Different Year, Better Year

How I hope 2017 will improve over 2016

By Jeff Salter

Writing

Last year, I blogged every week, sprinted every week, and posted on Facebook and Twitter every single day. Two new fiction titles (numbers 13 and 14) were released during 2016, but I don’t believe I finished any new titles last year.

I presently have two previously completed works – a novel and a novella – complete and ready to go — so I’m hoping to find them a publishing home in 2017.

I have at least five working novel drafts, for which I already have an average of 31,000 words. I’d like to finish at least three of these during 2017. The most promising in theme (RSOK) has some 39,000 words and mainly needs the middle quarter fleshed out. [Of course, if this year goes like last year, I’ll just ADD another three or four starts with 30k words each.]

I don’t have an exact count handy, but I know there must be another dozen working drafts with between 10k and 20k words each. I’d really like to get some of these more fully into the pipeline.

Not sure how or why this happens, but I’ll really get rolling on a story, rack up a lot of words, and just when I vow I need to hunker down and finish it… a new idea pops into my noggin.

calendar-2

Health

I hope I’ll be better physically this year, than last. In 2016, I spent over seven months with shoulder pain that kept me from sleeping on the side that I’d normally sleep on. That followed a period of some six months during 2015 in which my sacroiliac gave me constant fits. So I’m hoping 2017 won’t be any new long-term painful conditions… over and above what I already deal with as a patient of fibromyalgia, osteo-arthritis, stomach issues, and more.

I still managed to exercise 144 times last year, and would have had my second best year (for total number of exercise sessions), had not I ended the year with a dose of the flu / crud, which kept me at home for the last nine days of 2016. This year, I’d like to get to the ‘Y’ 150 times [that would be my new record for 12 months].

Service

I plan to continue working with the kids programming at church, as I have since 2008. Also, last year I helped with our church’s three community dinners… which I plan to do again this year for as many as I can manage.

Question:

What about YOU? How do you believe (or hope) 2017 will be different from last year?

[JLS # 313]

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About jeff7salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Twelve completed novels and five completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015, "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015, "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015, "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014, "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014, "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014, "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014, "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013, "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013, "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013, "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012, "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012. Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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12 Responses to Different Year, Better Year

  1. jbrayweber says:

    Sounds like a great plan, Jeff.

    As I do every new year, I’m hoping THIS year will be the kickstart, kick butt year. Being a mom of a 1st grader and a high schooler, both girls, I know I can’t have too lofty goals. I’m sure I will be busy with their drill team (the 1st grader) and hockey (high schooler). I plan to finish both books I started in 2016 and be well under way with a third. I’d like to not feel so much squeeze financially, but I doubt that will happen thanks to the economy and insurance. My health, well, I will continue exercising but watch my diet closer. I kind of let it go the last few months of 2016. My service? See above comment about drill team and hockey. Also, 2017 will be my last year servicing as president for one of my RWA chapter, rounding out 4 years.

    So much of having a better year is looking inward and making a concerted effort to improve ourselves.

    Here’s to 2017!

    Liked by 2 people

    • jeff7salter says:

      I don’t know how you manage to do all that you do, Jenn.
      You didn’t even mention your blogging at MuseTracks…
      And keeping up with kids? Fuggeddaboutit. Especially when they’re spaced about 8 years apart or more.
      I’m hoping the insurance issues settle down and there’s more sanity in the medical field.
      Congratulations on your service as Prez of the Chapter.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It always amazes me how you keep track of your workouts. Does it help keep you motivated to know how often you have gone to the Y? Good luck on meeting your goals.
    I hope you find publishing homes for your two completed works. I always enjoy your stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      Thanks, Angie. You have been a big source of encouragement and support to me and my writing… and I truly appreciate it.
      The workouts is a matter of me never wanting to go — it’s never convenient and I often have to FORCE myself to go. So my only incentive is to play a numbers game with myself — challenge myself to get three visits a week, minimum of 12 per month, and then as the year end is in sight, to see if I can attain a new record.
      I just have a piece of cardboard with about 13 columns drawn on it. I put the dates I drag myself to the ‘Y’ and total them at the end of each month.

      Like

  3. You have some pretty amazing goals, Mr. Salter!
    My goals are to find a place of contentment after the last 9/10 years of being caretaker for my parents. I need to find a way to alleviate all the physical symptoms the stress has caused and work on re-centering myself in faith, and being tranquil. I have to admit to myself that I’m suffering from depression and may have to take some medicine for it for awhile. (Sheesh it sucks getting old!)
    Writing News- I am President of my local chapter and my goal is to spark creativity and enthusiasm back into the chapter. We’ve created some cool programs to get everyone writing! I’ve also started 2 novels plus have one in with my editor. My goal is to publish the one I’m waiting on for my edits, finish the Christmas novel for this year, and also have my other novel in with my editor for publication early next year!

    Have a happy and healthy New Year, Jeff!! Sending hugs from Texas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      God bless you for taking care of your parents. Though my dad passed away in Oct 2003, my mom is still kicking at age 94+.
      She lives alone still, in a cottage about 500 feet away. I visit her every day, refill her medicine box, and take her to the grocery every week that the weather allows.
      I totally understand the stress and emotional toll you must be under having to care for both individuals.
      Take care of yourself, Stacey. As you’re well aware, “self” is often lost in the shuffle of juggling home, job, family, community, church, and all the stuff associated with authorship.

      Like

  4. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I’m with you on unfinished projects. I’ve got several that I think are at least half done. I just need a kick in the pants or some inspiration to get them finished. I see Angie asked my question about how and why you keep track of things like the number of visits to the Y. I hate going to the gym, too, and though I pay for my membership there are several months when I don’t use it. I’d so much rather just lace up my shoes and walk outdoors. The membership does come in handy on days like today when we have single digit wind chills. Good luck on reaching your goals!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      After several years of very limited physical activity — mostly due to body pain — my new rheumatologist told me (in late 2004) that I’d never get any better (and would only get worse) unless I began exercising again. So, after a grandaughter was born in Jan 2005, I settled into physical therapy and eventually into a solo exercise program. It’s gone through variations of course, but I’ve kept up the pattern since that point… now coming up on 12 years.

      Like

  5. I’m working on mine, but I don’ t think you’ve done to badly this past year, Jeff. I certainly hope that you feel better in 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. J.Q. Rose says:

    Oh my! What a creative brain to keep all those starts to novels and new ideas going. Perhaps instead of 30000 words on a project, just a quick outline of the idea, then on to finishing the next bestseller? Congrats on your exercise program. I’m planning out the writing projects big picture for the year and then will make a to-do list every week, hoping my writing partners will do the same and then we can hold each other accountable. We’ve done that in the past, but not so much lately. It really does help to draw a line through the to-do listed. Instead of celebrating with a cookie and tea, I am going to eat grapes or an apple? That doesn’t sound like much of a celebration though now does it? Best wishes on your goals for the new year!!
    JQ Rose

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      totally agree that sketching the outline and character notes would be the better way to go (for those new concepts that are interrupting a WIP)… but their dialog also gets into my head. Nothing I can do but record it while it’s fresh.
      Hope your new year is doing well.

      Like

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