happy_new_year_2014jpgAs the clock ticks down on the end of another year, I’m once again looking back over the past months and dreaming about the future. In 2013, I wanted to focus on family relationships, a healthy lifestyle, debt reduction and a balanced budget, and a bunch of writing goals. Overall, I’ve made good progress on balancing family, health, home, and our finances. Whew! Not to mention I feel like I have strategies in place to keep these parts of my life going strong.

And when it came to writing, my goals were “Blogging (here and with the Storytellers ministry). Put 2 finished novels back into query circulation and write a new novel. Publish another blog collection. Further develop my writing craft. Research and explore future book ideas.” Check. Check. Check. Check. And check. (Can you see me doing a Snoopy dance of celebration even though ALL of those novel queries were rejected?)

Looking ahead to the new year, I’m determined to build on the momentum and push my writing dream to the forefront. After receiving a novel rejection on the anniversary of the death of my biggest writing fan, I wanted to quit. But something deep inside won’t let me and my prayer has become asking God to help me honor Him and my Grandma through my writing. I’m giving it one more year to pursue traditional publishing before I consider self-publishing my fiction.

What does that pursuit look like? What are my writing goals for 2014 as I balance writing and marketing?

1. Blog once a week at www.CandeeFick.com instead of three times. (If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to receive new posts by email by entering your address at the top of the sidebar.)

2. Regular posts, tweets, updates, and pins on my Facebook Author Page, Twitter, and Pinterest. (If you haven’t already, like my page or follow me using the links in the sidebar.)

3. Consistent word counts daily/weekly on something. In 2014, I hope to enter two manuscripts in the Genesis contest, write two new novels, self-publish a compilation of the Creation Declares series from this year, and continue to query agents and/or editors.

4. Design and develop a newsletter … and then set up and advertise a way for people to sign up to receive updates about my publishing journey.

5. Continue to learn and grow as a writer by reading, reading some more, attending writers’ groups, and possibly going to another conference if the budget permits.

6. Keep the creative well full through recreational reading, consistent exercise, rest, and spending time with family and the relationships that matter most. (This continues my personal mission statement of Faith, Family, and Fiction by keeping a balance.)

Ambitious? Yes. Possible? Absolutely. (And if I come up short, I’m still further along than I would have been without a publicly stated goal!)

What about you? What are your goals for 2014? What dream are you pursuing?

Looking Ahead to a New Year
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