The start to a New Year is always an interesting time. Some people make resolutions. Others like to maintain the status quo. I have to admit, I fall somewhere in between. I don’t make resolutions per se, but I do reflect on the year gone past and the new one about to begin. This January is no exception. In fact, I find myself more reflective than ever—more thankful too—as I leave 2012 behind and jump headlong into 2013. Why? Well, in a nutshell, I accomplished something I’ve dreamed of achieving for a while. I became a published author with the debut of Fury of Fire, the first novel in my Dragonfury series.
Pretty cool, right? Undeniably. An unbelievable highlight in the Year of Dragon (my favorite mythical creature!). But wait, there’s more…and it’s a bit of a kicker.
After the release of Fury of Fire, I had three more books come out in 2012: Fury of Ice and Fury of Seduction (books 2 and 3 of the Dragonfury series) and Knight Awakened, the first installment of my Circle of Seven medieval romance series. Four books…in one year. It sounds a bit crazy, doesn’t it? There were times I thought so. But despite the frenetic pace and daunting length of my to-do lists, I am so grateful to have had the opportunity along with a steep learning curve.
It’s not only shown me what I’m made of, but also what I’m capable of achieving. And through all the ups and downs, while struggling to juggle home, work and family life, I learned some invaluable lessons. Some I knew, but needed a reminder to put into practice. Others weren’t even on my radar. But all are important. So today, I thought I’d share a few of the things I learned in 2012:
1. Be the Turtle, not the Hare: life is a marathon, not a sprint.
• This lesson is a difficult one for me. I’m a NOW girl, the kind of person who can’t stand the idea of unanswered emails in my inbox. When a task crops up, the faster it gets stroked off my list and people have what they need, the happier I am. But believe me, fast doesn’t always equal better. More times than I care to count, slow and steady won the race this year.
2. P is for Planning: the more you do, the better off you’ll be.
• I resisted the whole “planning thing” at first. My husband is the planner in our family, not me. I’d rather take a long walk off a short pier than make a five year plan. But the fact remains…while spontaneity might be fun, it doesn’t focus you enough to get you where you want to go. A well thought out plan is worth its weight in gold.
3. Teamwork is Key: you’re only as good as the people around you.
• Hockey taught me the importance of teamwork. Being a team player is as crucial as the individual skills you bring to the game. Each member has unique talents and specific responsibilities, no question. But when you combine forces and play as a team, it’s not only a lot more fun, but success almost certainly follows.
4. The Power of Time Management:
• Harnessing time, managing it well, is like a superpower. The more you exercise it, the more skilled you become. The key is focus and a solid game plan. For me, writing—working on the new story and getting my allotted word count in—tops my to-do list every day. Knowing what is most important helps me prioritize, which in turn makes time an ally instead of an enemy.
5. Me Time is Essential Time:
• I know what you’re thinking. “Me” time looks great on paper. An excellent theory when in reality your days are filled with to-do lists a mile long. But here’s the thing. Finding time for yourself is as vital as breathing. If you don’t breathe, you can’t live. If you never refill the creative well, you run dry and burn out. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past year, it’s that neglecting myself means I can’t take care of anyone else. So, take it from me…don’t deny yourself alone time or the pleasure of doing what you love, because when you’re happy, those around you will be too.
So there you have it. A few of the lessons I learned in the midst of a very busy year. What lessons did you learn in 2012? Leave a comment for a chance to win an autographed copy of Fury of Fire, Dragonfury series, Book 1.
Here’s wishing you a joy-filled and exciting 2013 with all the “me” time you can handle!
Coreene Callahan is the bestselling author of the Dragonfury novels and Circle of Seven series. For more about her and her books, please visit her website CoreeneCallahan.com or stop by her Facebook author page to keep up with the latest news.