Friday, July 28, 2017

Looking In The Rear View Mirror of 2017

by Michelle Monkou

The schedule planner business is in full swing with the academic calendars on sale from July 2017 to June 2018. To dive down that road of planning, it will mean that I need to make the necessary adjustments to my current plan for 2017 and then turn a proactive eye to the first half of 2018.

Sounds proactive and the right thing to do, but I'm still in baby steps mode. I do have a general timeline for 2018, but let's not go hog-wild and hold me hostage for the details. Anyway, I have a (pricey) January-December calendar, so I'm reluctant to leave half of it blank and then switch over to a brand new book. But with the marketing buzz of calendar shopping in my email inbox and Facebook planning groups in full glee, the hypnotic cloud has reached me to at least look at my progress.

And wow, what an arc 2017 has been and I think that I'm still at the midpoint, which is a good thing. It means that I'm still hopeful and going along with a plan.

So looking in that rear view mirror:
  • At the beginning of the year, I knew that I wanted to diminish my writing direction with one genre and pick up the pace in another direction.
  • I knew that I would take on a variation of my name or a complete name change for the new works.
  • I knew that I was on the verge of burn out after 15 years in the business with three publishers, a boatload of editors, 20+ titles, and stress-related symptoms.
  • I knew that I had to weigh my options and decide if I was going to continue with just dipping the edge of my toe in indie publishing, hit the manuscript proposal submission circuit for an agent, or quietly turn off the light to my career.
  • I knew that I was sick of social media. Like blood-pressure-raising sick of social media.
  • I knew that I wasn't at rock bottom, but I could see the rocks.

And then a friend sent me a snazzy calendar, along with daily phone texts of encouragement. Every morning my phone buzzed with her good cheer and tips. I figured that I had nothing to lose, so I took the time to write in the calendar, make priority lists, set deadlines, put goals down on paper.

Occasionally she'd send me podcasts of non-writing encouragement. It was about fine-tuning the mindset, getting ego out of the way, rebuilding confidence to go after what I wanted. It wasn't a quick process and there were many missteps or no forward steps at all, but I can say that by end of July, and by my birthday yesterday that puts me on the other side of 50 yo, I'm pushing upstream from rock bottom.

Ryan Holiday's Ego Is The Enemy

I'm more settled and quieter about my plan in motion. I don't share with too many people what I'm doing. Don't need their validation or opinion.

I have logged off social media platforms (Instagram and Tumblr still get a little love). And since I can't be bothered to log on, I truly don't miss it.  For right now, mental health is more important than any marketing plan that forces me to endure FB and Twitter.

And I'm writing again with passion.

Wish me luck and I'll let you know by year-end if I'm still smiling.


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dstoutholcomb said...

Best wishes


Christina Hollis said...

I know exactly how you feel, Michelle. Good luck!