Saturday, December 30, 2006

2006 GDR Evaluation:

The first seven questions dealt with 2005, so there was no need to revisit them mid-year. Starting with question 8, we look at 2006.

Blue = original thoughts at the start of the year
Red == what happened/changes – Mid Year Review
Green – final evaluation

8. Looking ahead, what are your goals for 2006?

Edit and begin shopping both Clear the Slot and Tapestry
Clear the Slot is 2/3 of the way through the edit; Tapestry is still resting.
I’m re-evaluating Clear the Slot because I realized I can’t bring it out as the debut novel under any of the names – I need to be in a position with more control, because it is complex. I’m in the process of re-evaluating Tapestry for an interested market as well.

Get all three websites up and running and keep them well maintained
I’ve redone the copy for the DE site, and am working on the copy for the other two. I’m behind.
I continue to be behind and I need to get out of my own way, because the websites are vital to my next steps.

Complete the first draft of three novels (hopefully Fix-It Girl, Shallid, and Periwinkle. Oh, and I wanted all three volumes of Ransagh finished, too, but that’s more than 3).
The first draft of Shallid is done. I’m also 2/3 of the way through the first draft of Real, which took over everything else, and then I need to get back to The Fix-It Girl and Periwinkle.
The first draft of Shallid is done, and I need to type it. The first volume of Ransagh is done, but I still have to do the other two and revise all three as a piece. Assumption of Right’s first draft is done and awaiting revision. Also did the first draft of a play, Julia’s Legacy. The Fix-It Girl and Periwinkle were pushed back, yet again. I thought I did a first draft of another novel, but damned if I can remember what it is. I did do two large projects – Ris an Abrar and The Merry’s Dalliance, and I also started the Changeling trilogy.

Finish the unfinished serials.
Haven’t dealt with them at all.
Simply “finishing” in their current format does me no good. I need to break them down and restructure them in the best format for each of them. Each must be handled individually, with individual decisions based on what’s best for the story.

Expand the business writing.
That’s in process. I’ve landed some good, interesting gigs.
Not aggressive enough in this. In order to get more aggressive, I need to get the websites up.

Teach more workshops
I couldn’t schedule anything, due to The Situation.
The Situation, The Sequel, and working on relocation details meant I couldn’t book anything as far in advance as teaching gigs need to be planned.

Do as much television work as possible
Three series in one year; two already cancelled. But the checks cleared. One to air in January.

Apply what I’ve learned in marketing and business trends to my work
I did some of that, but not enough.
Completely burned out on marketing. The very thought of it made my mouth fill with bile. So I gave myself a break.

Be steadier in the article and short story work rather than writing them in spurts
I thought I’d been completely unproductive in that arena. However, to date, I’ve published 8 articles and 3 short stories. I have a fourth short story accepted into an anthology, and I’ve written five more as part of the SDR exercises. So, there’s progress, but still not as much as I want.
I tend to write short stories in batches; and I’m fascinated by novellas. I’ve been playing with short story cycles and novella cycles, and I’m interested in seeing where they lead me. Articles – I need to be more aggressive about paying markets, especially in the area of travel and food.

Continue building both Circadian Poems and The Thirteen Traveling Journals Project
Both these projects suffered due to the Situation, but I hope to have them back on track soon.
Both suffered and need strong shots of attention.

Build Kemmyrk into something useful, articulate, and unusual
I’m still playing with this. I haven’t found its rhythm yet.
Getting back into the flow of it, and I think, with ideas I played with around Yule, it should gain momentum over the course of the year. It’s finding its way – it needs to evolve, rather than get pushed.

Work on the tarot book
Fell by the wayside.
Fell by the wayside; I need to re-conceive the tone of it. There are hundreds of tarot books out there. Although the concept of this one is very different, the presentation is still not where it needs to be in order to fly.

Continue the Whaling research
That I’ve actually done.
The encouragement from the research librarian during the PEN event helped a lot; I hope to get this back on track next year.

Resolve The Situation in a positive way for all concerned and be in a better place (yes, on this earth) at this time next year.
I’m hopeful, but wary, in spite of seemingly good news.
We recently discovered that peaceful resolution is not possible. Although I’m in a better emotional place about it than I was last year, now I have to make the physical decisions based on what is best for my family, not a wider group of people.

Not let the Spiritual side of my life fall by the wayside, which happened this year.
Hit and miss. The 100 Days Meditation Group has been a huge help and support.
The last few months, the spiritual suffered enormously, and I need to get back on track with it. The Situation destroyed a part of me that I really liked; although I can’t get it back, perhaps I can work my way to being less hostile.

