Monday, January 2, 2012

Resolutions or Obtainable Goals

res·o·lu·tion
  noun
1. a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
2. the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
3. the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.


goal
  noun
1. the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.

BUT it is also one of those action, high self image, type words... scoring a goal, making a touchdown!

Every year thousands, if not millions, make New Years Resolutions which are mostly forgotten by February. I used to be in this pack, but not anymore. Now I make obtainable goals. I guess it's wisdom born of age or aging past the half century mark which makes my word choice apparent. Semantics, you might think, but there are subtle differences between the two words. I set goals and they are obtainable.


In retrospect over the past year, I've accomplished all but one of the goals I set for myself. The one failure which stands out is not keeping my publication schedule for my children's series. "mr. Goodbar Goes to the Hospital" should have been available in October, but it is still in my computer waiting for a good tweaking of the illustrations. Luckily they backed up into my flash drive prior to my hard drive failure.

In January of last year I started this new blog on writing casting aside my prior one. I e-published "Escape from Second Eden" and followed it up with, "The Sacrificial Lamb." Both I had set both as goals for 2011 tipping my toes in the indie publishing world. Both have surpassed my expectations with little effort on my part as I stumbled my way through the self-publishing swamp. I published a story which would not be denied and totally different than anything I've ever written, "Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption" in the last quarter of the year.

Surprisingly enough, I'm able to draw my royalties on a monthly basis from various sites within a year. They have also reached the international markets.This was unexpected. I figured on five titles published before I could draw a monthly stipend.  It's nowhere near enough to make me independently comfortable without my day job, but every little bit helps with unemployment rampant, and the economy and inflation throwing everything in turmoil.

Have I really been discovered? No, these are hits and missed type sales. No concentrated focus or highly active searches for me as an author, but this too will come in time. I'm still the little fish in a huge and growing pond. I've had some wonderful interviews and even some fan mail on almost a daily basis in the past three months which is sort of amazing to me. I would grade this experiment as a success and a positive venture in my writing career.

This blog's readership has grown from one to fifty-three steady followers with occasional tweets and facebook links. I've tapped it into my amazon author site, smashwords, and goodread sites as well. The stats average between 20-165 hits a day...a far cry from the 5K daily hits for it to be considered a strong platform base, but it's a start. As I promote more, attend more conferences, do more book signings and other promotional events, it may grow or it may just stay the same. The goal for this blog in the coming year...more readers. I may go back to my Monday, Wednesday, Friday blog schedule, but I haven't decided yet.

Now for my obtainable goals for 2012...
1. Get back on track with my Sweet Haven Series for children. Four titles in 2012.

2. Finish editing the sequel to "Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption" and publish it.
3. Finish writing "Surviving Hank," edit it, publish it.
4. Continue working on several collaborations.
5. Edit "The Mayan Serpent" and publish it.

Personal
1. Breathe and wake up each morning. Not to sweat the small stuff and remember it is ALL small stuff when God is in control. At my age this is enough.

No, I'm not going to say I'm going to lose 50 lbs, stop smoking, or any of a thousand other things. The idea is to set obtainable goals. Go after each one a step at a time.Make my goals realistic and achievable...after all how much good is an unachievable goal? Unachievable only make you think less of yourself and there is a whole world out there ready to throw punches at you...be kinder to yourself because if you aren't NOBODY will be.

While yes, I could lose fifty pounds, stop smoking and the rest...I choose not to set them as goals for myself. If I manage it along the way that's fabulous, but mentally I'm not setting myself up for failure or disappointment.

Life is full of side steps and baby steps to goals. Take it one at a time. If you stumble, and fall just get up and try again. The hard part is taking the first step to any challenge. To borrow from Nike...just do it!

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

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