It’s the beginning of a whole new year; what time could possibly be better to become more motivated and inspired? You have a whole 365 days ahead of you, and now is the time to start making them count, so we're asking authors what they've got planned for the year ahead!
Lindsay Evans shares her plans for a new writing routine and the 2018 goals she's carrying forward into 2019.
The Next Trembling Steps
When, in May of 2017, Harlequin announced the closing of its Kimani line, like many readers and authors, I was shocked and disappointed. It was already nearly impossible to walk into a book shop, or to the book section of a grocery or department store, and see romance novels with black couples on the covers. With Kimani being axed, it seemed there would be less likelihood books celebrating black love would be readily available in shops. Thankfully, a few of my favorite Kimani authors have been able to secure places among other Harlequin lines like Desire.
For myself, though, the question is: “What now?”
Last year, the answer wasn't an obvious one. At that point, I had another three or so books left in my Kimani contract, and didn't know if those books would even see the light of day. Fast forward a year plus and things have become a little clearer. Last week, I turned in the last of my contracted Kimani novels—coming out at as a 2-in-1 book in September of 2019—and am now looking for a new agent.
I’m also writing. I have two incomplete series of books that I'd love to wrap up—The Clarks of Atlanta and Miami Strong. I'll jump back into those stories once I finish my latest Work in Progress due later this month. These books don't have a publisher home, so I'll put them out into the world on my own and hope that the readers who’ve enjoyed my Miami and Atlanta-based lovers will continue to follow them.
Generally speaking, the reality of making a fresh start is a challenge for me. Like most, I love my routines, even if those routines aren't necessarily effective ones. I'm looking back now on my 2018 planner and notice how very similar my “to-do” and "should-have-done” lists are to the ones from previous years. Write more. Finish X novel. Write Y amount of books this year. Do an agent search. Take advanced swimming lessons. It's a bit disheartening to see that most of these items still haven’t been checked off. Do I just never learn? Or is it enough for me that the list is made, and it doesn’t matter whether or not anything on it is actually completed.
Ugh. I just might be that person.
So, it’s Fresh Start time. Without looking too closely at the list of things I wanted to get done in 2018, I know there are at least three things still left dangling in the breeze. Yes, it's sad AF, but even as I write, I see a silver lining, and it’s all the brighter because it didn’t appear suddenly during the last minutes of 2018. My silver lining is this: for the first time, I actually finished a National Novel Writing Month with a decent first draft of a book. *celebration dance*
For ages, I told myself I just couldn’t do a NaNo novel. Partly because I'd become stuck in my writing and productivity routine. The book I finished for November wasn't brilliant, but it was good (I hope the readers think so too!). Even better, I enjoyed writing it. I proved to myself that I can actually craft and execute a decent novel in a month. This means that instead of remaining in awe of my uber-prolific colleagues, I can get a little closer to their level of productivity. I'm grateful for NaNoWriMo (as well as my supportive colleagues and friends) for showing me what I'm capable of. Now, if I could just pair this new productivity of mine with better marketing skills... And find a new agent... So, onward with this fresh start and this more productive version of myself. I'm looking forward to being her.
Lindsay's latest release, Her Perfect Pleasure, is out now. For more information about her and her writing, check out her website, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.