Welcome to 2020!

It’s a brand new year! What will you do in 2020? What will you change? What will you accomplish?

I’m not much for New Year’s resolutions but I’ll take any opportunity to review and revise. The start of a new year is a good time to do that. First, let’s take a look at things I learned in 2019.

Bad Case of Loving You, book #6 in the Flatiron Five series of contemporary romances by Deborah CookeAccomplished in 2019
• I published four new books last year: Bad Case of Loving You, Under the Mistletoe, Maeve’s Book of Beasts and Dragon’s Kiss.

• I also published revisions of three titles: One Knight’s Return, Unicorn Bride and Pearl Beyond Price.

• I published four new Dragonfire boxed sets: Dragonfire Quest, Dragonfire Elixir, Dragonfire Reunion and Dragonfire Triumph.

Under the Mistletoe, a contemporary Christmas romance and #4 in the Secret Heart Ink series by Deborah Cooke• I started to initiate translations of my historical romances and published my first two Italian translations. (You can find Claire’s translations here.)

• I attended two conferences, a reader conference (Romancing the Capital) and a writers’ conference (Romance Mastermind). I taught a workshop at RTC.

Lessons from 2019:
Unicorn Bride, a medieval romance by Claire Delacroix, 2019 new edition• A year ago, I was wondering where my days were going. It seemed that I didn’t have much time to write, even though I planned to do so every morning and spent all day at my desk. So, I started a spreadsheet, documenting exactly what I did every day and how long it took. The answer became clear very quickly: I knew that being my own publisher took time, but those publishing jobs were taking a lot more time than I’d realized. Part of this was because I’ve republished a lot of older books in the last couple of years. I’ve been streamlining my publishing processes, experimenting with timing – either a publishing day per week or a few publishing afternoons in a row seems to work well.

Dragonfire Quest, volume one of the Complete Dragonfire Novels digital bundles including Kiss of Fire, Kiss of Fury and Kiss of Fate from the Dragonfire novels series of paranormal romances by Deborah Cooke• I experimented again with KDP Select and was underwhelmed again by results. Switching between wide distribution and exclusive-to-Amazon distribution is a lot of work, so I’m sticking with wide distribution for the foreseeable future. I may write some projects specifically for KDP Select, but we’ll see.

• Recognizing that my focus had shifted from writing to publishing, I started a creativity journal last winter. I bought a planner and a lot of stickers, then tracked and celebrated how much I wrote each day. Having it open on my desk helped me to write first, then turn to the other jobs after the writing was done. I really like the stickers, which is silly but it’s effective. I wrote 700K words last year, which is really a lot for me. I’ve already set up my new journal for 2020. (And it has stickers in it already!)

One Knight's Return, book #2 of the Sayerne series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix• Those are pretty big take-aways from 2019, but there was another big one. A year ago, I thought I could republish some older Claire Delacroix titles easily. I knew I had a full schedule with launching DragonFate, plus finishing up Flatiron Five and Secret Heart Ink, and didn’t want Claire’s readers to be neglected. I chose three books that had been published by Harlequin, blocked in a week to proofread the scanned book files, and scheduled them for publication. That plan had worked well for the Bride Quest and Dragonfire. It didn’t work for these books. They needed revisions to the point that it would have been easier to just write new books. Those revisions added a ton of stress to my year, because I miscalculated and hadn’t left enough time for them. There isn’t a lot of upside to doing these revisions either – while it’s nice to have the books available again, they aren’t the stories I’d write now and they don’t have a huge following. My time really would be better spent writing new books. At this point, four of Claire’s eleven Harlequin Historicals have been revised and republished in new editions, and there won’t be more in the foreseeable future.

Pearl Beyond Price, book two of the Unicorn Trilogy of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix• Another milestone from 2019 was initiating translations of my books. My Italian translator and I are making good progress on the Jewels of KinfairlieThe Beauty Bride is available and The Rose Red Bride is publishing, while she is translating The Snow White Bride. I’m waiting on the Portuguese (Brazil) translation of The Beauty Bride and will have the German translation this winter. It’s been a very interesting process, with lots to learn, and many new connections to make.

