Press Pause, Hit Reset

I used to think New Year’s Eve was a silly thing to celebrate. Mostly, it was Amateur Night for drunks (still is). But as I got older, and got more about setting goals and including a time component to them, I realized there’s something to that changing of the calendar.

PauseIt’s a chance to hit reset, to start over, begin anew with new, or revised goals.

Not resolutions – I don’t do those, as they always seem doomed to failure and fizzle out by mid-February (or March at the latest). But the turning of the calendar gives us a reminder to press pause, evaluate the last calendar, see where we went and what we did–or didn’t do–and then see what we could do this year.

At first glance, it doesn’t seem like I did much with my writing last year. I do formatting, cover design, and print book interior layout for my publisher, Mythical Press. One of my big goals last year was to do this for an anthology that included a Saturn Society short story, as well as works by five of my local writing friends.

Initially, I was supposed to get the materials by May. Due to editorial snafus and who knows what else, I didn’t end up getting the last of the submissions until the end of November. I had the e-book cover already designed and could have busted my butt to get the rest done last month, except I was already committed to other things, like my relative’s e-commerce site (which did get completed, though they’re still tweaking the product descriptions, etc.). Also, it was the holidays, which is hard enough to keep up with…

So that did not get done. I also wanted to get one other novel written, which also did not happen.

But when I look at what did happen, it’s not too bad:

  • Hangar 18: Legacy was finished and published
  • I outlined and wrote 75,000 words on a new Saturn Society novel (my original plan was for something else, which would be finished at this length, but SS novels are long)
  • I won NaNoWriMo with the above (the other 25, 000 words were written before and after November)
  • Took two online workshops
  • Designed cover for the anthology

In addition, I did several things that weren’t on my list:

  • Wrote “Time’s Tempest: The Storm” for the anthology (wasn’t originally on my list, because I wasn’t sure I’d put something in that anthology). “Time’s Tempest” is a Saturn Society story featuring different main characters, though it does tie into novel #3. This is going to eventually be a serial novel, in 7-8 parts, each of which I think will be about 20,000 words – a long short story/short novella.
  • Took an additional workshop
  • Developed new website for Mythical Press
  • Designed six book covers for writing friends
  • Cover designed for the work-in-progress SS novel
  • Wrote 10,000 words on a follow-up “Time’s Tempest” novella

Sometimes we really need to press pause to see how much we really did accomplish.

ROW80Logo175So what’s up for 2014? ROW80 does a nice job of breaking it down into quarters, so we’ll start there.

  • Format, design print cover and interior of anthology for Mythical Press
  • Finish first draft of “Time’s Tempest #2” (about 10,000 more words)
  • Research for Time’s Tempest #3
  • 10,000 words on SS novel #3
  • Finish first draft of Time’s Tempest #3

I’m all for keeping it simple. For this week, that breaks down to:

  • Format anthology for Smashwords upload
  • 2500 words on TT or SS#3
  • Fitness 3-4x

What about you–do you like the figurative hitting reset that comes with a new calendar year? What are your big goals for the year, whether or not you participate in ROW80? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

18 Responses to \

  1. Yeah, I guess I do like the reset at the beginning of a new year. Except what’s a new year? It’s different for almost everything (especially sports). My new year could be my birthday. Heck, it SHOULD be my birthday!

    I should probably set some goals for myself in 2014, but can’t seem to get myself to do it. Want to kick my butt for me? 😀

    I look forward to seeing the cover for the anthology. Hopefully we’ll have some of those on hand during the library function in February? That would be cool!

  2. I love the idea of hitting pause and reset! My goal for the year is to finish part three of a trilogy and publish a short story. Before the end of the year, I de-cluttered my house. My resolution is to stay clutter free! So far, so good;).

  3. It’s not so much reset for me as it has been accomplishing one new thing like write in a new genre, sell to a new market. This year’s goal is decide which partial book will be the second book I finish/submit/sell as Catherine Castle. One big goal a year works for me. I list the rest as they happen and take credit for them at the end of the year.

  4. Honestly, I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. I’m a very goal-driven person, so I tend to already have so many goals in place that setting a resolution for the New Year seems like overkill.

    It sounds like you accomplished a lot in 2013. Congrats! Here’s hoping you meet your #ROW80 goals and that 2014 is just as productive. 🙂

  5. All in all and all things considered, you had a fantastic 2013! I’m sure 2014 will be just as rewarding. Now click off that pause button and get cracking. Time’s a’wasting.

