Thursday, January 30, 2014

Blog Tour: A Little Too Hot by Lisa Desrochers (Review + Giveaway)

Today I am so excited to talk about A Little Too Hot, the newest release by Lisa Desrochers. This tour is brought to you by the fine folks at RockStar Book Tours.

I've reviewed Lisa's books before, but if you're new to the blog, or new to Lisa, here's what you need to know:

Lisa Desrochers is the USA Today bestselling author of A LITTLE TOO FAR , courtesy of HarperCollins, and companions, A LITTLE TOO MUCH (Nov 12, 2013), and A LITTLE TOO HOT (Jan 21, 2014). Also in stores is her YA PERSONAL DEMONS trilogy (Macmillan).

She lives in central California with her husband and two very busy daughters. There is never a time that she can be found without a book in her hand, and she adores stories that take her to new places, and then take her by surprise.

Find out more about Lisa and her work here: WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

Before we get into the steamy details, here's an overview of A Little Too Hot:

A Little Too Hot is the third companion book in the A Little Too Far series by: Lisa Desrochers.

Publication Date: Jan. 21, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: Here's where things get interesting. I've reviewed a lot of books on this site but I've bought them all with my own money. However, the e-ARC of A Little Too Hot was received via Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. (Pretty freaking awesome of them to do it, and I thank them)
Page Count: 284 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Google Play

The cover is simple and matches the cover art of the previous novels. And like I've mentioned in my reviews of the first two books here and here, I wasn't a huge fan of the cover art. But OMG, do I love the stories. A Little Too Hot was no exception. Here's the blurb (don't worry, this post is a spoiler free zone):

From USA Today bestselling author Lisa Desrochers, comes the third book in her sizzling New Adult series.

If you play with fire…

Tossed out of college and cut off by her parents, Samantha West is in pretty dire straits. So when her rocker best friend hooks her up with a job dancing at a gentlemen’s club, who is she to turn it down? Plus, there are rules to dancing at Benny’s: No touching, keep your clothes on at all times, and never get closer than three feet. Unfortunately for Sam, her first private client makes her want to break every single one of them.

Harrison Yates is scorching hot, but he’s got a past that involves being left at the altar not too long ago. Sam is determined to make him forget about his ex, but when she makes her move, it flings her life into a spiral of chaos she never saw coming.

Because Harrison Yates isn’t who he seems to be. And his secret will probably get her killed.

Sounds amazing, right? Add it to your goodreads shelf or buy your copy here: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Google Play


“Every page is deliciously breathtaking, wickedly sexy and sensational. A LITTLE TOO HOT is wonderfully unique and a LOT HOT! I am a HUGE Lisa Desrochers fan.”
— Katy Evans, New York Times bestselling author of REAL, MINE, and REMY

“Lisa is brilliant at creating sizzling sexual tension and impossible circumstances that make the reader hold their breath all the way to happy ever after. Sam and Harrison are more than A Little Too Hot, they are scorching!"
— Jay Crownover, New York Times bestselling author of RULE, JET, and ROME

“Lisa Desrochers’ best yet! A LITTLE TOO HOT is hotter than hot with all the emotional punch to back it up!”
— Sophie Jordan, New York Times bestselling author

But what did I think about the book?

My Rating: 5/5 screaming kitties - I flipping loved it!

I think it's official: I'm a Lisa Desrochers fan. It started with a crush after the first book in the series, A Little Too Far, and has blossomed into full on fan status. This book, A Little Too Hot, did not disappoint.

Sam was introduced as an ancillary character in A Little Too Far but you don't need to have read A Little Too Far to understand this story. Her story really starts here and is very exciting.

The characters are believable, which is always a big issue for me. Harrison and Sam are tough but vulnerable in ways we haven't seen in other characters in the series. I really like Sam. She's not a victim. She's tough and does what it takes to get by. I admire that quality in her.

About a quarter of the way into this book I was shocked by a major twist, like jaw-dropping shocked. So believe me when I say A Little Too Hot is a fun and wild ride.

I felt like this as the steamiest book out of the three. And that's saying something because the other books are Hot with a capital 'H'. But it wouldn't be a Lisa Desrochers romance if A Little Too Hot wasn't pushing a boundary or two.

All the twisty turns, surprising action, believably likeable characters, and steamy romance make A Little Too Hot my favorite book in the series. I loved it, and I think you will too.

