Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Another year, another un-Resolution Post

It’s become a tradition with me now – my un-Resolution post, my end of the year sum-up and I’m really starting to like it.

Last year’s un-Resolution post was fairly chirpy and upbeat and unfortunately this year’s won’t have quite the same tone. Last year I had a lot to crow about – the best seller lists I made, landing an agent, my first book signing were all badges of honor in the long, hard climb to literary success.

2008 has been about back sliding to a degree – and though I’ve always maintained that I wanted to achieve success slowly, because it’s better to slide back a wrung or two than do a spectacular swan dive from the top to the bottom – sliding back is still discouraging.

This year, though my sales exceeded last year, my joy in writing did not and that’s something I need to address in 2009. I’ve noticed in my travels around the web that I’m not the only author taking stock this year and making hard decisions about my career. With the economy such as it is all over the world, many authors are realizing the success they’ve fought long and hard for is being dragged even further out of their reach. I realized a few months ago that I had a choice for the coming year. I could knock myself out trying to be one of the few authors who will beat the odds and sell, sell, sell despite the global financial crisis, or I could take a step back from the rat race and look at my long-term goals.

What I want, and what I’ve always wanted, is to find contentment. One thing I can say about spending three years as a full time author is, despite it being my dream job, I was never, for a single moment, content. I was always striving to do more, write more, accomplish more, earn more, find ways to get what I wanted, scheme and plan and I ultimately ended up berating myself for never feeling like I had made the right decisions. I’m tired of that life and I’ve realized it’s time to forge a new one.

So 2009 marks a return to a simpler lifestyle for me. I’m not going to quit writing, but I am going to quit worrying about when I will finally make it big, or how I can do promo without feeling like I’m wasting my time, or what marketing plan I need to craft to make it to the top. I’m not going to worry about putting more sex in my stories so they sell better, or learning new ways to write kink or order to latch onto the comet tail of the ‘next big thing.’ I’m not going to worry about how much money there is to be made or not made in publishing.

In 2009 I’m going to worry only about what story I want to tell and how I want to tell it. I’ll worry about submitting a story when I’m ready to submit a story and not when it’s a good time according to the calendar. I’ll worry about eating right, exercising more and maybe finally planting that garden I’ve always wanted to plant. I’ll worry about feng shui and inner peace and going green. I’ll worry about donating to worthy causes and making the people in my life happy and healthy and comfortable and I’ll worry about my royalty totals and my sales numbers...umm...never.

So there it is folks. The good, the bad and the ugly truth about 2009. I’ll still be here, blogging about things that make me go huh? I’ll hope you’ll drop by and say hi now and then and I hope you have a happy, healthy New Year and a wonderful and productive 2009.


Kristen Painter said...

I think that's the most awesome plan ever and I applaud you. 2009 is going to be great for you with that attitude!

Cora Zane said...

Happy New Year, Jenn! I hope 2009 is the best one yet! ~_^

Cora Zane said...

Okay, okay, I had to come back because your post did a slam dunk onme, and I can't stop thinking about it.

It's all so very true, and it's how I've been feeling To.The.Letter for the past year. 2008 was a very unhappy year all around, and doubly unhappy in the writing department.

Your post is like the eloquent version of what I proposed to my husband at midnight last night before we all went noddy blinkums. In 2009 I resolve To write and BE CONTENT with what I'm doing. In short, to stop worrying about the end game so much and enjoy the game.

Bright wishes for you in the New Year. :)

L.K. Campbell said...

Happy new year! I hope that 2009 will bring good things your way.

Shelley Munro said...

Happy New Year, Jennifer. Your plan sounds like a good one to me. So much of the writing business can't be controlled by the writer, but it's easy to get caught up with trying to keep up with others and the latest trends. I'm with you. My goal is to enjoy creating my stories this year. Anything else that comes along will be icing on the cake.

u2hezy said...

Good for you! That's what it should always be about--just you and the story. Way too easy to become obsessed with becoming the next big hit. Then I see other writers, people who follow their own voice, and realize that IS what made them a big hit!

Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan said...

Thanks for stopping by everyone!

I think sometimes you have to work at being content too - so I don't know how easy it will be not to think about how much more I *should* be doing, but as long as I keep writing and keep liking write I write, I think I'll do okay.

{{hugs}} everyone and thanks, Cora! LOL. I don't think I've ever slam dunked anyone before. ;)

Jen said...

That's quite the resolution.

Hoping you achieve it in 2009!