Monday, January 6, 2014

January Firsts - First Guest Blogger - Bryonna Nobles

Happy New Year! As we head deeper into 2014, most of us reflect on what has happened in the past year and start making resolutions for what we want in the coming year. 
There have been some years where I’ve sat down and thought my life was going nowhere. Nothing is different but I realize now, I’m wrong. There’s not a year I can think of where something hasn’t changed. Someone died, someone was born, we moved. A year is a lot longer than we think. It’s up to us what we accomplish in that time period.

Did you know that the most common New Year’s Resolutions are lose weight/eat healthy, stop drinking, stop smoking, etc. These are all great goals but 99.9% of the time, they’re never kept so I never make New Year’s Resolutions. 

I make goals for the year.  Nothing can be accomplished with a snap of the fingers. There’s no magic wand to give you the life you want. It doesn’t matter how many scratchers you buy, the odds of retiring on them are very low. You have to work for things you want. 

First, you need your long term goal.
My Long Term Goal:  To be a published writer who can live off the earnings of her books.
This isn’t something that will happen overnight or even in the next few years but one day I hope to accomplish this. It’s what I really want. To stay at home and write and have people who love my books out there.
I don’t have to be a millionaire. I just want fans who get my book and who appreciate the work that goes into writing them.
You can also have more than one long term goal. 
Long Term Goal 2: I want to be on a panel at Dragon*con. 
I’ve gone to Dragon*con in Atlanta every year for about five years now. And I have seen some amazing authors get up and speak. I always think it’s amazing how much some of them can pack a room. I really want to be one of those authors someday. 
Alright, so here we have some long term goals. Great! 
Once you have those – and you can have as many as you like – it’s time to figure out what you need to accomplish them. 
At the beginning of 2013, I hadn’t finished a book. I’d started a ton but hadn’t actually finished one. I began to wonder if I should continue writing.  
Then I paid to take a 6 week class with Nancy Knight and it was the best money I ever spent.
Nancy Knight is one of the founders of Georgia Romance Writers, she runs the Writer’s Track at Dragon*con, she helped found BellBridge Books until she left them on good terms to become a literary agent. Tired of having wonderful books turned down because they were a little too different, Nancy quit being an agent and founded her second small press publishing house, Gilded Dragonfly Books. 
If Nancy offers you a class, you take it. 
I learned a lot from her but one of the things she did me that struck a chord more than anything was she made us promise to write a little every day. Set a writing goal and accomplish it every day. 
My Daily Writing Goal: 500 words a day. 
I usually exceed this but I can get out 500 words usually within half an hour and so it was an easily accomplished goal that I didn’t feel overwhelmed by. If you look at your daily writing goal and cringe, it’ll trip you up. Lower it. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll accomplish. 
You can also do this as a “I’m going to write for XX amount of time” goal. That didn’t work for me because I’d procrastinate until I got nothing done. 
After I set this goal, I realized that I needed to prove to myself – and no one else – that I was a writer. It doesn’t matter what the rest of the world thinks. They’re not you. So I set myself three goals for 2013.
My Goals for 2013 
1.      Finish the Book. While I’m still making it pretty, I have completed my manuscript Moonstruck. In March of 2013, I entered the Finish the Book contest at Georgia Romance Writers – you put in $5, saying you’ll finish the book. Whoever entered and completes this task, gets entered into a drawing to win the pot. I won! Woot!
2.      Enter the Maggies. The Maggie Awards are given out by Georgia Romance Writers every year. I’d never entered despite being a member for three years. I was too scared and had never finished my books.
Not only did I enter the Unpublished Paranormal Maggies this year, I took second place.
1.      Earn my Pro Pin. A Pro Pin is given out by Romance Writers of America . You have to have finished your book and began to send it out for publication and have either been rejected or accepted. It’s something to show that you’re now taking what friends and family have thought of as a hobby and showing you’re perusing it in a professional manner.
I received this pin from Georgia Romance Writers president, Anna Steffl at our December Holiday Party.
I accomplished my 2013 goals and am now working toward my goals for next year.
My Goals for 2014:
 1.      Get a Critique Group.
2.      Enter the Golden Hearts. Romance Writers of America’s Unpublished Romance Writing contest. This is the Oscars of the Romance Novel World.
3.      Get everything set up for the Maggies this year. I’m in charge of the Maggie Awards with Georgia Romance Writers this year.
4.      Submit, submit, submit. Get my book out there in front of editors. 
So those are the goals I’m working on for 2014. Some of them I’ve already accomplished.  
What goals are you working on?
Bryonna Nobles is a paranormal romance writer specializing in shifters and Greek Mythology. She is an active member of Georgia Romance Writers. After serving two years as their membership chair, she is now heading their award committee as the Maggie Chair. She is also a volunteer for the Dragon*con writer’s track. 
Georgia born and raised, her books take paranormal aspects and put them in small, Southern towns with a very Steel Magnolias meets My Big Fat Greek Wedding with werewolves feel.  
A Hellenic Pagan, she loves educating people on where different religious practices and holiday traditions come from. Be sure to check out her blog:  The Witch Next

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