It’s natural as one year winds down to look back at our accomplishments and make plans for the year ahead. 2013 is nearly upon us and lately I’ve been thinking waaay back to grade school, when I marveled that there would ever be dates beyond 2000… as a kid I couldn’t imagine being *that* old. Now, I feel like I’m finally hitting my stride.
Time lends an interesting perspective.
Personally, my dad was a man who emphasized the importance of big dreams and focused goal setting, so having short -, mid- , and long-term goals is just part of my way of thinking. My goals going into 2013 involve time management, travel for family and professional events, increased personal fitness as I prepare for a surgery I probably can’t avoid, and a realistic book production time line that takes all these things into consideration.
As I set those goals, I look back at where the pitfalls and bear traps were in 2012 and I’m making adjustments accordingly.
Professionally, this looking back and forward thing goes beyond goal setting. I apply this same sort of tactic when I’m planning my 2096 novels and short stories. Looking back at Chicago’s history or at how far we’ve come in certain areas of science and technology makes it easier for me to build the 2096 world for my characters and plot out their action-packed adventures.
In the Matchmaker series, I utilize much of Charleston’s checkered past to craft some of the paranormal romance legends in the books.
Granted, my characters often have their own ideas and go haring off on their own tangents, (usually fun, occasionally frustrating) but it’s the research, the look back, that keeps me grounded within each individual story as well as the overall world of futuristic Chicago or contemporary Charleston.
Glancing over my production schedule for 2012, I have to give a sigh and grumble on some points. Books I’d intended to release were delayed by health problems, family events, as well as the research and pursuit of all of my professional options. Publishing is as wide-open as ever, but not by any means easier to navigate.
As opportunities came up, I seized some and other had to slip on by without me. Rather than beat myself up over what might have been, I’m looking back and dialing in on what I did get done. Were there hard choices? Sure. 2012 was full of them and it would be foolish not to expect the same from 2013.
Perspective remember? Objective world building for both the books and my personal life has me feeling upbeat and eager about the potential of 2013 because one lesson I’ve learned through the years still rings true:
Everyone has something they are struggling with and some wildly fabulous blessing waiting just around the corner.
Live the adventure!