When I started ruminating on what my intention should be for the coming year, for the first time since I embarked on this journey, I came up blank. I tried on a lot of different intentions and goals, but none of them resonated the way it has in the past when I find the right one. I took that as a good sign, that I didn’t have some blaring need or imbalance to address. But still…I needed my touchstone going forward. I need an intention. It is the idea that I use to filter all my other plans and goals: “Does this fit my intention?” If yes, proceed. That’s what I did last year with PRODUCTIVITY, and it yielded amazing results.
I considered that–maybe–this meant I should just stick with productivity. Who says you have to have a different intention every year? And then, it hit me. Most years, what I am seeking is right there waiting for me to pluck the word out of the ether. This year was more difficult because it was about what I DON’T want.
Productivity was easy. I counted any forward motion as a win, and as a result I was very, very productive. I got better at keeping up on chores, performed better at my day-job, and even lost 20 pounds. I got engaged. I launched a book, ran an advertising campaign, collaborated with an audiobook narrator and video producer to create an audiobook and book trailer, and reached the halfway mark on Skydancer Book 2. I also blogged more, joined #bookstagram and began building a following, met a ton of new friends, attended author events, and doubled my amount of books read from last year.
All-in-all, 2017 produced a lot. But something was still lacking, and that lack highlighted what I needed most for the coming year: FOCUS.
By the end of this year, despite accomplishing so much, I felt scattered and spread too thin. At the end of the day, I would sit down to write and find my productive energy stores totally depleted. Last year I had thought that productivity alone would mean doing nothing but producing books–putting words on the page. In reality, that was far from true. When you’re an indie author and a 1-person show, you can be productive in a hundred different ways. They are all important and all yield results. But there’s only 1 thing that is most important, and that’s putting words on the page.
This year, that is going to be my primary goal, and I’m giving myself permission to let all the other things involved in publishing rest on the back-burner unless they are really, really necessary. I will keep those productivity fires burning, but anything that is not a mandatory piece of delivering books to readers or producing more books (2 to release this year, hopefully!) will get put in the “distractions” category and prioritized last. It’s almost painful to say that and will be harder to do, but if I’m serious, I have to mean it.
Wishing you the best of luck focusing on your goals in 2018!