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As 2019 wraps to a close with 2020 around the corner, I’ve started reflecting on the past year…and decade. There’s a lot to celebrate as I’ve been reaching milestones and setting new goals.

It’s been quite the journey down that twisting, turning, don’t-know-where-this-will-lead road of writing for publication. After all, the real dream began in 2004 with the first manuscript finished in 2005. first non-fiction contract in 2006, first published book in 2007, and eventually starting this blog in the middle of 2009. All because I wanted to offer others Encouragement for the Journey.

Since then I’ve attended conferences, entered (and won) contests, seen six non-fiction titles into print, achieved my dream of a traditional publishing contract with my fiction followed by eight (yes, eight) novels or novellas published. Along the way, I’ve learned enough about the craft and business to not only coach other authors but step into a role as a fiction editor myself.

I wouldn’t change a thing. Because I’m living my dream! I get to read and write and fall in love with stories every day…and get paid for it.

So, as the calendar gets ready to change, I’m celebrating the victories. Pinching myself to know I have 14 books available for readers to find. (You can find them all here on Amazon or click the Books tab in the menu.)

And…setting new goals. Because this is just the beginning!

Having written “The End” on the 5-book Wardrobe series, I’m turning my full attention to the Within the Castle Gates series with a mixture of historical and contemporary titles planned to release next year. And there are even more ideas starting to percolate on the back burner of my brain.

Which means I’ll be spending a lot of time with my keyboard writing books. But like all things, focusing on one area means less focus somewhere else. Like this blog. And social media.

But don’t fear. I’ll still be in all the usual places in 2020, just trimming back so I can use my limited time where it will make the most impact on my growing career. Like bringing new characters to life and marketing where I get the most return on my investment of time (and money).

I’ll still blog when I have something I want to share with the entire world, but mostly I’ll be focused on my tribe of loyal readers through my email list. (So if you’re not on that list, now is the time to make sure you’re signed up so you don’t miss an update. Or any of the freebies or bonus giveaways I have up my sleeve in 2020.)

The past year…and decade…have included a lot of ups and downs personally and professionally. But I know that through every valley, desert, and uphill climb, I’ve grown stronger as a follower of Christ, a wife, a mother, a writer, and friend. So while I’m readjusting my priorities for the next stage of the journey, I won’t forget the lessons that brought me here.

That said, what do I hope for 2020 and beyond? At least four new books published in 2020 including one in a planned box-set for late Spring…with a long term goal of 25 novels out by the end of the decade (that’s “just” 17 more to go, right?). Another 100 books read each year. Our youngest child into/through/out of college debt free. Our mortgage paid off and an aggressive savings plan in place. A trimmed down, healthy body with energy to do all I want to do. And solid family relationships as my husband ventures into the land of the “retired.”

What about you? What milestones have you reached this year? This decade? What new goals are you setting for the new year? The new decade?

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