But wait, there's more! As part of the tour the author, Lisa Desrochers, is hosting a giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want more? Check out the other two books in the series:

My review of A Little Too Far

My review of A Little Too Much

Or drop into these stops along the A Little Too Hot blog tour:

Jan. 30th - The Irish Banana Review - Review + Guest Post
Jan. 30th - Stuck In YA Books - Review + Excerpt
Jan. 30th - adventures-in-word - Review
Jan. 30th - The Bookmark Blog - Review
Jan. 30th - All in a Book - Review
Jan. 30th - Booklovers LaceyCat - Deleted Scene or Excerpt

Have you read any of Lisa Desrochers books? Share your thoughts here:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Internet Killed The Video Store

Earlier this week I weighed in on the changes facing the publishing industry. My feeling on the matter is that change is inevitable and although publishing will look different after e-voluion, most major players (aka the big 5) will still be around.

I believe this because even though the internet changed several aspects of the entertainment industry already, most major players are still in the marketplace - albeit, they look a little different.

The cautionary tale, is video. Internet killed the video store. Well, redbox helped. Together, they killed ‘em dead. Is there something to be learned there?

I used to think streaming video was weird. Now, I only have Netflix and Hulu. I don’t have cable. I don’t have local channels. I consume all of my television via the internet, instantly. If I want to rent a movie I drive to the corner and rent from a redbox (redbox is clumsy and burdensome compared to the immediacy of streaming. The only reason to go to redbox versus streaming is limited content releases. If I really want to watch a movie and only redbox has it – for the time being- I’ll drive to the corner to get it. I don’t even buy movies from Walmart anymore because once their available for streaming I can pretty much watch them whenever I want. I find I only buy used DVD’s/BlueRay’s when I want to watch an oldie-but-goodie that I can’t find on Netflix or Redbox).

It’s funny for me to think about getting cable…why would anyone buy cable when you can stream a heck of a lot of content for less? I wont go back.

I also used to buy exclusively paper books. Never an ebook for me. Four years ago I got a kindle for Christmas. I thought, “he he, I’ll use this because it was a gift but I’m still a paper book girl.” And then, one night, I finished a book at one in the morning. I wanted to know what happened next. I didn’t want to wait until B&N opened at a reasonable hour. I didn’t want to drive to a book store. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I wanted to know what happened next and I wanted to know it right that minute. I immediately downloaded the next book in the series and started reading.

Timeliness. Immediacy. As much instant gratification as a book can offer – I got all of those things from my kindle. I’m hooked.

I spent a lot of money on books last year (much to my husbands chagrin) – but I only bought two paper books (one was a gift for my in-laws, who still don’t have ereaders). That’s it. Two paper books. Sure, big 5 publisher site ebooks are only 30% of their revenue but are ebooks only 30% of the entire market? Could the big 5’s limited revenue from ebooks speak more to their unwillingness to price ebooks at market rates than to the success of the ebook as a platform?

But here’s the bigger issue, publishers, *waves you to lean in and listen*

Now that I’m digital, I wont go back.

Just like streaming eliminated my need to own cable, the access to digital books eliminates my need to own paper books. There, I said it. I don't need paper books anymore. Just like I don’t need to cook over a fire now that I have an oven. Or how I don’t ride a bike to work now that I own a car. Or the way I don’t write my books by hand with a pen and paper now that I have a computer.

The technology of books has evolved. And like all evolution, there's no turning back. Now that I have an ereader I don't need paper books.

Since past consumer behavior is the greatest indicator of future behavior, I have to imagine once the book reading public goes ereader, they’ll never, or rarely go back to paper books.

The distribution model for consuming books is changing. What are your thoughts about ereaders?

Want more on the battle between ebooks and paper books?
Check out this post by The Passive Voice and this post by PV as well.

Check out this interesting dialogue between JA Konrath and CEO of Kennsington Publishing

Monday, January 27, 2014

Changes in Publishing

If you’ve been on the internet the last several days you’ve probably heard some of the noise about the HuffPost article: Self Publishing: The Myth and the Reality. Some people responded and more people responded to those people. All this talk about traditional publishing vs every-other-type of publishing really got me thinking. Before I go down this rabbit hole I want to state that I am not published. I haven’t self published or signed a contract with anyone. I don’t have a horse in this game other than I want to make publishing my profession *cracks knuckes*.