The Year Ahead
Dragon's Kiss, book two of the DragonFate novels, a series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeFor the past year or so, I’ve been aware that I’m coming to the end of existing series for each of my author brands. Last year, I launched DragonFate for my Cooke paranormals, and I’m really pleased with Dragon’s Kiss. I’m having fun with that series and looking forward to its continuation. I’m in a similar place with my contemporary romances – Secret Heart Ink is done and after Some Like it Hot, Flatiron Five will be done. (Maybe. I’m not sure where Nate’s story fits yet. It might be a novella at the end of the series.) And Claire needs a new series, too. So, I’ve been planning and dreaming. The hardest part is always deciding between competing ideas.

Here Be Dragons: The Dragonfire Companion by Deborah CookeRight now, these titles are scheduled for publication in 2020:
Here Be Dragons: The Dragonfire Companion – January
Flatiron Five: The First Collection – January
Some Like it Hot – February
All’s Fair in Love and War – March
Dragon’s Heart – May
Dragon’s Mate – October

That’s about 300K of new words right there.

Some Like It Hot, book #7 in the Flatiron Five series of contemporary romances by Deborah CookeI really want to get ahead of the publishing cycle this year, and get back to having books done and uploaded at least a month or two before their publication dates. I also want to publish linked books more closely together. That means the calendar is going to look empty for a bit as I write and work to get ahead of the curve. (You can see that gap in the schedule above.) The plan is that by the time you see the cover reveal and the pre-order, the book will be complete.

I’ll be filling some of those inevitable gaps with boxed sets. The new Flatiron Five bundle Flatiron Five: The First Collection comes out this month, at a special price. Claire has a new boxed set, All’s Fair in Love and War, coming in March and there will be other trope-based bundles. I’m hoping to write and publish some shorter works, too, to keep you reading while I write away.

Dragon's Heart, book three of the DragonFate Novels, a series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeI’m also revising my schedule to keep my focus squarely on writing. I’m not teaching anymore or making treks to writing group meetings. I attended two conferences last year and while they were great, this year, I’m staying home to write.

This year, it’s all about the words—and the self-care. A year and a half ago, I started walking 4 km every day and that’s become a habit. I really miss it if I skip a day. I’ve added yoga at least three times a week, too. I’m still not very good at it, but it does make me feel better. 🙂 I’ve cut back on social media commitments, too.

Of course, there’s still knitting and crafting. I’ll show you a new sweater tomorrow on Fiber Friday.

I hope you have exciting plans for 2020. Let’s make it a great year!

Plans for 2019

A new year is always an excellent opportunity to review. I took some time off in December because I felt due for a break. During that time, I thought about what was working for me—in terms of writing, publishing, and life in general—and what wasn’t working so well. From that, I made a plan for the new year. Some things are new and some are changing.

Bad Case of Loving You, book #6 in the Flatiron Five series of contemporary romances by Deborah Cooke• My main goal for 2019 is to add time into my publication schedule. This will reduce my stress. 🙂 Once upon a time, when I was traditionally published, my books had to be delivered to the publisher one year in advance of publication. The editorial process consumed the next eight months or so, then the book was formatted, packaged and ready to go by 90 days before publication. Paper editions were printed and shipped, and digital editions were uploaded to the portals. Although I’ll never have that prolonged of an editorial process again, my goal is to have each book uploaded 90 days before publication. It will probably take me most of this year to catch up and achieve that. This will be pretty much invisible to you, but it’s a huge change for me.

Right now, my only pre-order is for Bad Case of Loving You, which is coming out in March. Job #1 is to get that book file ready and uploaded.

• I’ll also be closing my online store. I’ve had the store for four (maybe five) years. When I opened it, there were few options for authors to sell their work directly, but gradually other services have added functionality. I don’t need a second storefront because my websites are essentially storefronts. You’ll still be able to buy directly from me, but the new buy links will look like this one, on the Champions of St. Euphemia Boxed Set page – the prices will be in US dollars, the transaction will be managed by Paypal, and the ebooks will continue to be delivered by BookFunnel.

Simply Irresistible, a contemporary romance by Deborah Cooke and first in the Flatiron Five series.• I’ll be running fewer free and 99-cent price promotions
Scheduling and managing promotions is a job in itself, and the tail or halo (the sales that result from people buying the other linked books) from those promotions is much shorter than it used to be. I think this is because the ebook market is maturing. Those specials were great for people who had just bought their first e-reader, but have become a less reliable way of ensuring discoverability. Right now, Simply Irresistible is free so is The Beauty Bride. That may change. I have my sights set on creating more front-list instead of marketing back-list.

