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2016: A Year in Review

Hello everyone!

So, I’m only a couple of days late with this post, and for that I am very proud of myself. Since we’ve dived joyously into 2017, now is a good time to reflect over the past year and talk about some goals moving forward.

I don’t think I have to address what a dumpster fire 2016 was, so I’m going to move right into the good stuff.

2016 was both a successful year and a not-so-successful year for me, writing-wise. In February, I was accepted into a MFA program (hooray!) but I seriously underestimated how much time I was going to have to devote to writing and reading for class. This time came right out of the extra time I would have used working on my personal writing. But, I did finish several short stories, one of which is currently out on submission, so yay for small victories! I never really found a balance between grad school, work, life, and writing in 2016, so that’s going to be something I work on this year.

Umm…what else did I do this year (checks Instagram)…oh yeah. Saw a lot of ‘rasslin shows, celebrated my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary, took a visit to my alma mater, saw a good friend get married, revealed the official title for #codenamehotprieststory (The Girls of Fall), buzzed both sides of my head, won first place in a Halloween costume contest, got two promotions at my day job (huzzah!), attempted NaNoWriMo, bought new floors for my condo, turned 28 and wore a mermaid princess crown. Shew. I guess my year was pretty busy after all, when you put it that way. 🙂

I’ve spent the last few days planning out what I’d like to accomplish in 2017 and going journalahead and writing things down in my planner. If a thing is written down, I’m more likely to actually do the thing. I bought a brand new notebook — the Leuchtturm 1917 — to use as a project journal and keep better track of all my writing projects — progress and notes.

If you’re following me on Instagram, you might have already seen some of my 2017 goals and resolutions, but I’ve added even more goals since that post, so let’s break them down here as well.

  • Complete second draft of The Girls of Fall by 3/1 — this one is pretty self-explanatory. I’m about exactly halfway through the second draft and I’ve calculated how many words I will have to write each day/week to meet this goal, and it’s very achievable!goals
  • Establish and protect a writing time — I need to write when I sit down and say I’m going to write. Whether that’s a few hours each night, or a big chunk of time on the weekend.
  • Read 30 books — This was my goal number for 2016, and I fell short by about 6 books. Going for 30 again this year!
  • Do Zumba two times per week — gotta go shake that booty.
  • No soda, coke, sweet tea, etc. — I’ve made a spot in my planner to check off the days I’ve been soda-free…only one check mark so far…WHOOPS.
  • Pack lunch for work — saving $$ plus eating healthy.
  • Temper phone time/social media time — I’m still ironing out the details of this one, but I would like to stop using my phone an hour or two before bed and use that time to read instead. And then go straight to bed, not spend another 45 minuets aimlessly scrolling through Instagram.
  • Send a quarterly author newsletter — Subscribers, you’re guaranteed to hear from me at least 4 times a year!
  • Attend a writing conference — I’ve already got one picked out, so now I just need to register.
  • Get all A’s in classes — Ugh, I’ve gotten all A’s and B’s so far, but I want those A’s, dagnabbit!
  • Do a quarterly review of goals — Each quarter, I’d like to sit down with myself and review the goals I’ve outlined here, maybe make some new ones, and just evaluate how the year is going overall.

Okay, I think I’m finished for now, whew!

I’m participating in an author life photo challenge on Instagram this month, so if you want to know more about me and how I’m tackling the new year, head on over and check out the hashtag, #IGAuthorLifeJan.

Happy New Year!

P.S. If anyone has any tips on how to manage your social media time more efficiently/effectively, let me know!

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#TeaserTuesday

So, I’ve finally discovered Canva. If you don’t have any design skills, like me, it’s a great resource for making your own graphics. One less thing I have to outsource and pay $$$ for someone else to do!

I’ve made my first teaser and thought I’d share — every where — because I’m super proud of myself. 😄

Here it is:

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Eventually, I’ll be revealing an actual title. That will come soon!

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Setbacks

Newsflash: I’ve grossly underestimated the time it would take me to get Stones and Finger Bones ready to send out into the world. Anyone surprised? No? I’m definitely not. Ugh.

The good news is that I have a delicious brunch scheduled for Sunday to meet with my final reader to gather up her thoughts and edits. And I’m working on scheduling a final pass with a proofreader (after I take one more look at the ms).

I’m throwing around the word “final” in the hopes that it motivates me to hit a final deadline. *fingers crossed*

🙂

In other exciting news – just in case you missed it – I’m officially a homeowner! I closed on my condo about 2 weeks ago, and while this is very exciting and adult, it’s also taking quite a bit of time away from doing anything else. Like writing. Or blogging. The fact that I don’t have internet at home isn’t helping, either. I’m typing this post on my phone.

Ever try writing a blog post on a phone? Bugger.

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my front door!

Anywho, that’s about all my little thumbs can manage for today, I just wanted to keep y’all updated!

P.S. Cover reveal coming soon! If anyone is interested in helping me with the reveal (I would love you forever!) send me an email at jessicaminyardbooks @ gmail (dot) com. Or message me on Twitter or Facebook. Or leave a comment and I’ll contact you!

I still have to finalize the back cover copy, but I just wanted to go ahead and start asking for minions. 😉

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