Goals Galore!

It’s finally starting to feel like winter here in the Chicago area; we’re getting those inevitably bitter cold winds and I have a great view outside my window of the prettiest snow falling over the Berwyn bungalows. Cats are curled up and sleeping on the backs of chairs (or, if you’re Genghis, inside someone’s jacket that was left on the floor or face-first in a Meijer shopping bag…), Christmas tree is still up, and we’re getting a start on January with the usual consideration of New Years Resolutions. Although mine are really New Years Goals. Everyone’s got them, except for the small stubborn few, and I guess I’m no exception. 2015 is going to be a good year, though. 2014 was fantastic, and now that I’ve worked out a few kinks, I only see improvement up ahead. And here are the big ones I plan on knocking out this year:

1. Stop Obsessing Over Money. Now this one, my biggest one, is a little weird, since most people make resolutions to manage their money better. But life has finally shifted into place, and I’m in a position where I’m no longer living paycheck to paycheck, I actually have a decent little emergency fund built up, and I even have money to pour into my business as a writer. Not at lot, but a little, and I always have money left over at the end of the month. So it’s time to stop beating myself up when I want to dish a little for a new book. Or when I buy the nicer, better things for food. Or actually buy some new clothes since I haven’t really gotten anything new for a whole year. When you’ve lived so much of your life living hand-to-mouth (and the past four years have been intense in saving and knocking out debt and building up a fund for publishing and what not), it’s hard to shake that guilt you feel when you spend an extra $20 on groceries. That’s what I find so astonishing about it. I’m not going out and blowing my cash on extravagant purchases here. But my brain is so hardwired to obsess about needing that extra $20 later in an emergency that I’ve got to really break the programming. So this year, it’s going to be all about paying attention to the budget, but not obsessing over it and enjoying some of the wiggle room I’ve worked my tail off to achieve.

2. Publish The Slayer Saga: Heartless. I plan to vigorously stick to my schedule of releasing the next Slayer Saga book on August 15, 2015. In a few months, I’ll be ready to contact my cover artist and fish out for beta readers, so be ready for that! I’m plugging away at it, eager to get that feeling of having a second book in a series out…and then working on the concluding chapter! Already looking ahead to 2016.

3. Publish World Unknown Review: Volume II. Every year, I want to publish at least two books. One of those books will always be the World Unknown Review, an anthology of my favorite short stories that get sent to me by October 31st of that year. I’ve just released Volume I to some pretty great success so far, and I hope that even more authors take advantage of the opportunity and I get even more fantastic submissions for Volume II. Of course, that’s not until the end of the year, but I’m already excited about it.

4. Turning World Unknown Press into an actual business entity. Herein is the scariest goal for me this year, but I really want to look into developing World Unknown Press into an actual company, with all the proper business and legal bells and whistles put into place. All that stuff kind of intimidates me, but my dad has offered to help be an investor if needed, as well as assist me in navigating through all the jargon and hoops of this enterprise. He’s had our family farm as an LLC for a while now, as well as served on a lot of different boards for different companies, so he knows his stuff. It’s both thrilling to be thinking that, by the end of 2015, I’ll officially be a small business owner, but intimidating as HELL. So one step at a time, and I’m sure I’ll be in a way different spot in December than I am now.

And that’s mostly it. With these four things ahead of me, I can tell this is going to be a great year, improving on all the progress I made in 2014. Have you set any goals for yourself this year, too? What are you looking forward to most in 2015?

Happy writing!


  1. It is absolutely inspiring that you’re looking to be a small business owner in addition to a writer. I love seeing that independent spirit in people – artists who think outside the box and pave their own way instead of waiting for someone to hand them their dreams. I’ve told people constantly that if you want to be a successful artist, you have to shed the coat of desperation and resolve that you’re going to do what you want, how you want it, and you’re going to make it happen for yourself.

    And I empathize with the money situation. I’ve never actually lived paycheck to paycheck, but my family was so stingy that they raised me like we did. I wore thrift store clothes til I was 18. Now, I have stupid amounts of disposible income every month, but I still feel like “No, we can only spend $20 at that restaurant. We can’t have cable. I can’t splurge on that thing I want from Amazon.com.” It took years to re-condition myself that jeans over $15 are not “expensive” and that I’m not wasting money buying clothes from H&M vs Goodwill. I still think it’s dumb to waste money on stuff that doesn’t go anywhere (ATM fees, interest on loans, etc), but if you want something and have the money, don’t feel bad about splurging. We’re not taking it with us when we die πŸ˜›

    • The whole business thing is definitely daunting at times…I’m rubbish with legal stuff, though I do have experience managing a retail store…that’s got to come in handy somehow! But the fact of the matter is that I love, love, love making books and putting them out into the world. I’m a slow writer, though, and I know I could help others, and this indie thing has just made me so happy. I want to cultivate it into something more, really shift gears into the professional aspect of things. Turn it into an honest-to–goodness career. It’s all kind of right there in front of me, it’s just a matter of putting the pieces together.

      And yeah, that sounds exactly like me with my money, but I’m getting much better. My boyfriend always gives me crap because I say I don’t have the money, or it’s not in the budget, or whatever else, and he points to all the money I have tucked away, and I’m all, “Well, that doesn’t count. You can’t actually spend that! We need that.”

  2. True story: An hour or so ago, my daughter said, “Mom, can I have $.99?” And I scarcely thought about it before I said yes.

    She bought a hidden object game for her Kindle. She loves those.

    Money isn’t exactly a huge commodity here, with two unschoolers who keep getting bigger, and a somewhat shabby little house in need of repairs – but there aren’t many times, really, when a dollar or two will spell the difference between survival and disaster…

    I love your goals. Love the energy in them. Love that new cover, and the fact that you answered my question about where to submit this month! =) I’m excited for you at the prospect of creating the business of your dreams!

    I have a rather extensive buffet of goals for this year. It makes me happy, creating a base plan for the expedition of life. I’m with you – 2014 was amazing, and 2015 will be even more so!

    • Thanks, Shan! It’s true…an extra $5 here or there to make something really amazing for a meal that evening isn’t going to thwart me into bankruptcy. If I haven’t landed there yet, I doubt I’m going to anytime soon. Life’s too short to deny ourselves those little pleasures, anyway.

      I can’t wait to read what you’ll send me this year! Best of luck with your goals, too! Another awesome year, here we come!

    • Very cool. πŸ™‚ And nerve-wracking, but I think I’m ready and I think I can do it, and WUR has really paved the way for me to consider the possibilities. It’ll be an interesting year, for sure.

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