Here Be Dragons: The Dragonfire Companion by Deborah Cooke• I’ll be doing MORE writing (YAY!)
This market skews in favor of frequent publication. I want to focus more on writing and publishing new content in 2019. (2018 was the year of republishing Dragonfire; 2017 was the year of republishing the Bride Quest.) I’m excited about adding to my existing story worlds and creating some new ones.

• I’ll be offering exclusive discounts to newsletter subscribers
I’ve had good luck with this mechanism in the past so it’s a strategy to keep. These sales will be promoted to my newsletter subscribers instead of to the world at large. If you haven’t subscribed to one of my lists, you might want to do that. I only send newsletters when I have a sale or a new release to announce. I’d also like to make some new content available exclusively to subscribers this year, too, and you’ll find out about that in my newsletters. My newsletters are:

Dragons & Angels for my paranormal romances
Knights and Rogues for my historical romances
Heroes & Bad Boys for my contemporary romances

If you don’t like to subscribe to newsletters, you could also follow my blogs:

DeborahCooke.com/blog is mostly about my contemporary romances
DragonfireNovels.com/blog is for my Dragonfire series
DragonsofIncendium.com/blog is for that PNR series
Delacroix.net/blog is for my historical romances

Wyvern's Wizard, book 11 of the Dragons of Incendium series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeYou can also follow me at Amazon and BookBub to receive new release announcements from those portals. Be aware that Amazon doesn’t always send new release announcements on (or even that close to) the publication date. Sometimes they don’t send them at all. Also, BookBub now offers a new release announcement that authors have to pay for, so I’m not sure if their free version will be retired.

follow Deborah Cooke at Amazon
follow Claire Delacroix at Amazon
follow Deborah Cooke at BookBub
follow Claire Delacroix at BookBub

• I’ll be creating more free guided tours
These are newsletter automations that take subscribers through the works set in one of my fictional realms. Each week, subscribers get a newsletter featuring the next book set in that world, along with a peek behind the scenes and some notes about my research. There are special offers in these tours, too. I like these tours as they’re fun ways to integrate my research and Pinterest boards, then share that with you.

Right now, there’s a virtual tour available for Ravensmuir and Kinfairlie medieval romances. I’ll be adding new ones in 2019 for the Champions of St. Euphemia, the Sayerne medieval romances Rogues & Angels and the Dragonfire Novels. You can sign up for any (or all! LOL) of these now: the Ravensmuir one will start right away and the others will launch when I have them compiled. Your email will just be saved until then.

Phew! That’s my plan for 2019!

Under the Mistletoe, a contemporary Christmas romance and #4 in the Secret Heart Ink series by Deborah CookeWhere do we stand right now?
I didn’t stop working completely in December, but I certainly wrote less. This means that Chynna’s story, Under the Mistletoe, wasn’t written and published in December. On the other hand, I felt more like revising than writing, so I’ve been updating One Knight’s Return to prepare it for publication. It’ll be out in April and there will be pre-order links soon.

Right now, I’m working on the Dragonfire companion, Here Be Dragons, which will be published as soon as it’s done, and Theo’s book, Bad Case of Loving You, which will be published in March. I expect to fit Chynna’s book in there, too. (The timeline entangles with Theo’s book, so that isn’t as crazy a plan as it might seem.)

One Knight's Return, book #2 of the Sayerne series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixAfter that, well, I have a bunch of ideas. 🙂 I’ll be at a bit of a crossroads as many series will be finished up. The Dragons of Incendium series is enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, and the rest of the series will be published there, too. Wyvern’s Wizard is next in that series, which is Peri and Nero’s book. I expect the next few books in that series to entangle a bit as the sisters set out on their quests. DragonFate is high on my list, but again, I want it all written before I launch the first book. There will be more Coxwell books – I think Annette is next – and more medievals – I’d like to publish the third Rogues & Angels book this year as well as The Stolen Bride, the third Brides of Inverfyre book.

I’m excited to dive into 2019. Do you have plans for 2019?

Happy 2017!

Happy New Year to you! I hope you had a wonderful holiday break and are entering the new year with lots of good energy. We’ve had some sunshine here, which is just about the best option in a snowy January.

Wyvern's Warrior, #3 in the Dragons of Incendium series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeDo you make resolutions for the new year? I was interviewed about this a few weeks ago, and have to admit that I do. I always have writing plans—for example, this year, I’ll publish Wyvern’s Warrior and the next Incendium short story, I’ll finish up and publish The Crusader’s Vow, and I’ll write Addicted to Love and publish it, too. I’ll also finish editing the Rose Legacy and publish those stories in new editions this year. I’m excited to be working on so many new series this year and exploring new worlds.

