2018: The Year of Dreaming Big

What better time to tell you about my goals for 2018 than while buried under a foot and a half of snow and single digit temperatures? I’ve made no secret about the fact that I don’t believe in resolutions—I think if you want to make a change you shouldn’t wait until a date on a calendar—but there is something to be said for using the start of a fresh calendar to reevaluate where you’re headed.

My goals have built on each other over the past few years (2017, 2016, 2015) and I feel 2018 is time for a new direction. Not different, just bigger.

I was chatting with my BFFs this morning and one quoted the recently departed Sue Grafton, who encouraged people to “aim high.” It sounds so simple typed out like that, but if you don’t challenge yourself and stretch outside your comfort zone, you’ll never surpass the status quo.

We couldn’t find attribution for her, so here’s what we came up with:

Write down your loftiest goals, then say them out loud.

Write down your goals. And not the easy ones, the ones you know will take work but are easily within your grasp. Write down the ones that scare you. The ones you secretly wish for when no one is listening.

Then say them out loud.

The past couple years have been about expanding beyond my comfort zone as a marketer. This year is about pushing my limits as a writer—while still maintaining what I’ve established on the marketing side (and still kicking butt at my day job). I’ve already laid the groundwork by writing (almost) two novels this year. So without further adieu, here are my goals for 2018:

›› Publish The Trail Rules
›› Publish The Edge Rules
›› Publish a short story in a YA Contemporary Anthology
›› Write my first New Adult novel

2017 was my best year yet as a published writer. I sold three times as many books as I did in the previous four years combined, and for the first time ever I’ve made a profit. Not a large profit, but a profit. For the first time in five years. I’m not telling you this to brag or pat myself on my shoulder—if you know me at all you know that’s not how I think. I’m sharing this to encourage those of you who are writing around day jobs and families and school, wondering if it’s all worth it.

Writing takes time. Publishing takes even more time. And self-publishing takes a whole new level of stamina.

But if you hang in there and believe in yourself, those lofty goals might start to become a reality.

So what are YOUR goals?

Happy New Year. <3

About Melanie Hooyenga

Writer. Designer. Jock. Reader. Wife. Puppy-Mama. SCBWI member since 2015.

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