Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Finding Your Focus in 2017

by Nancy Gideon

What could be easier than being a writer, right? I mean there are only two requirements:

Easy peasy. Until you sit at the keyboard with all those ideas swarming like pesky mosquitoes after your author’s blood, sweat and tears and you have to swat them away in order to concentrate on ONE priority.

It’s a given – no idea should be wasted. That’s why our busy brain depends upon an idea file – a place to chronicle those bits and pieces that may someday have their chance to shine. Mine often take the form of a stack of Post-It notes, but at least I know where to look for them (even if it’s in the bottom of my purse!). Some thing’s I never toss: 1) Old book proposals (I’ve gone on to sell more than one of them!), 2) Research - information on settings, occupations, kung fu moves, poisons – you never know when they’ll come in handy! I keep floor plans of houses, Oscar dresses, potential hero faces, a list of really cool names, just to name a few. And links to stuff that made a creative spark, 3) Inspirational graphics like the one above. I periodically change them out as my computer background, 4) Historical and reference info, because I always have a period piece floating around in the back of my brain – Downton Abbey, Time Life books on Pirates and American Indians, music from other centuries and cultures, history timeline books - because past influences future, 5) my shelf of favorite books from different genres to get me in the mood and feel for a particular type of writing whether it’s Regency or outer space.

But the top of my list of things to keep me on track is . . . a list. Being OCD/ADD I tend to wander. Having a PLAN doesn’t always guarantee I’ll stick to it, but it keeps my goals in sight, dangling like a carrot of potential success for 2017. Not resolutions – goals. Things I can, need to and will accomplish. Here are some of mine as a writer for this New Year:
  • Launch Book 2 in my “House of Terriot” dark paranormal shape-shifter series. PRINCE OF POWER finally has a release date of February 27, 2017! I guarantee there’ll be more on that next month! Then, it’s on to book three for a late 2017 release.
  • Attend Tucson Book Fest in March. What could be more fun? Warm weather, good friends . . . BOOKS! A chance to smooze and toss that promo material out there.
  • Get my Bass Texas historical series ready to reissue. Finally got the rights back to these award-winning western historicals I wrote as Dana Ransom and just loved (and I saved the proposal and sample chapters for an additional book in my Idea file!). I’m having scans made, have cover ideas to work up, and need to put a time line in place.
  • Meet with my dynamic critique group on a regular basis. These ladies are my creative rock!!
Well, that’s a start. Then there’s always the do more Social Media demon demanding more attention to fall back on, like utilizing Watt Pad, Triberr (Yes, Diane, I will try!), without losing my soul.

So, those are my plans. How ‘bout you? What’s on your To Do list?

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Nancy Gideon on the Web


Maris said...

Nancy, I wish I were as organized as you are, it would certainly make finding information easier. Lately I've discovered the book I want to look at (for information) is 1200 miles away from where I am at the moment. Frustrating. There will be some Xs used as place holders where that info is to go...until I get back to the book.

Loralee said...

Nancy, you make being organized look so easy. But even if I can't match your awesome talent, I do make lists. Sometime they're only a word or two to jog my memory, but lately I've found I need more than a jog, so I keep a spiral notebook "bible" for current WIP and another for WOW! ideas. I'm in the middle of sorting vast amounts of printed old projects that will be moved to digital files or shredded. Also tossing paper files that are no longer relevant to my writing life. A downsizing move to new home means serious house cleaning! But I will always make handwritten notes. It's how I roll.

Diane Burton said...

I have to make lists. My memory is so bad (too much stuff up there) that I can't remember if I don't write it down. I'm amazed at your ambition. You have so many irons in the fire, I'm envious. LOL Wishing you all the best in accomplishing your objectives.

Nancy Gideon said...

Thanks, ladies. It isn't a talent, it's a necessity!

Elizabeth Alsobrooks said...

Get down here and get me organized! LOL! I am so excited that your Dana Ransom stuff is coming back out! I knew Dana Ransom long before I know you, and we all know how long ago that was... Congrats on getting your rights back and I am looking forward to a NEW Dana Ransom book! You'll have to get all cowboy inspired while you're out here.

endy smith said...

thanks for this article about paranormal activities! has an essay for ll your desires!