Let me tell you about 2017. It was completely bonkers. All my plans fell apart and all the gains came out of nowhere—God's perfect gifts.
I planned a smooth debut launch. Instead, on the night before my first novel came out, we had a family situation so intense and scary that the novel was the last thing in my mind.
I had hotel reservations and booked flights to attend two writers conferences and one readers retreat in 2017. I had to cancel everything to be with family. That was the right and the wise thing to do.
The plan was to stay in El Paso now that my husband is retired. But the old North Carolina house didn't sell, so we moved into it. Yep. Back to where it all started. Fort Bragg.
The plan was to transition the kids from their Texas public school to a Christian academy in North Carolina. Within a month it was clear that they couldn't accommodate my son's unique needs, and in late September I got a license to homeschool.
The plan was for my daughter to stay at the academy, but she now wants to come home too. So my home school is about to double in size. After the Christmas break, she will begin receiving her education at home too.
I expected Les Stobbe to continue being my agent. Instead, he decided to retire from agenting and sold his agency to The Steve Laube Agency, so I'm with them now.
I didn't plan to have an audiobook. But looks like one will happen soon.
A Season to Dance is now available in Portuguese (an old dream, since I have a lot of Brazilian followers and since my family is there and no one speaks English). But the paperback travels from here, and it takes time. The book is expensive too. Brazilians are not into e-readers, so the ebook is not much of a solution. The result? We're not selling as well as we had hoped. Can we sell? Yes. But it will take a big effort. It will be time consuming. Right now I can't do all I would like to do. I'm editing a manuscript that has to be finished by January 3.
Bonkers. Just bonkers.
Am I hopeful? Absolutely. A lot of these unexpected changes seemed scary at first, but have become a blessing.
The problem? I'm exhausted. I can't keep this up.
So I hereby resolve to resolve nothing. If I don't have resolutions and let God drive in peace, maybe I can be less tired, and I can enjoy the journey more. I want to take this trip one stop at a time. Now it's manuscript work. Later it will be...
Wait. Nope. That's planning.
I don't know what the next stop is. I'm at the manuscript-work stop. When God shows me the next stop, I will take that in and go from there.
How about that? Can you live that way? Do you do that already? What are your end-of-year rituals and/or evaluation processes?
Patricia Beal writes contemporary fiction and is represented by Bob Hostetler of The Steve Laube Agency.
Her debut novel, A Season to Dance, came out in May (Bling! / Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas 2017).
She’s a 2015 Genesis semi-finalist and First Impressions finalist. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati in 1998 with a B.A. in English Literature and then worked as a public affairs officer for the U.S. Army for seven years. She and her husband live in North Carolina with their two children.
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