Looking Backward, Looking Forward

The New Year is nearly here. 2014!! Everything is possible with enough elbow grease and wine. Right? Well, almost. 2013 was one of the best years I ever had. Seriously. One of the best for a gazillion reasons from family life to work life to personal writing life. 2013 was not without struggle, mind you, but it came with triumph on many sides. There is, however, a reason for this--a very specific, detailed, exacting reason for this. And here it is:

~~I had a plan.~~

I didn't sit around waiting for pieces to fall into place; I worked for my goals. I slaved. I cried. I worked harder.

I made changes in my life to open up my time for writing, and I made sacrifices to protect that time.

For example, I saw maybe two new movies this year. I stopped watching "prime time" television entirely. I cut out distractions as much as possible. And I got down to what's truly essential in life to me. This was possibly my most focused year, so is there any wonder that it was my most significant, satisfying year?

So that's it for looking backward. I busted my ass and the reward was finished work. The Flame Wars is done (for now), I'm shopping for agents, the sequel The Unruly has a first draft that I'm editing, and I've been entering contests to keep my drive up. I'll spare the majority of life stuff, but we moved into a tiny apartment and we're constantly stepping on one another, but I love it. We also let go of a lot to be here--physical, mental, and financial baggage--but it was worth it.

As for looking forward, 2014 is nearly open for business. There's a lot I want to accomplish and my goals will be set a little higher this time so as to keep me sharp, striving, and focused. With elbow grease and wine, I should get through this year with another completely edited novel, The Unruly, and be the proud parent of two more books. One will be With Fire, the third book in the Waress Trilogy, and the other will be Wild Type. Wild Type is a novel I don't want to talk too much about just yet, but I'm painfully thrilled when I think about writing it. New characters, new setting, whole new story.

I would say "with luck" all of this will be accomplished, but luck has nothing to do with it. Luck is what we create when we work hard. Luck is the spark that jumps forward when we're typing out that last line at close to midnight solely because we promised ourselves we would write every day. Luck is the beast that hides quiet in the corners until we get real still at our desks, canvases, computers, and we work our asses off. Luck is the angel on your shoulder when you set limits with family and friends that, no, you can't get together that day even though you're off from work. And luck is the glow you feel when you nailed your goal and crossed the finish line only you were racing toward.

What were your triumphs of 2013? What are your 2014 goals?

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