2014 – Life Intentionally Askew

Balance being unattainable, stop striving for it, and instead work with personal growth & fulfillment in mind.

Happy New Year! And so it begins…

I’m not normally one for “life mottoes” (mottos? whatever – you know what I mean), but this year, I’m adopting one: “Life Intentionally Askew”. After years of chasing that illusive thing called “balance”, I had an epiphany while I was writing up this year’s resolutions.

Balance is unattainable. Something is always going to take priority over something else, whether that be work, or play, or hobbies, or certain people…there is no way to achieve perfect balance, and striving for it is a futile exercise. Instead, it’s a better use of time and resources to work simply toward personal fulfillment, no matter what I’m doing or where I’m at.

So with that in mind, here are the resolutions I’m making this year. Balance is not the goal…the goal is personal fulfillment and the enjoyment of life as it is *now*, rather than as I envision it could be in the future.


Personal

– Spend at least a few nights a week/weekend cultivating hobbies
– Make the house/yard/gardens a priority this year…get everything looking and functioning well
– Clean all personal stuff out of the storage unit (toss, use or sell) by August 2014
– Get at least three crowns done for teeth (I need six).
– Be active. Yoga in the mornings, something at night, work with the hands, get up and move.
– Respond to blog comments (also business, but mostly personal)
– Drink alcohol moderately. I currently rarely drink, but there are quite a few studies out there showing positive health effects (including lessening risks of things like Alzheimer’s & strokes) for people who drink in moderation (we’re talking very little alcohol per day for the average woman…like half a shot glass or so). So…vodka in cider? Schnapps in cocoa? Rum-soaked raisins? Bring it on! I’m all for being more healthy. (Incidentally, those same studies show decreased brain function in people who drink more than just a little bit daily, so don’t go telling people I’m advocating getting plastered every night, K? Use alcohol at your own risk…). 
– Donate more to local charities, in terms of money and needed items.
– Get out of the house every six weeks or so. Go to the zoo, see a show/play, visit the art museum…something to expand our horizons and be a part of the community.

Writing

– Work on structuring stories to  different lengths (novels, novellas, novelettes, shorts)
– Establish a “sweet” romance line under my main name
– Publish at least one dystopian work in progress under a pen name

Expand the horror name into more mainstream thrillers
– Work on more complex plotting techniques
– Learn how to effectively use sub-plots, especially within series work
Publishing/Business

– Develop an efficient book launch plan, and use it
– Once a week relevant blog posts for alter-ego blogs
– Simplify the BSB site/store down to a single site/format, with a simple ordering system & links to all online etailers (maybe keep the store & blog, get rid of the site?)
– Add sales links & free books to all relevant author sites
– Expand distribution
– Expand audiobook catalog
– Get and keep bookkeeping up to date 
– Update old covers and blurbs
– Weekly book excerpts on social media sites
– Make and sell hobby items for book lovers in the BSB store to generate more traffic.

Yes, I’ll still be posting serial draft stories, against the advice of pretty much every other writer out there, professional and amateur. Because it’s just…what I do, and it makes me happy to make readers happy. And it also reminds me that I write because I love it, not just for money. But I’ll be more careful this year not to overbook myself (pun not intended, but cool how that worked out…) as far as drafts go, so that the whole thing is less stressful. And I’ll probably be writing some things “behind the scenes” as well, that faithful serial readers will have first dibs on before they’re released to the public.

There are a few more blog-related changes (positive changes, methinks) I’ll be making this year, but I’ll save those for next Monday’s post.

It’s going to be a great year, and if you’re along for the ride, I’m very happy to have you.  


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2 comments on “2014 – Life Intentionally Askew

  1. Ardee Eichelmann

    Jamie, I love your plans for 2014, especially the personal ones because I think that the more you enjoy your life outside of the books, that your writing will take on more of a joie de vivre.

    I am glad you will continue to write your serials. I personally enjoy the heck out of them, well that is until I hit the dreaded cliffhanger. Then I whine. 😉

    I am along for the ride just like I have been since I first “discovered” you in 2009 or 2010, my memory is foggy.

    I am eager to read what you write this year and I am ready, ready, ready to find out what is going to happen with Dunning Manor and your guy from the fantasy story even though I can’t remember his name right now.

    Happy New Year Jamie,

    Ardee-ann

  2. Jamie DeBree

    Thanks Ardee-ann…and I agree, the richer any writer’s personal life is, the better their writing will be. 🙂

    And I don’t mind you whining at the cliffhangers either. I’d be way more worried if you didn’t. LOL

    Dunning Manor will be back very soon, methinks…possibly even next week. And so will the Donteneoux draft, which I am extremely excited to get back to!

    Happy new year to you too…and I’ll look forward to reading more of your writing as well, even if just on your blog… 😉