Friday, January 18

Looking Back, Looking Forward by @JanaRichards_

It’s 2019! The past year has flown by in a whirlwind of activity.

Writing-wise, 2018 was good to me. In 2018 I stretched as a writer and self-published four new books, three of them in a new series, and one a sequel to a formerly published book. It felt really good to be in total control of my writing from conception to sale (I’m a bit of a control freak that way).

Of course, total control means total responsibility. Preparing the book(s) (editing, cover design, formatting) and promotion is all on me. That’s why I’m taking a breather from self-publishing by publishing my next series with The Wild Rose Press. Just before Christmas I finished the final editing on CHILD OF MINE, the first book in my new Masonville series. As of this writing, I don’t yet have a release date, but I’ll keep you posted. I’m planning four books in this series and I’m hard at work on book 2 at the moment.

But now that I’ve had a taste of self-publishing, I won’t go back. I have ideas for other projects that I can’t wait to get started on.

Last January, I made a promise to myself that if I didn’t lose some weight I’d finally clean my closet of clothes that no longer fit but I’ve been holding on to in the hopes that someday I could wear them again. Unfortunately, I haven’t made any progress on losing weight, so I’m going to be losing some clothes instead. Sigh. But I won’t give up the battle of the bulge.

Over the past year I read 46 books, up from 27 in 2017. Yay! I didn’t quite meet my goal of 50, but I’m happy to have surpassed the previous total. The majority of the books I read, or listened to as audiobooks, were romance novels. While I love romance novels, my goal for 2019 is to expand my horizons a little and read in other genres as well. And I want to finally break the 50 book mark in 2019!

Speaking of goals for the new year, January is always the time when I look forward and plan. This year I’m hoping to try something a little different. I’ve always made goals and resolutions, but I didn’t always make a plan as to how I was going to bring these goals to fruition. So this year I’m planning for success.

I’m making goals in several areas of my life that I feel need improvement. For instance, I’m putting my ever-present goal of losing weight under Physical Goals. One of my goals in this category is to get 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, which experts say is the minimum an adult should get. Since I'm not doing that much now, I'll have to work up to 150 minutes. I'll write "Gym" in my handy-dandy desk calendar so that I have a tangible reminder staring me in the face every day, reminding me of the commitment I made to myself.

Many of my goals will need to be broken down into manageable bits that don’t feel overwhelming and un-doable. And like I said, a big component to meeting goals is scheduling time to get things done. I will write everything on my calendar – appointments, work at the day job, time for writing, time for the gym. When I go to the gym, for a walk or take in some other form of exercise, I’ll give myself a gold star. Since I'm not five, it feels a little ridiculous to give myself a gold star, but I’ve read it’s effective, and I know from experience that crossing items off a to-do list is very satisfying. I’ll let you know how things go.

I'm just beginning to put stuff on my calendar.

And I got my first sticker! I couldn't find gold stars so I got a gold heart.
On the writing front, I want to give myself a goal that is doable but still stretches me. For sure, I want to finish book 2 of my new series, and at the very least, I want to plot out the other two books in the series. I would like to finish writing the four books in this series by the end of 2020. I haven’t fully formed all my writing goals for 2019, but high on my list is writing a novella to go with the Love at Solace Lake series that I published this year. I have a couple of secondary characters who’ve been asking me to write their stories. And I really want to work on the time travel/fantasy/contemporary romance series that I started several years ago but haven’t moved forward with. So many ideas, so little time.

This post is getting a little long, so I’ll end by asking about your goals and hopes for 2019. What would you like to see happen in your life in 2019? Now I’m off to the Dollar Store to buy more stickers!


  1. An impressive list! Good luck, Jana.

    1. Thanks Liz. Trying to reach goals is tough. I think I reached my 150 minutes of exercise in a week goal once since the beginning of January. I may have fallen short but at least I've gotten some exercise. I'll keep striving to reach that goal. Push ahead!

  2. On the writing front, I've got a release date for my new novel from The Wild Rose Press. CHILD OF MINE releases February 20, 2019. Yippee! Can't wait! Stay tuned for more information on this in the days to come.

    1. Congrats on the publication date! Just a month away. And you might have to go into hibernation with Nan with that schedule.

    2. Thanks Margie! There's no hibernating, I'm afraid. I'm too darned busy!