The schedule gets a bit squishy after the middle of the year, not because I don’t have ideas of what to do next, but because I like to leave a little space for surprises and synchronicity. Last year, the Haunting of Castle Keyvnor was one of those projects that slipped onto my schedule in the spring. I like to remain open to opportunities like that. Oh, I’ll need to publish Something Wicked This Way Comes in its own edition in April, too.

The Crusader's Vow by Claire Delacroix, book #4 in the Champions of Saint Euphemia series of medieval romances.I’m always striving to be better organized. In December, I actually sorted out my knitting yarn stash and (sit down for this) am passing some of it along to other knitters and their needles. Since I’ve started to sew again, I’ve realized what a chaotic mess my sewing supplies are in. I sorted out the material last fall, but will have to get into the notions this winter, too. I have an idea that I’ll finish more projects than I start, and maybe finish up a lot of the ones in progress, but am not too hard core about that. Part of what happens with wool and fabric for me is just creative play. I don’t want to put too many rules on that adventure and risk spoiling the fun. I’m going to look for workshops this winter and maybe learn some new fibre tricks. 🙂

Addicted to Love, a contemporary romance by Deborah CookeMy big challenge for 2017 is to better manage my time. I have this perennial fantasy of becoming more efficient, and oddly enough, there’s always room for improvement. My big time sink is social media—it’s so easy to hop onto Facebook to make one post and get lost for an hour or two. I need to stay on top of that, and that will likely mean that you see less of me there. I want to get more exercise, so have been pretty strict about taking my daily walk with the New Girl. We walk about 4 km together each day, regardless of the weather, and she walks fast. I’d like to start swimming again—I stopped when we moved out of the city because there wasn’t a pool I liked nearby. I’ve found one I really like (saline, not chlorine!!) but it’s about a 30-minute drive away. For some reason, lap swimming is always scheduled at meal times, so I need to figure out how to make that work. I might end up going to yoga instead. This year, I did do a better job of getting out to the garden on a regular basis in the summertime—the weeds still won, but it wasn’t a landslide victory last year. This year, they’d better look out!

How about you? Did you make resolutions for 2017? What were they?

Happy New Year!

The Crusader's Bride, a medieval romance by Claire DelacroixWelcome to 2016!

The first order of business this morning is to thank all of you for starting off my year so well. Gaston and Ysmaine’s book is sitting in a lovely position this morning, thanks to all of you who picked up a copy during this week’s sale.

At Amazon.com, The Crusader’s Bride is #1 in Medieval Romance, #8 in Suspense and #227 overall in the Kindle store:Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 6.28.01 AMAt Amazon.ca, The Crusader’s Bride is #1 in Medieval Romance. #8 or #9 in Historical Fiction and #51 overall in the Kindle store:Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 6.29.19 AMAt Barnes and Noble, The Crusader’s Bride is #18 in the Nook store.Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 6.31.23 AMAt Kobo, The Crusader’s Bride is #3 in Historical Romance, #13 in Historical Fiction and #7 in Romantic Suspense.Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 6.33.46 AMAt iBooks, The Crusader’s Bride is #2 overall paid in the iBooks store.Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 6.35.35 AMThank you, all! This is a wonderful way to start the year and I hope you enjoy Gaston and Ysmaine’s story. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, the sale goes through January 4, then it’s back to the regular price.

And now, the rest of my post for the new year! At the end of each year, I tend to sum things up, take stock of what worked and what didn’t, then make plans for going forward. After the summary, I do some culling and sorting. I ditch what isn’t working and make lists of what I want to change about how I’m doing things. In this publishing environment, that means assessing what’s working (and not) on a personal level, as well as what’s changing in the marketplace. (We do live in interesting times.)

One goal coming out of that for 2016 is that I want to take better physical care of myself. Over the past couple of years, I’ve spent too much time at my desk. The New Girl and I have been taking a long walk each day this fall, and I now have Chelle managing my newsletter for me. Angie continues to manage some of the other promotion – especially for audio. I also some other schemes to mix up my daily schedule a bit. Less computer time also means less internet time, because I want to focus on writing.

I also want to knit down some of my yarn stash and finish those lingering projects – that means more knitting time, which is great thinking and plotting time. All of these come together to increase my focus on writing new stories. The next cover reveal comes up in February and it’ll be in my newsletter first. It’s for Simply Irresistible, which is the launch title in my upcoming contemporary romance series called Flatiron Five. I’ve wanted to write another contemporary romance series since finishing The Coxwells, and this group of five friends have really snared my imagination. I’m also collaborating with another author, connecting her linked series to my linked series, and will tell you more about that in February, too.

