Saturday, July 8

Mid-Year Check In

By Jana Richards

Can you believe more than half of 2017 is gone? Some of my Word Wrangler sisters have already done a mid-year check in and now it’s my turn. Sometimes you need to step back and look where you’ve been to see where you’re going.

After vacillating for quite a while, I made the decision to self-publish my three-book series, tentatively titled the “Love in the North Woods” series. Book one of the series is currently with my editor Janet, who is also a good friend. I know she’ll do an amazing job. The second book is ready to send to her as soon as she’s read for it, and I’m currently doing my own edits on the third book. I’m trying to pick up threads of the story I might have dropped along the way. If someone knows a great method to keep details straight through a series, I’d love to hear it! I’m hoping to have this book ready to go to my editor by the end of summer, if you consider the end of summer October 1st. My next step is to contact the cover designer my friend Jessica Eissfeldt used. Her covers are lovely and I want that same kind of quality.

That quality costs. I have to admit I’m scared spitless about how much self-publishing three books is going to cost. What if I don’t even make back my initial investment? That is a really frightening possibility. Because of the cost, I’ve decided not to attend the 20 Book Indie Publishing conference in Los Vegas. It’s disappointing, but my funds are limited this year. Hopefully, I’ll be able to attend next year.

The journal where I record my read books. I have a lot of pages to fill!
My read book count isn’t anywhere near where I’d like it to be. I’ve only read twelve books so far this year, most of them audiobooks. A couple are writing craft books, one is a research book, and the rest are fiction. I need to pick it up for the rest of the year.

Our retreat house at Living Skies Retreat.
What else has been going on? I got to go to a retreat with writing friends in April. It was such a boost to my spirit to not only have a solid couple of days to write, but also to be with friends who share my crazy obsession. And the best part? I’m going back in November for another retreat!

The relaxation room at Thermea Spa. Ahhh!
On the personal front, my husband and I are doing some golfing this summer (him way more than me). We completed a kitchen reno this spring - thank goodness that's over! We’re going on short trips/excursions over the summer months. We went to a Tom Petty concert in St. Paul, MN in June. In July we’re meeting some of my cousins at a lake about a four drive away, which should be a lot of fun. Warren and I are having a spa day at Thermea Nordic Spa, a sort of belated Father’s Day gift for him. I’m looking forward to my massage, my second in the last couple of months. Getting a relaxing massage was part of my “Me Time” promise to myself. In August we have a family reunion to go to. Our big trip this year will be in September when we go to Nova Scotia. I’m really looking forward to that.

There’s still so much I want to do before 2017 ends. I have a finished manuscript I want to give another going over to before shopping around for a publisher. I’d love to continue work on a series I began some time ago. And I really need to put together some kind of marketing plan to promote my indie series, whenever it actually gets released. I predict a busy few months!

What’s the best thing you did the first half of the year? What are you looking forward to most in the second half?


  1. I'm really looking forward to the RWA conference later this for the best thing I've done - my whole family (mom, siblings, kids) went on a cruise in February and it was amazing!

    1. Your cruise sounds amazing, especially since you shared it with the people you love. Have a wonderful time at RWA!

  2. It sounds as if you're having a busy year on all counts! The roommate and I had a weekend trip over Memorial Day--I think it was my most memorable for this year. Looking forward to a few more trips.