Monday, December 30, 2013

Goals for 2014

The New Year is upon us and everyone is busy with plans for a renewed chance.  Strange how we only consider changing ourselves or getting our act together at the end of a year.  I figure it could be at any time when we realize we need it but then again, I guess it wouldn't be as big of a celebration.

So what did I want to accomplish in 2014 that I didn't do in 2013?  Of course there are all those silly, simple ones we repeatedly chant each year: Eat healthier. Lose weight. Stop smoking. Ease up on drinking. Enjoy the family. Be more forgiving.

Okay, for the record, I actually was able to stop smoking way back in 1985... at least that is the last time I inhaled a cigarette that I held.  Sometimes when I attend a bingo hall with my wife, I inhale a lot of smoke that is not of my making.  Sure, they have non-smoking area but that's a farce.  Just like the restaurant I was in where the left side was non-smoking and the right side was smoking. The only partition was a 15" glass divider between the middle row of booths.  Really?  Like the guy sitting on the other side of the glass who was smoking, that smoke wasn't going to come to my side - less than a foot away?

Oh, and over the years, drinking has diminished, too.  Last year I can safely claim that I had about 4 beers, 2 coolers and a swig of something somebody claimed was white lightning.  I still think that it was gasoline.

So, this year I will repeat the annual mantra - eat healthier, lose weight, enjoy the family, be more forgiving.

BUT I really need to up the ante.  Goofing around on the computer, checking to see what has taken all the 300 Gigabytes of space -- well, I discovered a lot of stories.  Oh, I knew they were out there -- I wrote them! But I wasn't doing anything with them. They were sitting, lingering - no, loitering there in cyberspace. Exactly what am I talking about.  Almost twenty (20) novels resting in cyber parking spaces, awaiting me to do something.  Some were complete and needed editing.  Others were in different stages of completion. As I looked at each directory I was able to see that I had outlines which showed the completed tale.  Many of them had been written during National Novel Writing Month - a November writing exercise.  Others were started stories yet to be completed.

I happened onto a Linked-In writing group and the topic was about goals.  It was then I realized what I needed to get accomplished during 2014.  Some of these novels needed to be addressed - final edits and get them published.  One of the members suggested I research each novel, ascertain its potential, create chart and then plan an attack - starting with the ones with the least amount of work to accomplish publication.

Some of these stories were written in Word Perfect going back to version 5 which was from the olden days of DOS. Some had been written on a Unix machine and were now in a converted text version.  A few were written in Word 2.0.  Fortunately, I was able to open them all and over a couple of days, move them all to a new format of Word 10.  Of course, I couldn't delete the old, I'd held onto them too long. So, I gently moved them to a storage space on my 1 Terabyte backup drive.

Finally I began the process of analyzing each story and where it stood in completion and evaluated what it would involve to finish the process.  Then it was simply a matter of looking at the numbers and deciding which story was going to be first, second, third, etc.

It wasn't an easy process but I finished and now have a schedule and goal for 2014.  IF I can stay on plan, I will be able to release four books this year.

But, we all know the realities of those New Year's Resolutions.  Usually within the first 2 to 4 weeks, they are broken.  I figure I'm good for at least 2, maybe 3 books being released.  I took an aggressive stance in my goals.  Yes, I have 4 books I'd like to see published but I also know that my co-author is currently reviewing and editing book 2 in our series.  That was something I didn't put into the schedule.  Also, I have a book out with an agent and he is actively seeking a home for it.  Again, once the agent comes back with a sale, I'm sure there will be some edits.

Therefore, I could cheat and if those 2 books were to get published in 2014, I could count them as part of my goal.  Or, if I stick to my guns and hold true to my resolutions, I could have 6 books out this year.

Decisions.  Decisions.

So what are your goals?  2014 is waiting.  It could be a great year.  What are you waiting for? Make a plan.

Until next I ramble on...


  1. My goals are simple. Finding the time to write, finding the time to work out, finding a way to stay calm and collected with the craziness of life, and finding the time to learn social media. Ok, so maybe they're not all so simple. Happy to hear you have some great goals set up!

  2. @elysesalpeter: Actually, your goals, in and of themselves, are quite simple and easy to do - the hard part is the one item tying them together: finding the time. Good luck on your endeavors and may you find the time during 2014.