It's 2014! AKA How to Manage the Busiest Year Ever

Jan 2, 2014

Farewell to 2013, a year that was a fascinating combination of screaming-jumping-dreams-coming-true and crushing-depression-worthy-unexpected-but-turning-out-okay kinds of things. I haven't talked much about the second part here on the blog (or anywhere, for that matter), but I may eventually. Suffice it to say, it was a year of growth and change.

Fireworks! Celebration! Happy 2014!

And now-- it's 2014! There's a whole year ahead that's a blank slate of possibilities, some of which will be good and some bad. For me, it means my book is coming out THIS YEAR. Which fills me with all sorts of squeeing and panic attacks. I'm so thrilled that my publisher wanted to release my book earlier than expected. It's that much sooner that I get to share my story with you all.

But it's also THAT MUCH CLOSER. Which means the typical publishing time schedule I'd expected isn't applying here. Already, we're talking about covers and flap copy on top of things like edits due soon. Already, I've joined the awesome group of Fearless Fifteeners (authors releasing books in 2015-- or late 2014 for me). Already, I'm putting together a marketing plan that loads up my 2014 with all kinds of shenanigans.

I'm facing edits for Unhappening, marketing for Unhappening, and writing a new book all RIGHT NOW. And let's just say my poor hubby had to deal with a frantic, panicky me for far too long last night. But I woke up this morning non-panicky. Know why?

Because these are all the things I wanted, and I get them. And because I have a plan. No New Year's Resolutions for me-- I've got a Plan instead. Here it is:

Splitting my brain apart to try to do everything at once is what induces those lovely frantic moments. So instead, I'm going to focus. At some moments, some things become the obvious priorities. On those hours, or days, or weeks, that's what gets my focus.

In addition, I'm going to focus on the THINGS I CAN CONTROL. Being run through the publishing submission ringer has shown me just how much is out of my control. And nothing I can do will change that, so I'm going to (try) not to worry about it.

This seems like the opposite of the above, but hear me out. In all of my "categories" of things to do (mom-ing, wife-ing, editing, writing, marketing, me-ing), I can do one small thing every day. Write one new sentence. Edit one page. Tweet one person. Play one round of Candyland with my kids. Give my husband one thorough kiss. Sweep the kitchen floor. Sometimes, one of these categories is going to take precedence, and I'll be doing that focus thing a lot more heavily, so this part of the plan is subject to frequent change. But I can still preface a marathon editing session with fifteen minutes of Zumba. I can take a break from scrubbing down a neglected house to write a blog post. There are lots of little spaces in the day, and I can make sure I fill them.

That focus thing? That one-thing-a-day thing? Yeah. Odds are, I'm going to mess those up a bit. So what? Things change, life throws curveballs, I have days where all I want to do is go on a Star Trek:TNG Netflix binge. Bring it on. It doesn't mean I've failed. It means that's life, and I need a break, and I don't have to feel guilty because of it. I give myself permission to let go of the plan occasionally with no guilt, so I can jump back into it with gusto.

So, my friends, what does your 2014 look like? What are your goals or plans or hopes or dreams? More writing or revising? Some querying? Some self-pubbing? Some books on submission? Some real-life things that really matter to you? Do tell!


Suzanne Furness said...

Sounds like an exciting year ahead, Shallee. I haven't made resolutions as such, I'm just hoping that this is the year I can really push ahead with my writing and find some time for me to focus on that.

Happy New Year :)

Haneen Ibrahim said...

you got your things organized I see (or chaotic!lol) , good work. I'm aiming a bet higher this year, focusing on more writing and personal achievements that makes me happy.

Anonymous said...

2014 will be awesome for you!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Congratulations on the earlier release! I need to do like ten things a day...maybe twenty and I'd still be behind. But the hard will be worth it. At least that's what I tell myself!

Anonymous said...

Way to go, Shallee! This year will be a busy one for you, but focus on enjoying the awesomeness -- one moment at a time.

Naina Gupta said...

Best of luck for the year ahead. It looks like you will have an exciting year ahead of you =)

J.L. Campbell said...

Congrats again, Shallee. I'm sure you'll get everything under control and done on schedule.

I'm trying to write more this year, but not in a meet-your-word-count-or-else kind of way. :)

Unknown said...

I'm going to try and read more. Get more writing projects out on sub. And improve my craft further.

Emily R. King said...

Ah. Guilt. Can you be a mom or writer without it?

Good idea about doing one thing a day. Keep your goals manageable!

Anonymous said...

I do have a plan for 2014 but I'm keeping it to myself, because I don't want to jinx my chances. Yeah, I'm superstitious like that.
However, I'm looking forward to your book release and if you need any help w/ propaganda I will be more than happy to help.

You can do it, and you have us all to cheer you on. Hugs and Happy New Year!!!


Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Ha, love that last tip best of all. I'll need a reminder of that one ;)

alexia said...

Good goals! No guilt is a great one. Guilt is a waste of time and energy. I'm finishing edits on a book now and will be querying probably next month. I'm also moving in March. So, those are the next big things in 2014 for me!

Chris said...

Hi Shallee, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

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