Every year, like many folk, I set goals for the coming twelve months. I make resolutions. I draw up lists and plans. I’m going to write all the books! I’m going to lose all the weight! I’m not going to strangle the annoying people in my life as they so richly deserve.
And, like many folk, by the second week in January, I would find myself failing in so many of those resolutions. Work would be a madhouse, I’d get sick, there was a family crisis and I. Just. Didn’t. Have. Time.
Things are a bit different this year because my situation has changed. I’m out of the corporate world, so my job is my writing and when I sit down at my desk, I’m working for myself doing something I love. (Doing what you love doesn’t mean you’re happy all the time, but it makes it less stressful when you have do those tasks you don’t want to.)
The start of the year is a new beginning, a chance to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. So we make the same old resolutions: write all the books, lose all the weight, not strangle the annoying people. But if we simply repeat our patterns, we’ll usually have the same results.
Let’s switch it up this year. Don’t just make the resolute to write more/read more, lose weight, etc. Pick something specific and work toward it. This year, instead of “lose weight,” I set the goal of participating in an exercise challenge to log 2020 miles on my bike. I’ve got my Peloton app, the very inexpensive spin bike I bought on Black Friday— and a community to help support and cheer me on. I figure if I focus on the doing of the thing rather than the result of the thing, whatever miles I log by December 31 will help me lose both inches and pounds.
For my writing, I saw a new beginning this early this morning with the release of The Accidental Viscountess, the first book in the “Just a Touch of Scandal Series.” (Shameless self-promotion links below.) I also launched my readers group on Facebook, Slightly Scandalous, which I invite you to join if you’re interested in book news and historical tidbits. But because this is my job now, the resolution isn’t simply “write more.” No, it’s a plan, with schedules and deadlines and tasks. Just as if I was hitting my old desk back in the corporate world. To Lure a Lord, the next book in the series is currently being drafted, with a release date this summer. Beyond that, there are dates and tasks for Book Three, projected for a fall/winter release.
Because, sometimes, if you focus your resolutions tightly, not just offer same old generic ones, it’s amazing what you can accomplish for yourself.
What do you hope to accomplish in the coming year? Let me know in the comments below, then hop on over to visit Elizabeth Schetchter and see what her plans are.
An ancient feud, a modern scandal, and an unexpected romance… Spinster and poor relation Dorothea Hindley is in London for one reason: to help launch her cousin into society, something that would be a great deal easier if Dorothea’s aunt hadn’t revived a long-standing feud with the mother of a viscount. The best Dorothea can expect for herself is a dreary marriage to a vicar. But in trying to keep her family from becoming the laughingstocks of London, Dorothea finds a surprising ally in the viscount himself. Martin Drayton, Viscount Abernathy, can’t afford the distraction of the ancient feud his mother insists on reviving. King George III lies mad at Windsor Castle and Martin is involved in supporting the Prince of Wales’ cause in the Regency Bill. But when he enlists Dorothea’s help to cool the flames of the feud, their undeniable attraction simply adds fuel to the fire. Marrying a viscount never entered Dorothea’s head. But a moonlit kiss could lead to a scandal neither of them can afford. Can the accidental viscountess and her unexpected husband get their families to stop feuding long enough to save both the monarchy and their marriage?