With Thanksgiving over, leftovers packed in the fridge and freezer, and turkey soup simmering on the stove, it is time to get back to business.

After 5 days of family, fun and food I need to tuck back into reality. That means going back to Weight Watcher meetings and tracking my food again. It means getting back to a routine of working out 4 to 5 times a week no matter how tired I am, or how late it is, when I get home from work. And it means setting myself up to begin the new year in writing stride. I can't believe it will be 2014 in just a few weeks. Busy weeks at that. With the new year will come the start of my "Write Your Memoir in Six Months" course. I've already set up a binder for the course materials and I've begun making some notes about how I want to write this book. A couple steps in the way of launching this journey are easy to take care of.

Number one-- I just received the edits of my poetry manuscript "I am My Mother's Only Poem," from Lorraine. I need to read the whole thing through to see how it sounds. Then I need to revise each poem and choose the final art for the book. Once that's done I will send it back to Lorraine and then speak to the book designer so we can begin to do layouts.

Number two-- I must, and I mean must, set up a writing schedule for myself. I have to be realistic but at the same time push myself to write every night and to spend solid time writing this first draft. I have to give myself a page quota so that if something comes up and I can't write some nights I can make up the number of pages on another day or on the weekend.

Number three-- I have to reorganize my office/writing room so I am distraction free. I have to make sure all I have available on my desks are materials for this book. And I will continue to connect with more writers on facebook, twitter, etc to expand my online presence.

In Brooke Warner's book "What's Your Book," she gives lots of great advice for creating a platform that will set you up to sell your book--first to an agent, then to an editor and then to the book buying public. I always thought writing and submitting were enough but I am understanding now how important it is to have a presence online--not just to sell your books, but to get it into the hands of a publisher in the first place.

I'm looking forward to sliding out of 2013 on a great start and running into 2014 in writing mode!!! Here I come!!


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