Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Life in the Rear View Mirror

Imagine your life as a car. You are the driver. The car is your life. The road is your destiny which will fork and split depending on your decisions. Sometimes destiny is well marked as a good map. Other times, you may take a few wrong turns but will eventually find your way once more.

Regardless of the route you take, the one constant is the past, staring back at you in the rearview mirror. Why is this significant? Because only by keeping an eye on the past can you move forward with any kind of certainty.

This past weekend, I sat down and wrote out my goals for the 2010 writing year. Am I dreaming big? Probably. Am I shooting for possibly unrealistic goals? Most likely. But where would anyone of any kind of success be if they merely dreamed in mediocrity? I’m planning 4 full length (75K or over) books for 2010. At this point, only one novella is planned. Which is not to say I won’t write more or meet those goals but I’ll try.

That’s part of the challenge and all of the fun.

2009 was my debut year as a published author. To say it was crazy is a vast understatement of how it felt to live through the chaos. Yes, book releases for 2010 are stacked up like taxing planes in Charlotte’s airport but that is because I had a mess of “banked” work. I now need to refill the bank and wait for a lull in my release schedule—in 2011.

Why was 2009 important? Name recognition. As a new author, one of the toughest jobs you have is convincing folks to buy your books over someone who’s been tried and true in the industry. Have I accomplished this? To a certain degree but not nearly as much as I would have liked. With each new day, I make a tiny bit more headway in the crowded waters.

But 2009 taught me a hard lesson. Slowing down in 2010 is a must. Yes, those in my inner circle know I just cranked out a short story in one day. It was a one off sort of thing because my muse nearly strangled me. She was a bit miffed to be on hiatus for awhile. Not she’s been appeased and has flown off for the islands. I hope her bitchy self gets a sunburn.

My point in this ramble? Set a list of goals for yourself. You may meet all of them. You may meet none of them but at least you’ll have a road map to guide you through the pitfalls that will come your way on life’s highway.

As Kasey Kasem once said “Keep your feet on the ground but keep reaching for the stars.”

Power on and here’s to a successful and happy 2010.


Anonymous said...

You have inspired me to write out my goals for the coming year. Especially loved the use of the life as a car. The visual image this produced for me was really vivid.

Rebecca Royce said...

2010 is going to be a great year for you Sandi.

Sandra Sookoo said...

Barb: glad I could inspire you!

Rebecca: Thanks! We'll see what happens. :-)

J Hali said...

lol, YOUR muse relaxing! Bet she's got her laptop on the beach, she has read this, and you're in trouble...wonder what she's cooking (pun intended) up for you down there?

Annie Nicholas said...

I love your anology. I always say you learn from past so you can make the right decision in the future.
Here's to 2010!

Sandy said...


I agree that goals are important even if you don't reach them. You would do much worse without them.

Great inspiring post.

Diane Craver said...

Wow - I never would have guessed that you are a new author - you have so many published books and I see your name everywhere on the internet! You were busy in 2009.

Love your quote at the end of your post, too!

Happy 2010 to you - hope it's filled with blessings and happiness!

Sandra Sookoo said...

Thanks everyone! :-) So glad you enjoyed the post!

Ilona Fridl said...

Sandra, I hear you. I had my debut book out this year as well and the next one in final edits. It's been an amazing ride! I simply got my life in order. Best of luck to you!

Emma Lai said...

Good luck with your goals, Sandra!

StephB said...

Sandi, great post. It was very inspirational. From the excerpts I've read of your writing, you are definately on my reading list. hehe.

I always set goals for my writing, (usually with through their contests) but the first couple of years I found my goals were too lofty for me. I had to think realistically. 2009 was a good year for me. I had a couple of books contracted. I hope 2010 will continue the trend.

Good luck to you and goals!

Rebecca Rose said...

My debut novel came out in 2009, also. That was my goal for this year and next year will be for two more. While many people laugh at me because I believe so religiously in New Years Revolution, it's what sparks my muse into competitive overdrive!LOL She's probably on the beach bitching with your muse right now. I guess they really did need a vacation. :)

Debra St. John said...

Goals are so important. Thanks for sharing this reminder!

Happy New Year!

Hailey Edwards said...

You have had an impressive first year. I have often thought the "banked" writing method was an interesting idea. I just haven't been writing long enough to have an account. lol

Let me see... I have two goals for this year.

One, to have my new dark fantasy written, polished, and contracted.

My second goal is to have the first book in my paranormal series contracted to Samhain. If I got the para series a toehold, I could never write again and think my life was complete. lol

Judy said...

I agree with you on setting your goals, I might not complete all that I set , I do try to do as many that is possible at that certain time period. I am sure 2010will be another great year!!

P.L. Parker said...

I set goals for myself, never seem to materialize right on time, tho, but I keep trying. Good post.

Sandra Sookoo said...

Thanks for coming out, everyone. :-) I like the concept of Goals because that's the type of person I am. I outline chapters and my books. I plot. I make a plan LOL It gives me something tangible to look at so that I don't wander around and waste too much time.

I hope everyone's 2010 is a successful endeavor. :-)

Mary Ricksen said...

Even if it's just one goal. Release the second in a series!
Good luck and many sales Sandy!

Z(Aasiyah/Nolwynn) said...

Hey Sandi

I like the idea of the plan and the rearview mirror. It's how I move forward too, and I really need the map otherwise I'd get lost in the swirling mist.

Here's to 2010!


Jana Richards said...

Hi Sandy,
I liked that you aimed big. I tried to do that with my goals this year as well. There's no point in aiming so low that you don't give yourself any kind of challenge. Shoot for the stars, Sandy!

And congratulations on having such a wonderful 2009.


Sandra Sookoo said...

Thanks so much for everyone who came by and commented! :-) I hope 2010 is kind to everyone :-)