My Big Fat Untitled Post

Happy 2016!

You know everything you didn't get done in December? It's all still hanging around.

How well did you do at meeting your goals for last year?

I did fair--I give myself a C.

I accomplished all my small goals, and by a bug's breath, I read the number of books I'd goaled for the year. This number is embarrassingly tiny for a writer, so I'm not sharing. I'm still way behind, so my TBR list isn't shrinking any time soon.

I could've done better with my walking/exercising goal, but I'm ahead of where I was last year, so I'm happy.

I did not get a newsletter going.

Nor did I complete the drafting of my trilogy project. Two books are done, so only the third one remains to complete.

I did get a better grip on restoring some balance to my life. Not much, but every bit helps.

In 2016 I have fewer small goals, but my large goals are just as intense and more immediate:

 1. Find my Forever Editor.
For reasons beyond my control, none of my previous editors have edited more than one of my books. I need and want to find my Forever Editor. During the last year, I've collected about a dozen names, some of whom I'm pretty sure I can't afford. 
If you know of or have used a really awesome developmental and line editor who is familiar with trilogies and the broad mystery and romance genres, and you would like to share his or her name with me, I would be most appreciative. You may do so in the comments, by email at tikihuttimeATgmailDOTcom, or by messaging me on Facebook or Twitter.
 2. Get Book #2 to my critique partner, which involves reading and making changes I know are needed for it to make sense.

 3. Draft Book #3

 4. Create a marketing and promotion plan for the trilogy.

 5. Start a newsletter.

 6. Publish Book #1. Those of you who are writers, traditionally published or indie, know all the steps this involves.

 7. Read a minimum of [BLANK] books. Still not telling you this pitiful number because it's the same as 2015.

 8. Blog

 9. Walk and/or exercise daily for a minimum of 30 minutes.

10. Have a Real Life. This includes taking off one day a week.

That's it. Ten little items. Doesn't sound like much. But for me it is. I'll have to stay focused. Think Windex will help?

What are some of your goals for 2016?

Wonder why I'm sharing my goals here? Publicly? Writing them down makes them real. Sharing them makes me accountable. I may need that extra push come the fall. Or maybe even next week! Sad, but true.

There's another reason, too.

For the first few months of the year, my blogging routine is changing again. Here's my plan.

January: I will respond to your comments here on the blog, but I won't be around to visit your blog. I know how selfish that is, and I apologize. I have to get a running start on Book #3.

February: Will likely be a repeat of January with probably only an update post from me as to where I am. Or something else entirely.

March: I hope to be back to a real blog and visiting yours in March. As long as I'm at the middle or more of the third book by this point, I will be. Otherwise, no.

Since I won't be reciprocating with a visit and a comment on your blog, do not feel compelled to leave a comment on this post or the one in February. I debated with myself about turning comments off, but decided to leave them on. I'm crossing my fingers that you'll leave me some fantastic editor recommendations.

April: You'll all be busy with A-Z. April at the Tiki Hut will be a blog-free zone.

May: In the words of Arnold--I'll be back. We're gonna rock 'n roll!

There you have it. All my writerly angst hanging out to dry.

Also during this time, I'm going to clean up around here. I'll start by a long-overdue scrubbing of the blog rolls. If I haven't heard from you here or on other social media in the last year or so, your blog link will be deleted. If you lurk, that's fine - I'm happy you still drop by and read. It's just that I don't know you've been here. Contact me by any method outlined above, and I'll leave your link on.

I'll be making a few other changes during the year, but the scrubbing is probably the only thing I'll get done before I'm back in the spring.

I feel as if I've forgotten to tell you something, but I'm not sure what. Don't be surprised to see updates here or in my February post.

Wishing all of you a fun and productive year.

If you want to know what kind of progress I'm making, check back on Monday, February 1.

Hugs to all!


You know I have to leave a comment no matter what.
Hope the down time here gives you a chance to finish the third book.
My pile of books isn't shrinking much either, despite all of my efforts!
Happy New Year! This sounds like a very sensible plan to get it all done this year. Best wishes to you!
Linda G. said…
Happy New Year, Carol!

Sounds like you've hit upon the realization I came to a while back: you can't do everything. *wry grin* Blogging & visiting other blogs can easily turn into a full-time job if you let it. Sadly, there aren't enough hours in the day to keep up with it all and, you know, write books. Something's gotta give. FWIW, I think you're doing the right thing. And may the right editor find you! :)
Bish Denham said…
Here's to your achieving all your goals! Every single one seems doable. (Personally I don't make them as I tend to disappoint myself.)

Happy New Year, Carol!
Carol Kilgore said…
Alex - You're such a good friend. Thank you!

Elizabeth - Thanks. I wish I were a faster writer. Happy New Year back :)

Linda - I'm so stubborn. I always think I can do anything and that there's a way, if only I can figure it out. I hate to give up. But after it hits me over the head a few times, I'm like 'OK, I get it.' Thanks for the show of support. I'm sending out major editor vibes :)

Bish - I have high hopes! I don't make resolutions - they're like a dare I can't wait to break. But I'm goal oriented, so they work pretty well for me.
I'm glad you left the comments working. That #10 is the most important one on your list! Happy New Year!
Welcome back.
My unread towers are growing. Fast.
So many books, so little time. And I am really looking forward to HAVING to add another one from you.
dolorah said…
That's a lot of goals. I have lists like that, but I frequently loose them and have to start all over again.

Hope you find your forever editor. That is something on my wish list also.
Mark Noce said…
I use to-do lists too, but I wouldn't dare go back and grade myself. Too discouraging that way;)
Jemi Fraser said…
Great goals! I hope you find the time for them all (it's SO HARD!!!!!)
Balance is a big one for me. My life is crazy chaos at the moment and while I want to push forward with some things I know I'm not able at this point. Some day!!
Enjoy your writing time!
Carol Kilgore said…
Southpaw - #10 requires a lot of work.