After reading this post, and this one, this one, this post, and this post I was reminded of something. The state of publishing today seems an awful lot like 1930’s Hollywood (but with way less glam and money. You know, back when movie companies owned actors, via their contracts, for a period of time or for a number of movies. It was also a time when production companies made genre films. Fox was known for it’s musicals. Universal was known for westerns. Sound familiar?

The state of Hollywood today is different. Today, actors have their own union (aka screen actors guild). And production companies still hire actors by contract, but they don’t own them like they did back in the day. Their contracts allow them to release multiple movies in various formats (from various production companies) in a year. I should note that I’m not privy to the specifics of any publishing or acting contracts. Rather, I’m speculating that actors have more freedom than authors because actors tend to release various titles, from various production companies, throughout a given year without having to adopt a pseudonym.

Some people think traditional publishing contracts are unfair. Others think the contract terms are more than fair. One thing is certain:

The winds of change are whipping around the publishing industry. There’s a flashy business quote we throw around at my Day Job a lot: “If the rate of change outside is greater than the rate of change inside, the end is near.” – Jack Welch.

Think about that, publishers, agents, and writers.
Is the rate of change outside B&N greater than the rate of change inside? Yes…and we see where they are headed.

Is the rate of change outside the big 5 publishing houses greater than the rate of change inside? From my perch, on the outside looking in, I can say: Probably, yes.

The end of big 5 publishing as we know it is near. But the end doesn’t have to be out of business, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it end. This ending is actually a beginning. A call for action, innovation, and rebirth.

Who knows what the future will hold. Maybe it means, as JA Konrath suggests, smaller advances but bigger percentage of royalties. Maybe it’s buying print only rights and erights stay with the author(although, that's unlikely, especially if ebooks are the future). Maybe it means the big 5 slash their SG&A overhead by doing any number of things. It’s fun to speculate, but I don’t have the answers.

What I do know is most of the big 5 will survive this change. I know it because we see it in film (Fox is still around, but they do things differently), music survived (Napster didn’t kill music as we know it. Artists are still making money, albeit differently). Just like the affordable Care Act didn't kill insurance companies (did I mention my day job is in insurance?). The Affordable Care Act changed a lot of elements about the insurance industry but the big insurance companies all survived. How? They changed the way the sell (direct to the consumer – sometimes cutting the middle men out completely *coughs*), they change the way they price their products *nudges publishing with elbow*, and they changed the way they operate to ensure they can continue to offer insurance to their customers. Just some ideas here, guys.

Publishing must change. Must. There’s no getting around it. But publishing leaders are smart, experts in their given field, and in positions to make change happen. Change can be exciting. And change can be good for writers, especially if writers help shape the future of publishing (which I think we are seeing).

Publishing needs to take a long hard look at how they can change to meet the growing customer demand. A demand that is markedly different from the consumer 10 or 15 years ago. The growing population of book consumers that want more, faster, easier, books.

I don’t have all the answers. I actually have none of them. But I do know that if big 5 publishing doesn’t evolve to meet the rate of change in the marketplace the writing is on the wall.

What do you think about the changing landscape of publishing?

Need more on the debate? Check out his post by Chuck Wendig and his Follow Up Post

Thursday, January 23, 2014

7 Hashtags Every Writer Should Know

If you're a N0ob in the Twitterverse have no fear. There are many hashtags that can bring you closer to writing/publishing enlightenment. In an effort to update my resources I decided to refresh this post with some great tags.

Here are 7 Hashtags Every Writer Should Follow:

1. #askagent - a forum where authors seek advice from Agents. Calm your pits, it's not the same as representation. These Agents are giving general advice to authors about a variety of topics.

2. #nanowrimo - This tag is most highly utilized during, you guessed it: NaNoWriMo. Follow this tag and you'll get great insight into the highs and lows of the infamous novel writing challenge. A lot of NaNo participants will post tips on preparing for the big event so It’s worth checking out.

3. #MSWL – Manuscript Wish List. This was an amazing event during summer 2013 where agents and editors posted what they were looking for (story ideas) under one tag: #MSWL. I’m not sure on the origin of this event because it sorta snuck up on me like rather serendipitously. I had just been laid off and had all the time in the world to troll through twitter. I might have broken my mouse by clicking refresh a billion times.

