How Progressive Are You?

This is my usual time of year to share goals and ambitions/intentions for the New Year. My critique partner, Gina Bono, and I exchange these and keep each other on track…sort of. ; ) That’s me and Gina. I’m the one with the big mouth.100_0442

So let me ask you this: Are you happy with the status quo in your life, work, writing, and your relationships? Do you hunger for more? Do you continually strive to better yourself without comparing yourself to others? That means not competing against others, because we all know that is the road to doom. Competing with your own prior numbers is the only competition allowed. But how do you qualify and quantify your progress?

The numbers game in publishing is often hard to define. How can we really know what worked to increase sales, and what was a total waste of money? What I do is one promotional thing at a time and then watch for a sales spike. If you do more than that you’ll never be able to find out what caused the spike. For instance don’t do a boost on FB and hire a company to do a twitter blast all on the same day. Pace yourself.

Office Worker with Mountain of Paperwork

I do believe in being progressive. I believe in forward movement. But am I doing it? Moving, I mean. Yes. The answer is yes on the writing aspects of my life, maybe not so much on the personal level, because I tend to be a bit of a stay-at-home. I can qualify my writing by saying I succeeded in meeting my goals and plans for 2013. I can quantify my progress with those numbers. How about in 2014? At the beginning of 2014, my main goal was not to publish at the speed with which I had the year before. I’m too old for that. Plus, there was an editing/publishing and marketing curve that I needed to learn and become comfortable with. I set an easier pace in 2014, but I oftentimes missed the rush of the prior year. Had I slowed my progressive movement to a crawl? Let us see.

I had one book published. My first contemporary romance went through the editing process for a January 28, 2015 release. I completed one more contemporary in rough draft, and revised and submitted another romantic suspense, which should release in late 2015. There were no frantic deadlines, no juggling acts or transferring of hats (a la 2013) to get these jobs done. Was it an exciting year? Meh.

Looking back, it becomes obvious that I’d even slowed down on travel. Only one trip was taken and that was to RWA National in San Antonio. Only one conference was attended. In 2013, in amongst all the chaos of publishing three books, and learning about marketing and promotion, I’d attended two conferences, one trip to Australia, and another to New York City. I’d served on the board of LARA, the Los Angeles chapter of RWA as program director. There’d been one funeral and one 90th birthday celebration. Plus, I’d had three sets of visitors to my home, and this year, not one visitor and no big celebrations. All of this begs the question: Exactly what did I do in 2014? Ha ha.

So maybe 2014 was my time to rest, refill the well, and refuel the body.100_0128

I hope so, otherwise I’ve become about as progressive as a sloth. Speaking of sloths, I spent a lot of time on the couch. I ate a lot. I read a ton of books. Maybe that’s what happened? Couldn’t find a picture of a sloth, but here’s my Nikki who sure loved to sneak up onto that couch.

What about you? Have you looked over your goals achieved for last year? Have you begun to map out what you want to achieve for 2015?

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10 Responses to How Progressive Are You?

  1. Janie Emaus says:

    I’m working toward getting my Women’s Fiction novel published this year. First step – finishing it! Happy New Year.

  2. robena grant says:

    Good for you, Janie. I wondered if you were still writing. I enjoy your books and look forward to this one. Happy New Year to you! 🙂

  3. Judy, Judy, Judy says:

    Can’t say I’ve looked backwards but I have looked forwards. Sounds like you have put things in perspective.

  4. Liz Flaherty says:

    I wanted to propose and sell a series in 2014 and I didn’t get it done, but I’m not going to beat myself up on it. I did get the first book done, but am still waiting on word from the editor. I guess this is why I tend to stay away from goals much more serious than staying up past 10 or NOT eating a second helping; I tend to get frustrated once the project leaves my hands–or I hit send.

    Here’s to a good year in 2015!

    • robena grant says:

      I was thinking about this yesterday, Liz, after I sent off my copyedits, not so much frustrated but I always get a tiny bit low, get the blues, and you’d think I’d be celebrating. Ha ha. I don’t know if it’s worrying about if the editor will like the changes, or if it’s worrying that it isn’t good enough…it all looks so messy at this point. Never figured it out but I always experience those blues.

  5. Gina B. says:

    I love this picture of sweet, beautiful Nikki lounging on the couch. 🙂

    I am so far behind on my goals it’s not even funny. I’m scared to look at the ones I wrote for last year, but I’m hoping to have better luck this year. Here’s to a wonderfully productive 2015! 🙂

    • robena grant says:

      Thanks. I miss that furry gal. But, I love that photo of you!

      I’d have normally sent you my goals around New Year’s Eve but this year I’ve been deep into copyedits. Finally sent them last night and this morning got a happy email back from my editor. Whew! There is still another round to go, but good to know we’re on the same page. I might work on my goals this afternoon. 😉

      Happy, productive, year to all of us!

  6. Sam Beck says:

    The subject of goals came up earlier today while I was staring at a list on my fridge from Lululemon Athletica. There’s an entry that reads: “Write down your short and long term goals 4 times a year. 2 personal, 2 professional and 1 health goal. A study at Yale University found that only 3% of the students had written goals. 20 years later, the same 3% were wealthier than the other 97% combined.”

    I don’t know if I can muster up the discipline to write goals 4 times a year, but the numbers in that study are pretty compelling. (Of course, it may only apply to college students…)

    • robena grant says:

      I like that, Sam. I keep a file on my computer and I write out my goals/expectations/intentions for the year. As the year progresses, I start each new month and add in the details. So I’m redoing/upgrading every month. How come I’m not wealthy. *pout* Oh, I know it’s my limited focus…it’s always on the writing. Okay, gonna go make some personal and health goals. ; )