    I’m sending positive energy your way, Jennette. Make the most of it.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  6. I enjoy the pause to look back at the half-full glass, when I’ve been thinking only about the half-empty glass for most of the year.

    I have very general goals (I find resolutions worthless), in several aspects of my life. My main writing goal is to regain the habit of writing everyday that was derailed in mid December. Baby steps, but when I look back, there will be many steps.

  7. Stacy, the beginning of the school year used to feel like the new year too, until I got out of school. And now again, when my daughter’s no longer in (high) school. We’ll have the anthology for the library program! 😀

    Maria, good luck keeping the clutter away! And getting your book done.

    Catherine, I like the idea of one big goal/one new thing. Good luck with yours!

    Denise, thanks! That’s another reason for no resolutions. With all these goals, who needs ’em?

    Patricia, thanks for the positive energy; I can always use it!

    Elizabeth, that’s why I like the Pause too. And baby steps are the way to go!

  8. Wow, Jeannette! You sure did accomplish a lot. Isn’t it interesting how we can plan everything so methodically yet life has a way of guiding us toward what we’re meant to do.

    Looking forward to cheering you and all my fellow ROWers! Write and have fun!

  9. I don’t do much for New Year’s Eve myself — mainly because I’m usually working so it ends up being just another day at work with maybe a few treats people bring in to celebrate. But I do like the idea of using the first of the year as a way to reset and start things over. It feels like opening a new notebook and getting a fresh, blank sheet to start with.

  10. I like the reset too. I don’t really make resolutions either. Like you, I think I do the evaluating too, then I reassess how to tweak my thoughts/actions if something’s not working. Sometimes it takes seeing my life over the year to actually notice! Here’s to a happy and successful 2014!

  11. That idea of “pause and reset” appeals to me much more than watching crowds of people counting down to midnight as an artificial ball explodes with fireworks! Much more reflective. I’m impressed by what you DID get done which leads to a neatly focused game plan for 2014. May the words flow! Kudos also on all those cover designs, not the easiest of challenges.

  12. I’ve always liked New Years, especially since moving to Germany and all the fireworks. There’s something that feels so incredibly optimistic about that! It never fails to make me feel like the New Year is going to be grand.

    I admit, I used to do resolutions, but I haven’t bothered with those for a long time now. General goals work better for me too. But I think the thing I forgot to do this year was take a step back and congratulate myself on the things I did accomplish. Thanks for reminding me to do that. 😉

    Good luck on your goals and have a great quarter and a great year!

  13. Kathy, my husband and I used to own a bar, so I know what it’s like to have to work: no fun! Hope your new start is a good one!

    Coleen, I had to really think about it to notice how much I did. Thanks and a good one to you, too!

    Beth, thanks! I was surprised by how much I did.

    Ruth, I’ll bet you did more this past year than you thought, too!

  14. You know, Jennette, you mentioned one important thing I always overlook: checking back to see what I DID accomplish the previous year. I like the idea of pausing and resetting, but it works way better if we take the time to list and appreciate what went right the previous year. (And maybe praise ourselves a little bit for those accomplishments!)

    And I’m glad to know that you’re a book designer!

  15. I’m not surprised by how much you accomplished but am surprised you didn’t know how productive you are until you hit the pause button and took stock. Give yourself more credit.

  16. Sounds to me like 2013 was a great year for you, Jennette. I’m looking forward to book 3 in the SS series, and I hope I can find Time’s Tempest on Amazon. I didn’t know your short story came out. Is it only included in an anthology or also sold alone?

    I haven’t blogged since the end of September! Have been caring for the grand babies full time and working with coauthor to get book 3 in our Monster Moon series for kids out. We had planned to have it out before Christmas, but we’ve had snafus, too, and big life stuff to deal with, so we’re still busting buns to get it out. In February. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  17. “Not resolutions – I don’t do those, as they always seem doomed to failure”
    Hello Jennette! You don’t need any resolutions girl. Wow! Just wow! You killed it last year! Look at all that you accomplished. I think ROW80 is working for you girl. It does pay to hit the pause button every once in a while to realized just how much you did. Congrats to you Jennette! I wish you all the best in 2014! ((Hugs!))

  18. Lynette, I am usually so busy looking ahead I forget to look back and see how much I did before.

    Pat, thanks!

    Lynn, so glad to hear from you! I keep meaning to email you and was hoping you were just busy with the grandkids! Time’s Tempest isn’t out yet. It will be in the anthology at first, then standalone in a couple of months, with the subsequent entries following. Thanks, and good luck with your upcoming release!

    Karen, thanks and a good 2014 to you too!