Tag Archives: New Year

Writing Goals for 2019

It’s 2019! Woo hoo! A new year!

I like to set writing goals (rather than resolutions, which are WAY too all-or-nothing for my taste) for each new year, to give myself a direction to focus my energies. I know I won’t completely achieve every one of these to the fullest extent, but I’m going to try, and hopefully that trying will create some sort of net positive result.

So without further ado, here are my writing goals for 2019:

1) Build a better work/Life balance: Find a balance that lets me give my family and writing the full attention they deserve while still making enough room for my day job and household tasks…All while getting sufficient sleep and taking decent care of myself! HA HA HA JUST KIDDING THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT TIME TRAVEL. But I’ll do my best to move in that direction, anyway.

2) Try new things and keep growing as a writer: I always want to keep pushing my boundaries and exploring in new directions. One thing I’ll be working on in 2019 with my new book is building a compelling group dynamic for a set of characters who function as a team, something I haven’t done before. I am super excited to play with this new toy. Romantic tensions! In jokes! Bickering! Secrets! Broken yet loving relationships! Loyalty to death and beyond! I CAN’T WAIT.

3) Confront my demons: (Look, that sounded cooler than “Get better at the things I’m bad at.”) Let’s face it, no one’s perfect. I want to keep identifying and eliminating (or at least mitigating) my weaknesses. One big one I’d love to tackle this year is SCENE TRANSITIONS UGH I HATE THOSE THINGS. If I could learn to get into and out of a scene gracefully and effortlessly on the first try, I could get back SO MANY HOURS OF MY LIFE.

4) Put a dent in my to-read pile: I have this stack of AMAZING unread books sitting there taunting me like a full box of chocolates, and I want to nom my way through as much of it as possible! Which will be less than I’d like. BUT STILL! I must read as many books as I can… to make room for MORE BOOKS.

5) Finish Book One of my new trilogy and start Book Two! This one, at least, I should be able to manage (or else my editor is going to be really mad at me). Deadlines: ensuring productivity since…uh…whenever they invented deadlines. But seriously, I am SO EXCITED about this new series, and am having a blast with this first book. I can’t wait to share it with you!

That’s probably enough writing-related goals for one year. If I have too many, it’ll dilute my focus, which is like the opposite of the point.

Happy New Year! What goals have you got for 2019, if you do the goals thing? (It’s okay if you don’t. If they’re not useful for you, don’t do ‘em.)


Writing Year in Review

2018 was my first full year as a published author. A lot of extremely exciting things happened, and also a lot of flailing in panic. Because getting published after a lifetime of striving for this goal is a bit like yearning to be allowed in the deep end of the pool as a kid and then finally diving in and realizing WHOOPS I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO SWIM.

It was a hell of a year for me as a writer, even if you only look at the biggest highlights:

  • THE DEFIANT HEIR was published! And it got some really lovely reviews and pretty much everyone liked it even better than THE TETHERED MAGE, yay!
  • My swordfighting in ballgowns Twitter thread went viral, which was a bizarre experience with all kinds of unexpected long-reaching and delightful consequences!
  • THE TETHERED MAGE got shortlisted for the Gemmell Morningstar award! I’m STILL in shock!
  • I wrote THE UNBOUND EMPIRE, finishing my very first trilogy!
  • I sold a new trilogy to Orbit and started writing the first book!

I also unlocked a lot of little writer achievements that meant a ton to me personally. Fan emails, hearing I kept people up late at night, fan art (!!!), someone running a D&D campaign based partly on my books, a FAN TATTOO WITH MY BOOK IN IT, hearing my book comforted someone through hard times, a reader’s kids playing Falcon & Falconer, making readers cry, a Halloween costume partly inspired by TDH, people tweeting about their book hangovers after finishing one of my books…This sort of thing is what I always wanted. This is why I write: to bring a bit of story-joy into people’s lives. Every little reader interaction like that makes me squee and smile and tell my family “Someone liked my book!” like it was the first time. (THANK YOU, awesome readers!)

So it was a fantastic year for me as a writer! But it was also a tough year. My deadlines for THE UNBOUND EMPIRE were tight, and it was a real struggle to balance work and life, especially with parenting. I really need some way to wedge an extra 5-10 hours into every day—it would solve a lot of problems. So if you have a line on an available time turner, please, let me know.

Next year looks to be very nearly as exciting—I’ve got THE UNBOUND EMPIRE coming out in April, and will be working hard on the new trilogy. I honestly still can’t believe any of this is happening.

I hope your 2018 had some good stories in it, whether you read them, wrote them, or lived them, and that 2019 is even better!


