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A Fresh Start

by Amanda Forester

I love making resolutions. I look forward to the beginning of January as an opportunity to make a fresh start on all those things I mean to do. It is a chance let go of past failures and disappointments and start again. Everyone needs a fresh beginning.

Speaking of new beginnings, here is my brand new cover for True Highland Spirit, which will be released in March. Now that is a lovely way to begin the New Year!

This year my resolutions are primarily about writing. Even after completing three books, I still have fanciful ideas that somehow my story will get written without me actually sitting down to write it. I also have high hopes that I can become physically fit, organize my house, and clean out the garage all without my presence being required. I have tried this approach over the holidays and have been quite disappointed with the results. It all comes down to this shocking revelation, none of my goals in life will happen without my personal energy and effort.

The challenge is to make small but steady progress toward my goals. Of course if I look at how much is required to complete a task, such as writing a book, or worse yet cleaning my garage (I don't want to be alarmist but I think the stuff is breeding, forming bastard creations of the unholy alliance between old clothing, garden supplies, and half-empty cans of old paint), now where was I... this sentence has gotten so long I got lost, oh yes, I remember now - if I look at how much work it will take to accomplish a goal it is easy to become overwhelmed and turn to watching the shopping channel or playing an app involving a slingshot and cartoon birds. The challenge for me in accomplishing any task is to focus on small daily goals. One day at a time. Letting go self-recriminations if I don't make my goal one day and trying again the next.

So what is one of your goals for next year that will take daily effort to realize your dream?


  1. Amanda, how exciting to start the year off with a new cover! My biggest goal is to develop a daily writing schedule for Book 3 and stick to it no matter what. In 2011, I formed the habit of writing every single day. In 2012, it will be about a specific number of words.

    If you purchase the RWA CDs, be sure to listen to Shana Galen's workshop on writing goals. It's a great motivator.

  2. In a word, writing, and may I say, so far so good! Good luck with your resolutions!

  3. Amanda, beautiful cover!!! For me it's writing and meeting deadlines, but also promoting and remembering to be where I'm supposed to be!!! But I just set flexible weekly goals because I work full time.

    Just got my daughter married off on Saturday, which I suspect will be the big event for me of 2012!

  4. I don't have a garage... I have an entire barn, a summer kitchen, a smoke house, an attic... fortunately, like the hope squeaking to get out of Pandora's box, I also have an eight-cylinder pick up truck that knows where the landfill is.

    As for goals... any more, one good scene a day is a happy accomplishment for me. Figure a book has about 60-75 scenes, and that rate of productivity will still produce four books a year. The goal, though, is simply to enjoy the writing. Nothing more, and nothing LESS.

  5. Now that's the way to blast into the new year...with a brand new cover which promises a brand new book soon with fantastic words.
    I have tunnel vision and no common sense. I jump into a project and work like a fiend until it's finished. Right now it's making my deadline for the Christmas book for 2012.
    Somewhere in one of the tunnels there is something about washing windows this spring and cleaning out the storage sheds and garage. There's every possibility I will drive around them and into another tunnel with the title of a book flashing in neon at the other end.

  6. Great cover, Amanda. One of my goals is to help my daughter eat more fruits and vegetables. I have to persevere daily and not give up. Hopefully, by the time she's 3, she'll be eating at least one vegetable daily1

  7. Amanda - Great cover! My goal for this year is the same for every year. Find balance. It's been eluding me forever. On the teeter-totter of life, every year my goal is to get closer to the center.

  8. Great cover, real eye catcher. For me it is working on my first novel, I wanted to try to write on it everyday, but university and my jobs play sometimes havoc with my plans

  9. Tracey - a writing schedule is a great idea. If I don't write it down, it does not happen. I'll have to check out Shana Galen's workshop!

    Cheryl - congrats on meeting those writing goals. I look forward to reading your next installment!

  10. Terry - congrats on your daughter's wedding!! How exciting! I also have trouble remembering where I (or my kids) are supposed to be. Thank goodness for color coded calendars!

    Grace - so glad I don't have a barn or I'd fill it with goodness knows what. I love you goal to simply enjoy the writing. Sometimes when a deadline is looming the joy can be forgot. It is always good to remember this is the best job ever!

  11. Carolyn - Christmas book - love it!! This might not be helpful for your clutter but do I think you should stay in that tunnel and write more fabulous books? Hell yeah!!

    Shana - when you figure out the vegetable thing with your kid let me know how you did it!

  12. Robin - I definitely hear you on the balance thing. I also seem to be all one or another, either not writing at all or writing non-stop. Balance would be good!

    Dannyfiredragon - you can do it! I do understand how life can ger in the way (boy do i understand), but if you write just one page each day by the end of the year you will have a book!!

  13. Great post, Amanda! My goal is to write at least 5 days a week, if not seven. Love the cover, btw.

  14. May I just say I love your books! I want to write more but have time committments with the kids this year and have made them my goal for this year. It is my son's last year at home so I want to make the most of it.

  15. Sara - sounds like a great goal, one I share!

    Renee - thanks, I'm glad you enjoy my books! I understand about putting family first! You only get one chance to raise your kids!

  16. Amanda, you are so right with the comment about a page each day, I never saw from that perspective. So there is still hope for me. LOL

  17. Hi Amanda, Well, my goal for this year is not to spend so much time on Facebook. Hmm, the mind is willing but the body is weak.....

    I love your new cover, he's got an amazing body, but I just wish that we could see his face too. Oh well, I'll just imagine that it's Henry Cavill. Mmmmmmm.......

    dpd333 (at) aol dot com

  18. Love the cover! It would make me stop and pick it up.
    Goals are good, I dont have many but this year I want to make sure to take time to enjoy my kids. And read as much as I can =)
    Good luck with the new book, it looks like a great read!


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