I have the most exciting thing I’ve had to share in a while.

ThisĀ CursedĀ Flame has a cover! It is beautiful and amazing and gorgeous, designed by the ever-so-talented Savannah Jezowski (also a super talented author!) over at Dragonpen Designs. You may remember my old cover from Wattpad (or my homepage), which I LOVED, but I can’t use it as my actual cover for numerous reasons. And this new cover! I am absolutely blown away! ā¤ *allthehearteyes* (Also many thanks to Author Cheryllynn Dyess for the blurred cover I used in the promo image!)

But first, if I can draw out the suspense a little. How about an updated blurb to better reflect all the changes that came about during editing?

This Cursed Flame

Six years ago, Janan was transformed into a genie by an evil djinn, ripping her away from her home, her life, and her humanity. She has been on the run from him ever since. Worlds away, high school honors student Laurelin just wants to get into the chemistry program of her dreams.

When Laurelin discovers a crystal bottle that sucks her into the djinn realm, the girls find themselves working together to escape Jananā€™s creator and get Laurelin back home. But war is brewing in the djinn realmā€”a rebellion led by the same evil djinn theyā€™ve been trying to escape. And he is determined to rule both the djinn and the human realms. As his creation, Janan is the one person standing in his way.

But to stop him, Janan must learn to overcome the fears he instilled in her and embrace her own dark magic while Laurelin must accept that some things are more important than an A+. Now, they will have to trust each other, and themselves, to stop the encroaching evil. Otherwise, both the human and djinn realms will fall to the tide of death and dark magic this war will unleash.

And now, what you’ve all been waiting for… I present to you the cover for This Cursed Flame!

Janan, in all her beautiful fire genie glory!!! ā¤ ā¤ ā¤

This project has been close to my heart since 2011, and I am both thrilled and terrified to finally be sending it out into the world. It has been added to Goodreads, and I will let you all know when the pre-order link is live! Publication is scheduled for April 27, 2019, so mark your calendar!

If you want to see more updates and be the first to know about all the upcoming launch day activities (including the launch day announcement!), be sure to subscribe to the newsletter. You’re always free to unsubscribe later if you like, but you will also get a free short fantasy story from me just for signing up!

Until next time, happy reading, and happy writing! ā¤

You Will Never Feel Ready.

I have a rather short post today, but the sentiments are so important.

You see, for years I put off writing until I had more time, until I knew more, until I felt inspired enough. Then I finally began to take it seriously and make time. But after that I did something just as stifling to my progress as a writer: I put off publishing because I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn’t ready.

I can’t express how many times I’ve heard people, including myself, say they’ll do something later. They want to wait until they have more time or life slows down a little or, and this the big one (and today’s focus), they feel like they’re ready.

But here’s a hint: you will never feel ready.

And if you wait until you do, you will be putting off your dreams until the day you die.

Here’s the thing. In writing, as in life, it’s easier to learn to do something by actually doing it. In fact, even the “masters” don’t feel like they know what they’re doing. Here’s a quote for you:

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” ~Ernest Hemingway

No one ever feels ready when they do something for the first time (okay, maybe not ever, but it’s highly common). But you know what? After they do the thing once, it’s easier the next time.

Publishing my book independently was a scary thing for me. It involves a lot of expense and a steep learning curve for everything from hiring professionals for various stages of the process to learning how to upload files and make the thing to even the actual business of being an author selling books. It was super intimidating. It still is.

But it was my dream to share stories with the world, to be able to hold my book baby in print.

In truth, I don’t feel ready. I don’t feel nearly ready. But I’m moving forward anyway.

I hope you do, too.

~~~

Your turn! What authorly things have you been putting off just because you don’t feel ready? Tell me in the comments, and let’s talk!

Also, speaking of publishing, I finally got the final cover from my cover designer! Mark your calendar for February 8th… the cover reveal for This Cursed Flame is coming soon!

A New Writing Year: 2019

Happy New Year!

2018 was a good year to me. I did a lot of things, learned a lot of things, and made strides toward my dreams. Before I get to the New Year, I want to take a few paragraphs to reflect on the good things I’m grateful for today.

2018: Personal Accomplishments

This year was big in a whole lot of ways, but here are the non-writing-related things I did that were huge steps in my life:

  • Got married to the love of my life!!!
  • Visited Iceland (amazing)
  • Moved out of my apartment
  • Grew the family from 1 cat, 1 dog, to 2 cats and 1 dog
  • Learned a new (and sometimes difficult) lab technique at work, as well as a slew of other work-related accomplishments

I’d say those are some pretty significant changes! And every single one of them has been worth every difficulty and expense involved. I am happy, I am excited for life, and I am ready to continue my personal story and growth!

2018: Writing Accomplishments

Besides all the changes and accomplishments in my personal life, I’ve made some big steps and changes in my writing life. Here are the highlights:

  • Finished setting up my home office/writing space/library
  • Opened a freelance editing business! And named it Paper Cranes
  • Started an author page on Facebook
  • Started an email list
  • Hired a developmental editor for the first time (Thanks, K. Johnson!)
  • Set a publishing date for ThisĀ CursedĀ Flame!
  • Entered a Snow White retelling contest (and placed as a finalist)
  • Got some of the most amazing feedback on a short story that I have ever gotten
  • Had my first paying client for Paper Cranes
  • Found a cover designer for ThisĀ CursedĀ Flame

Honestly, I never imagined when I started 2018 that I would do any of these things, other than the Snow White contest. I didn’t plan on opening an editing business. I didn’t plan on independently publishing ThisĀ CursedĀ Flame. But I found over the course of the year that these are the things I needed to live out my dreams of writing full-time. I’m not there yet, but I am that much closer!

Looking Ahead: 2019 Resolutions

And now it is time for the traditional New Year’s post: my (writing) resolutions for 2019! I don’t have many, but I think they are big this time around. Now, each of these resolutions also has its own set of smaller goals and milestones, so to keep it simple, I will use umbrella resolutions to describe this year’s goals.

  • Publish ThisĀ CursedĀ Flame
  • Start editing the next This Curse books
  • Enter a Rapunzel retelling contest with “Of the Clouds” (or publish it, if it is not accepted)
  • Rewrite, edit, and query SeaĀ ofĀ BrokenĀ Glass
  • Complete at least rough drafts for a winter fairy tale retelling anthology comprised of four short stories

As authors, and as dreamers, it is important to take time now and then to step back and think about your progress, your goals, and how to accomplish your dreams. In fact, I remember reading a study years ago which found that people who took the time to set goals were more likely to achieve them. I encourage you to come up with a few goals of your own for your New Year, whether they are writing-related or just for life. It’s sure to give you a boost to start out your year. šŸ™‚

If you like, I’d love to hear what your goals or resolutions are for 2019. Let’s talk in the comments!

Here’s to a great New Year. ā¤ Selina