Writing Goals for 2018

Whatever else 2017 was (and oh, wow, it was a bunch of things), it was my debut year, and that was an amazing experience. I am so grateful for everyone who helped make it happen, and helped make it wonderful.

I do goals instead of resolutions for the new year, because a goal is something you can keep working toward even when you stumble along the way, while a resolution is more brittle and tends to shatter when cracked. So! Here is a big, beautiful year stretching out in front of me, like snow without footprints! Here’s what I’ll strive for this year in my writing life:

Find a better work/life balance. 2017 was my first year writing to a deadline on top of working, parenting, doing publicity stuff, and managing a household. And hey, you know what? It turns out that there are only 24 hours in a day! And no matter how hard you work and how efficient you are with your time, you can’t actually make more hours! Is that bullshit, or what?

I wound up having to dramatically curtail my social life and spend less time with friends and family, and while they were all wonderful and understanding, I want to make sure that in 2018, I always save time for the amazing people in my life. And also for sleep.

Read more. I used to devour multiple books a week in my carefree youth before I had the aforementioned two careers plus family, and while I probably can’t get back to that glorious time until I can quit my day job or my kids move out, I can certainly move in that direction. My TBR pile is full of amazing books I am DROOLING over and desperately want to read. I need to start making it smaller while still adding more books! Giving myself license to read as an important part of my job as a writer, rather than thinking of it guiltily as a fun thing I’m only doing for myself, will hopefully help.

Write Book Three! I am so excited to write the third Swords & Fire book and finish out my first trilogy! It’s going to be EPIC.

Start a new book! I’m eyeing the book I had just started when THE TETHERED MAGE sold (which is a multi-POV thing with politics and murder and magic because WHAT I LIKE POLITICS AND MURDER AND MAGIC THESE ARE YUMMY FLAVORS). But I’m not going to worry too much about what’s next until Book 3 is done.

And that’s probably enough. I do like my goals to be attainable, after all.

Happy new year! And may all your creative endeavors this year be fruitful, satisfying, and most importantly, awesome.


2017 Writing Goals

2017 is here! I like to set goals at the start of each year (rather than resolutions), to get my priorities in order. Here are my writing-related goals for the new year:

  • Rock my debut year. THE TETHERED MAGE comes out this Fall! It’s going to be a crazy, wonderful year, full of new experiences I can only guess at. I plan to both work hard and enjoy every minute.
  • Write book two! I’ve been revising forever, and I am SO EXCITED to start a shiny new first draft soon.
  • Read some great adult fantasy. I was focusing on reading YA while I was writing YA, and I have some delectable catching up to do on recent grownup fantasy. (Recommendations welcome!)

Those are the big three I want to focus on. Subordinate goals include:

  • Save time for fun. I want to reserve time for hanging out with my friends and taking my kids on fun outings, and I need to schedule accordingly in advance. If I try to play it by ear, two careers means I’ll wind up working ALL THE TIME. If I pre-book my fun, I can’t weasel out of it to do work instead.
  • Challenge myself. I always like to pick a new area or two of craft to particularly try to level up when I start a new writing project. Gotta figure out what to work on next!
  • Give back to the writing community. I want to support fellow authors, and help up and coming writers seeking agents.
  • That’s probably enough! 2017 is going to be a really busy year, so I shouldn’t get too ambitious. Can’t wait to see what it has in store!

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Last year was crazy busy in real life, and a roller coaster for our family. For my writing life, however, it was the Year of Revision. While I did new writing too, of course, I think it’s safe to say I did more revising in 2015 than in any previous year in my writing career. And let me tell you, I learned a lot.

I also had the pleasure of judging and/or mentoring in a couple of contests, and it was great fun. I learned a lot from that, too—seriously, nothing will teach you about getting stakes, voice, and dramatic tension on the page better than critiquing a couple dozen solid first pages & queries—and I got a sneak peek at some really neat stories I hope to see on bookshelves someday.

Looking ahead into 2016 (or the rest of it, at any rate), I’ve got some fun stuff coming up. I’m restarting my current WIP, and am very excited about the character and story insights I’ve had that prompted me to restart. I’m hoping to volunteer for more contests and do more critique giveaways to give back to the awesome writing community. I’m also planning to carve out more time for reading—with work, kids, and writing eating up my day, it’s hard to keep up with my TBR pile (it doesn’t help that there are SO MANY SHINY WONDERFUL BOOKS that I have to keep adding to it).

Best wishes to all of you on your current projects, whatever they may be! May 2016 be a fantastic year for creativity and creative people.