EC - I'm looking forward to making your tower grow!

Dolorah - Good luck to you on finding your Forever Editor, too.

Mark - I always go back at the end of the year to check how I did. I don't usually grade myself, though. Some years I'd get a big fat red F.

Jemi - I'm trying to learn to go with the flow and not beat myself up. Not easy.
I do like to.............hmmmmmm I forget what I was going to say, damn I hate it when that happens...........

Helena said…
I know just what you mean about cutting back on blogging 'cause I still have restarted mine and don't know if I will. Meanwhile, I'm busy working on your #6--I must get two manuscripts into print this spring, and oh, that means so much work and so many details.

I hope your writing goes splendidly and you meet all your goals, Carol my dear. And enjoy your one day a week off!
I love goal #10 - have a real life. That's the one I struggle with. I write in the living/family room, and my writing doesn't get put away even when I'm supposed to be watching a film/TV with them... apart from Doctor Who and Sherlock, of course :-)

Good luck over the next couple of months!
Jan Morrison said…
I think you have the exact right approach. I don't think of it as selfish to devote your attention to your work at this point (or any other). I had a friend who said she was an 'art nun' and I thought that was a wonderful way to describe a life where your first priority is your art. And I am such a random blogger and visitor that I'd be some mean to think I deserved better attention than I give! So good Pluck with all your goals. Keep on writing.
Carol Kilgore said…
Jo-Anne - LOL! I do that ALL the time :)

Helena - Thank you! Work hard, and let me know when your books are available. I'm looking forward to reading them.

Annalisa - I've struggled with this for a while. I'm a horrible boss, but I'm trying to be better!

Jan - Art Nun is the perfect term! I wish I'd though of it for a Writer Nun. Thanks for understanding.
Robin said…
I was just telling my mom that I absolutely MUST get back to polishing/revising the rewrites I did on my last pass (which were fairly extensive). So, take the time you need to focus on your writing (and your life)!
Anonymous said…
Two out of three is wonderful. Good luck on your goals. I hope you find your Forever Editor. I pretty much found my Forever Beta Readers, and I love getting feedback from the same people with an amazing eye for fiction.
Good luck reaching your goals and I hope you find your dream editor. I'll bet my reading list is worse than yours. Happy New Year, Carol!

Julie Flanders said…
Good luck getting Book 3 done, Carol, and of course best of luck with the rest of your goals as well. I think lots of people are re-thinking their blog plans/participation and working on making things more manageable.
Take care!
VR Barkowski said…
I'm afraid to check my 2015 goals to see where I failed. Looking back inevitably leads to regret. That's why my only goal for 2016 is to do my best. If I always give my all, there will be no guilt in 2017.

Best of luck in the New Year, Carol!

VR Barkowski

Lexa Cain said…
You got 2 books of a trilogy drafted?! WOW! I'd be thrilled with that and the heck with anything I didn't do while in the throes of creating those. If you did that, you can do anything in 2016! Go you!
Carol Kilgore said…
Robin - If they've been sitting, now's a great time to dive back in. Just don't forget your life in the process :)

Medeia - Thanks, all the way around.

Julie - Good to know I'm not the only one!

Julie F - Thank you. Same to you. I need more focus and less chaos.

VR - My problem is too many things I want to do.

Lexa - That would be nice :) Go you, too!
Michael Di Gesu said…
HI, Carol,

Happy New Year!

Good luck on your goals... Hope you meet all your expectations and all your writing endeavors!

If you have FREE sec... Please drop by my blog. I posted pics of the LOFT and would love for you to see them... No worries if you can't. I truly understand...

ALL the best!

Really enjoyed our Facebook chat the other day!
Murees Dupé said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Murees Dupé said…
Happy 2016! You are definitely starting off great. Good-luck with the writing. You are welcome to check out my editor if you like, Janie Goltz. I think she is amazing.
Happy 2016! You look you're off to a great start!
I think I need to add that goal: have a real life and take one day a week off. Hmm.

Best wishes on all goals, writing, and a full life in 2016!
Carol Kilgore said…
Michael - Looking forward to taking a peek at your new digs!

Murees - Thanks for sharing your editor's name. Much appreciated.

Tyrean - Thank you. All good wishes gratefully accepted :)
Rula Sinara said…
Best of luck accomplishing all your goals this year and then some, Carol! It seems each year gets busier and busier. I've had so much going on at the home front, it has been tough finding online/blog time, but I miss 'seeing' everyone. BTW, you can check out Blue Otter Editing (owned by Amy Knupp). Good luck with everything!
Carol Kilgore said…
Rula - I feel the same about missing the contact with everyone. Thanks for the editor suggestions. I'll add her to my list.
Loni Townsend said…
Best of luck with your running start, Carol! Great goals. :)
Christine Rains said…
Fantastic goals! You can do it. Good luck with your edits and drafting. I'm planning to start publishing a new series later this year, my biggest project year. I had a bit of blah start to January with getting sick, but I'm starting to get back into the groove. Take care and have a wonderful weekend. :)
Carol Kilgore said…
Loni - Thanks! Have a great January yourself :)

Christine - Glad you're all better now. Here's to a productive year for us all!
Happy New Year, Carol!
Sounds like you have a lot going on!
Good luck with book 3...and finding your Forever Editor.
Carol Kilgore said…
Michelle - I gladly accept your good luck wishes :) I need them! Happy New Year to you, too.
Madeleine Sara said…
Good luck on Book #3 Carol.
Carol Kilgore said…
Madeleine - Thank you! I'm hoping it writes itself quickly since it's the ending of the story.