Two years ago, I retired from the big corporate job and the hectic lifestyle that went along with it. Rewarding! Productive! Challenging! But also busy, draining, exhausting.
One year ago, my husband and I relocated to our paradise, the South Carolina Lowcountry, where I spend my days sleeping in (when the new puppy allows it), reading lots of good books, writing heartwarming Christian romance novels that take place at the beach, and yes, going to the beach as often as I can!
Many retired people feel the need to fill up their schedules, join a bunch of groups, volunteer on a regular basis, pick up new hobbies. And that’s absolutely fine! But me … I felt an overwhelming need to slow down and unwind. In my retirement, the last thing I wanted to do was recreate my hectic professional life.
For a year, I rarely set the alarm, took my time, walked the beach, prayed to God, wrote books and traveled. It was peaceful and restful, and just what the doctor ordered. But as I was contemplating my goals for 2020, I felt a new burst of energy. An excitement to try new things. A whisper in my ear from God that maybe it’s time to pick it up a little bit. The time felt right to stick my toe back into the waters of productivity.
I wrote a blog post about all my 2020 goals, split into categories of: Writing, Career, Health, Spiritual and Social. Let me tell you about a few that I’m making progress on already:
A writing goal: in my December InspyRomance blog post, I told you about my plan to shake things up a bit and instead of writing one book at a time, publishing it, and writing my next one, I was going to try a Rapid Release process. Write the first drafts of the entire series (5 books) before I release any of them. Then, I’ll release each one, a month apart.
I’m thrilled to report that so far, my plan is going extremely well! I wrote the short novella prologue (Book 1) in about three weeks’ time, and from there, I moved into Book 2 (a full-length novel). It’s looking like I will be done with Book 2 by the end of this week, which clocks out to 7 weeks total. After some “middle of the book slump” problems, God has cleared up my plot concerns and I’m excited about my planned ending. I’m also excited about researching Book 3. So far, no writing burn out detected!
Stay tuned for a future InspyRomance blog post for more about this series.
A career goal: A year ago, I joined the national organization American Christian Fiction Writers. I was excited about joining a group so focused on what I was doing. I knew there would be great resources offered and I would learn a lot. I was disappointed, though, when I discovered that the closest local ACFW chapter to me was a four and 1/2 hour drive away! Local chapters really put a personal face on a big national organization. That’s where you meet people, form friendships, help and support each other.
Before Christmas, I received a group email sent by the President of the SC Chapter, telling a bunch of us that she thought there was plenty of interest to start a second South Carolina chapter of ACFW, and she was looking for people who would want to join. Well, I definitely raised my hand in the air. It was just what I’d been praying for.
I attended her interest meeting, and lo and behold, I ended up being elected President of the new chapter! My husband laughed when he found out and said, “I thought you didn’t want to do stuff like that anymore.” But you know what? God knows what He’s doing. A year ago, when I was in my “I want to relax” mode of retirement, there’s no way I would’ve agreed to such a big job. But remember that nudge He gave me that it was time now to be more productive? It’s no coincidence that this important opportunity came up at the precise time it did.
Please pray for the Board of this new chapter and the charter members so that together, we can make it something absolutely awesome.
A health goal: I’ve always been a person who is either on a diet, trying to maintain a recent weight loss, or gearing up to lose the new 15 to 20 pounds I just gained. Who’s with me? So, one of my goals for the year is to do more healthy cooking. Instead of throwing something processed in the microwave, why not spend a little more time and discover new recipes, buy healthy foods and cook? I set my goal to try two new recipes a week and I believe I’ve kept to that. Here’s a look at some of my creations: vegetable beef soup, ratatouille and mini-turkey meatloaves. This house has been smelling pretty darn good!
So how about you? Did you set some goals in 2020 to be more productive? Do you want to share? I’ll pick one random commenter to win a giveaway: one ebook format of any of the books in my backlist.