4. #yalitchat - If you're a fan of YA, like me, then you'll want to follow the activity on this tag. Insights from writers, editors, agents, and teens help make this a insightful resource for authors.

5. #NALitChat – the super sexy, older cousin of YALitChat, NA Lit Chat is legal, can buy you a drink at the bar, and drives a fast car. Actually, it’s just a collaborative discussion hosted by NA enthusiast. I’ve joined the chat several times and always leave feeling wiser.

6. #tenqueries – a tag Agents use to essentially ‘live tweet’ their review of queries in their box. Usually you get a short description of the genre and the agents thoughts. It’s pretty insightful especially if one of your ‘dream’ agents is the one doing the tweeting.

7. #amwriting or it’s fraternal twin, #amediting. Both are forums where people rant and rave though the up and downs of…you guessed it: writing and editing. . It's a great place to meet other writers and to vent about this glorious craft. These hashtags are used often which is always good for staying current.

Which hastags do you follow?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Current Obsession From A Musical Or Comdey

Music is inspiring. It energizes us, moves us, and gets our creative juices flowing.

Last year, I had the pleasure of doing a guest post on The Writer Diaries blog about music as inspiration. If you don’t know The Writer Diaries you should check it out here.

It forced me to acknowledge the power music has to influence my writing. It was a great exercise and I decided that I am going to track the songs that inspire me most. (What better way to keep inspiration on tap, for those little emergencies? You know the ones….when we’ve hit a brick wall and the words aren’t coming. Yeah, those emergencies.)

Right now, I can’t get Let It Go, from Frozen out of my head.

Title: Let It Go
From: Disney's Frozen

If you haven’t heard of Disney’s Frozen you might be living under a rock (check your surroundings for large amounts of dirt, stones, and small rodents to confirm). It’s an adorable movie about believing in yourself.
I have this on my phone so I can play it anytime, anywhere.

I mostly play it in my car to, or from, my Day Job. In my car I can sing along at the top of my lungs (which is the only way to sing along with a kick ass song like this).

Here are some of the lyrics:

Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
Well, now they know

Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door

I don’t care
What they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway

It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I’m free

Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry

Here I stand
And here I'll stay
Let the storm rage on

Here's the clip on Youtube

I think this song is more personally relevant than it is to say, any current world building/storytelling. I wish I had this song on repeat when I queried my first novel. Instead, I mostly listened to the sounds of my own sobs as the rejections came in like wrecking balls. *laughs awkwardly* *adjusts hair out of face* But we all went through that, right?

Now, I have this song happily snuggled in my brain.

What songs have inspired you or your work right now?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Review: Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

When news broke that the Christina Lauren, an NYT bestselling author duo comprised of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, were releasing a YA novel (Their newest novel is called Sublime and is YA all the way) that will be available Fall 14.) I was intrigued. For one, I think authors who write in partnership are amazing. How hard is that? It seems like it would be seriously difficult. For two, people were saying some wonderful things on Twitter about the work they’ve already produced. So good things all around.

I wanted to read something by them because the premise of their newest novel seems right up my alley. And when I discovered the duo is famous for erotica I was floored. What a transition! I’m a huge fan of romance and I’m not afraid of some scorching hot love scenes so I thought, ‘why not give their erotica a whirl?’ So I downloaded Beautiful Bastard for free or nearly free.

Not familiar with Beautiful Bastard? Here’s the premise:

A smart intern works for a legit @-hole boss who happens to be very good looking.

That’s it.

This story has an interesting origin. More interesting than ‘I dreamed this one night and just started writing.’ These ladies, as I understand it, met and published their stories on a erotica site. They got reader feedback and turned a short, erotic fiction into a huge publishing deal. That’s cool.

But back to Beautiful Bastard.

Lust drips from this story like hot wax from a candle. It’s not un-fun. It’s fun some of the time. There’s enough panty-ripping love scenes to last a life time. But that’s about all there is to this book.

It’s sex for the sake of sex. And I know, you’re thinking ‘duh, that’s the point!’ But that’s just not good enough for me. There is a plot and there is tension at times, but the believability factor is missing. There is no reason why the ‘smart’ intern should like this guy. NONE. At least none that are presented to the reader PRIOR to the sex. Maybe it’s the lack of emotion, but there is something about this story that made my suspension of disbelief as flaccid as…well…you know. I actually got bored with the sex there was just that much of it. I found myself thinking – what else can these two people do?

