"To reach a port, we must sail—Sail, not tie at anchor—Sail, not drift." ~Franklin Roosevelt
For the first time in 4 years, I'm looking at a new year that doesn't have a book scheduled to come out. That is not really a good thing. True, I spent much of 2010 working on a Young Adult and promoting my two other romance releases, but I still can't believe I let a year+ slip away without signing a contract for another book.
It's tough, especially when you are juggling a full-time job along with writing, but here's the thing to be aware of: if you are a new or aspiring author, it's really important to look at your career and build a steady backlist of books. Your name grows with every new release (as do your sales and royalties). Readers grow to wait for your next book, and if it doesn't come, well...
In a very practical sense, I also heard recently from a fellow author that she'd been "fired" by her small press since she hadn't signed a contract with them in 2 years. Now, this doesn't mean a whole lot except that if she chooses to resubmit to them, she can no longer submit to the editor she worked with before. She has to submit through the slush pile along with everyone else. Maybe not as terrible as having rights revoked or being blacklisted from the publishing company, but it's still a step backwards. And that's a step I don't want to find myself taking in a few months!
So my goal is to finish (yes, really finish) Entwined and submit it by the end of January. I'd also like to rework a novella that's about 22K right now and submit that as well, by the end of March. Those are my two goals for the first half of the year...in the spring I'll reassess.
What about your goals, writing or otherwise?