2013 – A year in review

I know, I know. I’m a little late with the review post. But why follow the crowd? That’s so boring! lol (yeah, it got away from me, I admit it.)

How was 2013? Extremely busy! We didn’t even take a vacation and I’m going through withdrawals trying to plan one on the cheap. Overall it was a really good year. Here’s a breakdown.

1) I scheduled several events and learned a lot of what not to do when talking to readers. (I will wear skirts or dresses. No more pants for me as I tend to rely on my pockets to keep my hands from fidgeting, which also makes me look less approachable (photographic evidence), also, sell the journey aspect of the story rather than the romance part). Learned also what I was doing right. (Smiling, standing around the booth, saying hi to everyone who made eye contact – some actually came back to talk!)

2) I learned I need to pace myself. Which I’m already struggling with this year. I have a release date in mind but it’s going to take some serious work to be ready in time. Can I do it? Absolutely. But I’m not sure I should rush it.

3) The two favorite questions from 2013. “Are your books anything like ’50 Shades’?” and “Why aren’t your books set in Texas?” This fact has turned several readers away from the table, believe it or not. I’ve kicked around a book set in Texas, but I’m not sure about setting it somewhere I’m currently living. Then you run into the whole “Is that passage about me? Sure sounds like me” from people you know. I’m not sure I’m ready for that quite yet. 😉 Plus there are other great authors out there who are doing a fantastic job of it. Christie Craig, J.D. Faver and Jodi Thomas, Teri Thackston just off the top of my head.

4) I’m getting burned out on blogging but I’m not ready to abandon the medium completely. Therefore, I’m cutting back to once a week. I didn’t even blog that much toward the end of the year. I was just burned out in general.

5) I need to take more time to relax and pursue those other craft projects that have been gathering dust since I started seriously writing and publishing. I actually get to do some drawing/artsy type stuff on the next two covers which I’m excited about. Get to dust off the colored pencils and sewing machine. (does that make you curious?)

6) Don’t feel guilty for not writing every day. This is a tough one. I tried the writing every day and it doesn’t work because of the headaches. I try to at least think about it every day but there are some days where work has been crazy/infuriating and the thought of sitting down in front of a computer (after being at one for 8 hours) is the absolute LAST thing I want to do. Here’s where the craft time needs to come in.

7) Read more. I didn’t get to read near as much last year as I wanted to. Frustrating. My TBR pile is humongous. I’m going to rectify that this year. Wanna know how bad it was? I preordered a book back in July, book due out 12-31. It came in a day early and I was excited. I went home and promptly placed it on the bookshelf. I didn’t have the energy or focus to even think about trying to start it. Plus the bronchitis really kicked in so I was just trying to awake. Maybe I’ll get it read this month.

I have goals for 2014 but they are much more modest. Plus, the personal time is definitely being spent. You know, with the whole Outlander series obsession and eight book due this summer from Diana Gabaldon. (I can hear the hubby groan AND roll his eyes as he reads this)

What did you learn from 2013? How are you going to incorporate that into 2014?

Have a great week everyone.



3 thoughts on “2013 – A year in review

  1. Yeah, I took on way too much last year. Working full time to pay the bills is a real time suck, isn’t it? Once I get past my beginning of the year deadlines, I’m taking my time from now on.

  2. Yikes, I still have to finish the 7th book! Guess I better get cracking 🙂

    I have so many crafty things on my plate and one, well two, I really must complete this year. So I get the challenge of fitting those in.

    You had an amazing year Mel. And you definitely deserve to cut back a bit this year. I have no doubt you can do that without losing your momentum. Wishing you a fabulous year, my friend!

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