I think I finally get what agents and editors are talking about when they say “The sex in erotica has to mean something” – it has to be a tool or catalyst. It has to move the plot forward. There needs to be a relationship – not necessarily the lovey-dovey-buy-me-flowers kind of relationship but the characters need to grow and change. I just didn’t see believable growth in Beautiful Bastard.

So although this was a hot, steamy romp of a read I didn’t really love it. You might. In fact, if you are looking for a hot, steamy romp you probably will like this book.

You can buy it here: Amazon

My lack of love for this book isn’t going to turn me off the writer duo for good. I’ll definitely check out their future efforts – but maybe just not in erotica. It might not be my thing.

Did you read Beautiful Bastard, or anything else from Christina Lauren? What did you think?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Review: A Little Too Much by Lisa Desrochers

Last summer (I just sighed typing those words – It’s so cold!!!) I attended RWA in ATL. At the conference some Agents/Editors were speaking on a panel about NA and YA and the future. They weren’t predicting the future, rather, they were honestly discussing the fact that no one knows the future. Readers, bloggers, authors, agents, and even publishing professionals are unable to predict the future trends.

One publishing professional said (and I’m paraphrasing) “Everyone said love triangles were dead. I never expected to be publishing a love triangle where the MC is in love with her brother and a priest.”

Um, yeah. Who would expect that? That’s crazy. That’s original. That’s attention grabbing. In other words….that’s a hook!

So when A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers came out I jumped on it. I was a little surprised that something so racey, so different, came from an established author. Lisa’s a published other books and is known for her Personal Demons Series (check out her blog and/or Twitter). That’s not to say established authors can’t surprise. They just tend not to. They’ve learned the game and they play it. They color within the lines. But not Lisa. Lisa kicked convention in the face with her story about a young girl who falls in love with her brother (albeit, step brother). I didn’t expect the book to be good. But I loved it. Here’s my review of A Little Too Far.

When the next book in the series dropped I grabbed it. I read A Little Too Much in a few days. I didn’t know what to expect – which is my favorite way to approach a book, btw. I find it easier to enjoy something when I have little or no expectations about it. And A Little Too Much did not disappoint.

Not familiar with A Little Too Much? It’s an NA Romance by Lisa Desrochers – here’s a brief synopsis – don’t worry, no spoilers:

Alessandro, the hot, priestly love interest from A Little Too Far is back. He’s returned to New York and is looking for closure from his past and that includes his past love. Hilary is running from her past and clawing at the fringes of a life on stage. When the two meet again they are forced to face some ugly realities that threaten to destroy their budding friendship.

Buy links: Amazon

Some things I really liked about A Little Too Much – Hilary. She’s pretty awesome. And I love just about any book that involves theater. I loved all of my moments on stage – even the embarrassingly awful moments glitter in the light of memories – so I tend to swoon over stories that take place in the theater. But aside from her desire to act, Hilary is awesome because she’s tough and guarded. There isn’t a whole lot of that in NA (that I’ve read so far). And Hilary is convincingly guarded – her inner struggles are believable. I was definitely along for the ride.

I also liked the fact that sex between the H/h happened later in the book. Okay, so I guess that’s a bit of a spoiler but, come on, you knew there’d be sex. It’s an NA Romance, for goodness sakes. The sex was steamy but it wasn’t gratuitous.

My only complaint was that it was slow at times. There’s a bit with a table that after reading I was like “why couldn’t we just skip past this? Did I need the bit with the table?” Which isn’t a complaint, necessarily. It just means I was thrilled with the character development and wanted more meat and less device. All in all, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to NA fans. It’s a fast, fun read with lots of steam. I give it 4 cute kitties, for sure.

Have you read A Little Too Far or A Little Too Much? What did you think?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Write Foot Forward: running as a writer

Having spent most of last year trying to cultivate a thankful heart around writing and working a Day Job I feel I know a thing or two about making connections. see, when you’ve hung your hat on being a writer and all gears shift toward achieving that goal it’s frustrating as hell to slog through traffic everyday and waste precious time at the Day Job. But I also knew I couldn't just quit the Day Job and write without getting paid (momma’s gotta pay the bills). Check out this great post by Chuck Wendig on writing full time.

So some attitude adjustment was needed.