I’ll announce the other new series launch in May, first at Romancing the Capital, in my newsletter, and then here on the blog. Things are going to change on the website this year, too, with some series having their own subsidiary sites. It’s just a question of how best to manage so many titles in so many sub-genres.

The good news is that my sharper focus will more stories and more books. I’ve redone my calendar for my bulletin board and it’s crowded! I have some fun projects lined up for 2016 as a result of doing this review last year, and have added a few more surprises in the last month or so. I feel that I’m back in my writing groove again, and am having a fabulous time planning out new series. The Champions of Saint Euphemia was my first new series in a long while, but there will be several more new series launching this year. Woo HOO! It’s going to be a great year for writing for me, and I’m looking forward to it.

What resolutions or plans do you have for 2016?

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the first day of 2015! Happy new year to you and yours!

I hope it’s a wonderful bright morning filled with possibility, wherever you are.

Do you make resolutions for the new year? I’ve made a few this year (as I usually do) and have already accomplished several of them. (I cheated and started before the old year was done.)

First off, I’ve hired a new virtual assistant. You won’t catch many glimpses of Angie, but she’ll be busily making things happen so I can write more, and focus on my writing more. She’s taken on some of my lists of what I *should* have been doing but didn’t have time to get to, which will eliminate some stress for me, too. (I always worry about the things on my To Do list that don’t happen.) Our relationship will certainly evolve, but it’s off to a good start. Welcome, Angie!

Secondly, I’ve added some social media connections, partly because of Angie. It’s also feasible because of all the automated integrations that are now available for applications like WordPress and Mailchimp. You can now find me on Google+, on Twitter, and (in case you missed it) on Tsu.

Of these, only Tsu is new (you say it “soo”, so that phrase rhymes) and I like it quite well. The particular corner of Tsu I’ve found is very bookish, with lots of bloggers and authors and readers. I like to log in and just watch the book covers go by. That reminds me of browsing in a bricks-and-mortal bookstore, because I never know what I’ll see or what will catch my eye. Tsu is set up to share money with members, but I don’t think you have to worry about it skewing your income tax return: after a month or so, my balance is 35 cents. You have to follow someone into Tsu, so feel free to follow me in on this link.

All of this ties into my third resolution, which is to write more. I’m doing well with that this week, too, so I’m off to a good start. Tomorrow, I’ll talk about some changes I have planned for the new year in terms of promotion, and on Monday, we’ll talk about BOOKS in the works.

How about you? Any resolutions this year that you want to share?


Do you make resolutions at the beginning of each year? Do you stick to them?

I tend to do a review in December of the year that has just passed, making mental lists of what worked and what didn’t work. From that, I try to work out ways to improve my life or my work habits or whatever. It’s looser than resolutions, and there tends to be a lot of squish in my new rules – it’s more like identifying good tendencies – so this works for me.

For example, the past year has been characterized by a high level of stress for me. A lot of this has come from things beyond my control (family illness, for example, or stress in Mr. Math’s work life) but some of it is under my control. My own work-life balance is out of whack. I’ve worked pretty much every day this past year and have still felt that I’m always running behind. I dislike being late, so this has added to my stress level.

The thing is that if I’d been writing every day of the year, I’d be so happy and unstressed that I wouldn’t even notice. It’s the other stuff that’s been making demands on my time – in fact, my stress level can be directly attributed to my having less writing time. I’m a writer, so writing restores my balance. (Kind of like knitting but more so.)

So, my goals for 2012 are intended to restore my happy balance.

• Write more.
This is first and foremost. It’s what keeps my life in order and balance. I tell writers all the time that they need to protect their writing time – a lot of mine has been poached in 2011. I’m going to take it back. 🙂

• Promote less.
One of the big time sinks for me this past year was blog tours. I did two blog tours in 2011 and while they were fun, they astonished me with their time consumption. (Think of a little PacMan gobbling, gobbling, gobbling.) Worse, I’m not sure they made much difference to sales or visibility in the end. This blog will continue, my websites will continue to be updated, and I’ll pop in to Facebook with news. I’ll still have guests visit my blog and swap with them, but the blog tours are over. Just typing that makes me feel serene.

