I don’t always make New Years resolutions, but when I do, I blog them.  Completing a thousand mile drive home from Texas to Colorado gave me ample time to contemplate.  I came up with two goals, both doable.  Enlarge the photo if needed to read my new coffee cup.  You’ve been warned.

First resolution is to run a marathon in 2017.  Sure, I’ve run marathons before but this time will be different.  This marathon will be spectacular.  This marathon will qualify me for Boston.  I didn’t run any marathons at all in 2016.  It was an injury year.  Strained hamstrings and lower back pain.  Although truthfully, I ran less to devote time to writing.  Hard to do it all, but I’m going to in 2017.  I’ve run within seconds of qualifying the past two years.  My plan is to run the Colorado Marathon May 7th, fast enough to qualify for the 2018 Boston Marathon.

Next goal is to publish my next novel.  Maybe not publish, but I’ll start writing.  I already outlined the story in my head during the two day drive from Austin and just finished capturing it in notes.  I’m changing up my writing goals a bit from my first book.  It was important to me to experience the writing and publishing process, end-to-end, the first time around.  I gave myself a target date to ensure I finished.  It’s fair to say, writing a novel is one of those projects so many start and never finish.  So completion was paramount to me.

For my second novel, I want to focus on two other areas of writing – quality and marketing.  I want my second novel to be better than my first.  I think it will be.  And I want to put more energy into a marketing plan.  I’m willing to take longer to write for a better book.  And I’ll expect to allow for multiple months after it’s complete to perform the requisite marketing tasks.  Obtaining a review before publishing could take a couple of months.  I might even enter contests.  I might also put more into up front research.  I’m going to budget two years for this second book.  I still think setting a timeline is important.  My experience on the first novel was to treat it like a project, and projects have target dates.

The benefit of stretching the book process out for two years is I’ll have more time for running.  I recall a good twenty years of my life where I had zero hobbies.  Now I have two.  Life just keeps getting better.