Not just a minor adjust - a major adjustment. I couldn't slap a band aid on this issue. I needed a Day Job and in order for me to find peace I needed to find a way to marry my Day Job and my writing (connections). I looked for ways the Day Job actually made me a better, stronger writer.

Huh, you say. How can that be?

Day jobs help writers so much, whether it’s cultivating discipline, providing stability, or developing the oh-so-necessary, thick skin. These posts opened my eyes to the ways the world around us resonate with story telling elements. You know, the small stuff that permeates daily life unnoticed but is so deliberate when we craft our novels. Yeah, that stuff.

Late in 2013 I started running again. Not much, but a little here and there. I ran a few 5k’s and had a lot of fun. It was like I was coming home. And when I was pounding the pavement, in the zone, I was struck with the many, seemingly obvious, connections between writing and running (I feel a series coming on). Here are some ways the two disciplines are similar:

1. Running is Competitive – Less than 1% of the worlds population has run a marathon (I’d call that pretty flipping elite). Sound familiar? I couldn't find the specific numbers on people who have finished a novel but it's so, so similar.

2. It’s a Lonely Road – you can have a coach in writing and running but you, alone, must do the work. And in both, the work is long and lonely

3. Hard as Heck – Running aint easy. Neither is writing. Both can be miserable on their worst day and pull-your-hair-out-hard on their best days

4. Powered By You – External rewards cannot be the motivating factor, in either pursuit, or you will be doomed to fail. Because so much of success is out of your control in publishing and running to be satisfying you have to be driven from within.

5. Training Needed – Both pursuits require a boat load of training. Whether your train by reading, writing, or taking classes you better strap in because there's a boat load of it coming your way.

6. Require Rest – You think you can run 12 hrs straight? I doubt it. Same with writing. And even if you could, the quality would suffer.

And let's not forget that both running and writing, if done properly, are a form of art. Or when a runner gets in their groove for a long run they end up smelly and needing a shower, just like writers. Cuz, when the words are flowing I'm like: Showers?

But above all, writing is like running because both require solitude, discipline, and strength.

I have so much more to say on this topic I'll be revisiting it from time to time to expound. Examining the ways the Day Job helped me as a writer was motivating and empowering and I hope this exercise will be as well. LOL, exercise. Did you see what I did there?

Are you a runner? Do you see parallels between running and writing? If so share them here:

Monday, January 6, 2014

My Writerly Goals for 2014

If you’ve hung around the blog for a while you know I’m a huge fan of stating your goals. Writing down your goals has an almost magical effect. It cements the goal in your mind and you consciously (and sometimes unconsciously) move toward completing that goal.

So, in the spirit of new beginnings I’m defining my goals for all to see. Goals should be SMART:

Just saying “I want to write more” aint gonna cut it. You need to be specific when defining your goals.

Here are my specific goals*:

Improve my craft

Increase online presence

Give back to online writing community

Produce more words

Read more books

*(Note: Goals should always be stated in the positive, like, ‘I will rescue 8 kittens this year’ and never in the negative, as in, ‘I will not let any kittens go unrescued this year.’ )

But I can get even more specific than that. Improve craft? What does that mean? How? Increase online presence? What does that mean, really? (Other than praying to the witch doctors of the interweb for upvotes). Well, I’ve defined that as blog hits and Twitter followers.

My SMART goal related to improving craft is:

Take two writing classes in 2014

Attend one conference in 2014

My SMART goals related to increasing my online presence are:

11000 page views in 2014

750 followers in 2014

4 contests entered in 2014

My SMART goal for giving back to the online writer community is:

3 blogs a week for 21 weeks in 2014

My SMART goal for producing more words is:

200k words written in 2014

2 MS’s completed in 2014

And my SMART goal for reading more books is:

40 books read in 2014

Now these goals are STEEP. These are stretch goals to be sure. And that’s great. It’s important to give yourself goals that challenge you while remaining attainable (remember the A in SMART is attainable).

There is nothing crappier than setting a goal and failing to meet it (in my opinion). Might this be why I’m frustrated with NaNoWriMo? Yes, yes it is.

So to avoid burnout and frustration I plan to evaluate my progress each quarter. If I’m falling short I can make the necessary corrections in an attempt to correct course. But if my corrections can’t seem to get me on track that’s okay. These goals can be restated throughout the year.

What goals do you have for 2014?

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