• Cull commitments and reconsider relationships.
This is more of the same, in a way, and is one of my annual rituals. It’s inevitable over time that we get drawn into more than we can handle. We also can get into relationships that don’t give as much to us as they take. Sometimes balances can be re-adjusted; sometimes the relationship is simply unhealthy.

One example of this for me is writing groups. I belong to a lot of listserves and writers’ groups. Some of these are really useful and energizing, while others are draining. Most cost an annual membership fee so there’s a drain on the chequing account, too, and many have an expectation that each member will volunteer or contribute time to the good of the organization. This is all good, but there is a question of balance to be maintained. Which ones sustain me? Which ones drain me? As membership dues come up, I’ll make some choices and cull the herd.

• Play more.
Writing time can also be compromised by a lack of downtime and I’ve felt this keenly in the past year. It’s Julia Cameron’s metaphor that artist dates “fill the well” of ideas for writers and that play is key to creativity. My well is getting a bit low. So, I’ve given myself some new marching orders about spending time online, and I’m determined to dig into my TBR pile to do some reading for pleasure. As always, I’ll be knitting, but I’m going to try (as I do every year) to finish more projects than I start. Playing with string is one of the ways I fill my well, though, which is why I cut myself slack in this department. I’m also going to make an effort to get out of my office and do other non-work-related things. One of the most exciting things we accomplished this year was finally getting the dining room painted. It looks so good and was such a satisfying project that I’m eyeballing the house, choosing the next victim/room. I love painting walls and trim – I think it’s the application of colour and the way the light in the room changes that excites me – so I will do more of that, too.

• Practice better self-care.
This is an ongoing resolution, because there’s always room for improvement in terms of nutrition and exercise. I just remind myself every year to keep at it. 🙂

So, that’s my big plan for 2012. I’m quite excited about all the writing projects I have lined up on my work chart for the year (because that’s another thing I update each December) and really looking forward to the year ahead.

How about you? Do you have any big plans for 2012?

Happy 2011 – and the Ta DA! List

Happy 2011, everyone, and welcome back to Alive & Knitting. It’s going to be a busy year – many dragons on their way to you – so we should have lots to talk about.

One of the things many of us tend to do at this time of year is create a list of resolutions for the months ahead. Maybe you’ve done yours already. I’ll talk about some of mine tomorrow, but first, here’s something to think about.

Last fall, I did another Artist’s Way program by Julia Cameron, called Walking in the World. One of the exercises in this book that I really liked was the Ta DA! list. You make a list of what you have done, or have accomplished, no matter how small. The idea is that many of us tend to focus on what is not done – the outstanding items on the To DO list – instead of what we’ve accomplished. If you’re like me, and there are always far too many things demanding your attention, the Ta DA! list might be a good exercise for you to try. Mine always ends up much longer than I expect it to be and that tends to energize me to do more. To Do lists and Ta DA! lists seem to complement each other very well.

I suspect that the Ta DA! list might be a particularly good thing to do before making resolutions. So, I’ve taken a moment to make a list of everything I accomplished in the past year. I think this strategy will make me feel more positive than making resolutions usually does – as if I’m building on strengths instead of correcting weaknesses.

Here’s a sample.

My knitting Ta DA! list for 2010 looks like this:
• knit 10 shawls
• gave 4 shawls away
• knit 1 pullover
• knit 2 purses
• knit 2 hats
• knit 7 pairs of socks
• knit 1 cardigan
• knit 5 pairs of mittens or fingerless gloves
• knit 4 tea cozies
• knit and felt 1 messenger bag
• knit 1 starfish, 1 star and 1 beet (but no partridges in pear trees!)
• published four patterns on Ravelry

When I look at that, I can have an idea of how much I can expect to accomplish knitting-wise in the year ahead. Maybe I want to publish more patterns. Maybe I want to knit more sweaters. Maybe I want to manage my stash (ahem), by having a clearer idea of what I actually use. This list, in fact, makes it clear that I shouldn’t buy any yarn for about five years! I may have knit 7 pairs of socks over the year, but I have stash for at least 35 pair – not counting the stripey ones I could make with leftovers bits. So, I’m good on stash until at least 2015. I could go on, but you get the idea.

I’ve done the same thing for my writing. I wrote three books and a novella last year, signed three new contracts (for 2 new Dragonfire books and 3 YA books and one digital novella), went to RWA National, taught at NJRWA etc. etc. Looking at what I have done can help me have a better idea of the possibilities.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Tomorrow we’ll talk a bit about resolutions…