9. What steps do you plan to get you there?

More self-discipline
More flexibility (no, those are NOT mutually exclusive)
Work harder to learn the HTML stuff
Promote myself in a smarter fashion
Balance the creative work and the business work more, giving each equal weight, instead of see-sawing.
The Situation wiped all of this out.
Getting the spiritual aligned with everything else will be the strongest step. And I have to keep saying “no” instead of being bullied into “shoulds” when I know they are not going to be worth it in the long term. I need to apply skills I learned in The Situtaion to get me where I want to be. I didn’t work as hard as I needed to on the HTML – I worked in spurts, where it needs steady attention in order to make progress.

10. What are your dreams for 2006?
Peaceful and positive resolution of The Situation
Still in question, although it looks more hopeful.
That turned out to be a fantasy – one that will remain unfulfilled.

Help my mother in her recovery
Until the Situation is resolved, she won’t get better.
She’s actually doing pretty well.

Prosperity and abundance in all areas of my life.
Working on it.
Better; I paid off a lot of debt; however, the bank account physical dollars-and-cents needs to catch up with the rest of the abundance in my life.

11. What steps will you take to bring you closer to them?

Do the necessary research, keep a cool head, and realize that the Universe is going to make it happen in ITS time and way, not mine.
That’s been difficult. I don’t like trusting anyone else with my future, even the Universe.
Again, I want to have control over my own life, not turn it over to something intangible.

12. What are your resolutions for 2006?

Commit to my yoga practice
Recommit to my spiritual practice
Ratchet up the commitment to my writing

I struggled with the first two, but am closer to the last.
Getting back to the first; completely lost the second; came to grips with the final resolution.

13. How do you plan to get there?

Attend to each aspect carefully and mindfully every day.
You get neck deep in something like the Situation and see how well THAT works! The past months have been about how to survive the day. It’s been about defense rather than attack.
Pretty much still agree with the mid-year assessment.

14. What changes has the last year brought to your long-term plan?

I’m squeezed tighter financially, but pushed harder in every other way. The three year plan has to accelerate, but I’m not sure how to get there. I have to focus on the result and remain aware and alert to the opportunities to get me there. I also have to say “no” more often to low or non-paying work.
“No” has become one of my favorite words. I’ve paid off one big debt and two smaller ones, and I’m dealing with what’s left.
I feel behind in the tangible aspects, but feel that my skill in my craft has grown enormously. Now I need to apply it.

15. Where would you like to be one year from now?

Living a more balanced and secure life, dedicated to my true vocation (writing).
That’s the plan, and, perhaps now, some more attention can be devoted to it.
It’s dedicated to writing, but not balanced and secure. I lost eight months of my life to The Situation, and even if I could work 24/7, I can’t make that up. Which pushes my transition back by 8 months, which is frustrating.

Some progress, but not as much as I wanted. The healing process from the Situation and the reanimation of The Sequel has put everything into chaos. I have to figure out how to extricate myself from the chaos gracefully and move on with the rest of my life, without continuing to be mired in other people’s agendas.

Writing-wise, I feel I fell into some traps that were bad for me, as far as focusing too much on what other people consider “good business” and going against my instincts. I need to look at what I do, and the writers I admire, and how they get their balance, and do what’s balanced for me. I need to learn from others who are farther along and better marketing geniuses or whatever, but remember that their path is not necessarily mine. I need to pick and choose what I believe will work and follow through.

I had a lot of problems with a lack of stamina this year, mostly due to the fact that I had to be in Warrior Mode almost all the time. I’m exhausted on many, many levels, and in order to move forward, I need to replenish. I haven’t really had that time or space.

In the past couple of weeks, by giving myself quiet time every day, I feel that I’m starting to move in that direction.

The question, as always, becomes how to balance that quiet time I so desperately need and still be able to get everything done. What do I cut out? How do I keep from overcommitting? Because I believe strongly that if you commit to another person – be it a project or plans, as I was brought up, the only reason to cancel or flake is death, preferably your own. If you say you’re going to do something, you DO it. Period. No excuses. So it becomes about committing to less, but also doing it in a way that is not hurtful or spiteful towards others, and also does not deprive me of experiences that enrich my life. That’s a constant tightrope.


At 8:41 PM, Blogger Ann said...

This was so interesting to read. The whole overcommitting/getting things done is a biggie for me too -and I don't have half the frantic schedule you do.

IMHO, I think this next year you need to take time for yourself and that should be a priority. Easier said than done, I know...


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