Monday, January 7, 2019

First Week In! What Have You Done to Make Your Dream Come True So Far?

January 7th...

A week in.

About now most folks' resolutions of going to the gym are dying a slow or not-so-slow death.

Most of the Christmas stuff has been packed away... but is it organized like you planned? Or stuffed in random totes that you'll lament and regret next November?

There's probably a small stack of things needing to be returned on a counter or table or dresser... and you'll get to them soon!

And the registration for the car that you meant to do in December is only a week late.


If this sounds familiar, YOU ARE NOT ALONE, MY FRIENDS.

Life happens. It spins. It hurries! It's frankly amazing how it beats its own little drum in a rhythmic time that leaves us in a whirlwind of things to get done.

Now I know a lot of folks who will quietly and effectively not have any of these things happening or waiting.... and that's good for them. They are not generally the people who take on extra volunteer projects when someone gets sick or step in to host a family gathering at the last minute, or have open Sundays at the pool for anyone who wants to drop in during a hot, hot summer.

So part of the problem is that some folks do too much and their time disappears.... I love those folks!

And others just can't seem to get it together no matter what season, what time, what setting.

If you're a writer, that's not gonna work.

If you're a writer and want to publish your own work or be traditionally published, that's not gonna work.

Meeting expectations, meeting deadlines, meeting other professionals on their terms is a huge part of your success as an author.

Learning the business, understanding the industry, climbing the walls and nudging open doors... All of these are huge.

You do not have to be organized to be a writer. Creative minds do not have to follow those rules, and many don't.

But you do have to be productive enough to feed a hungry audience of readers who are anxiously awaiting your next book.

Authors fail for a lot of reasons, but lack of production and lack of time spent are two big ones.

So where are you in your goals this 7th of January?

What do you see yourself doing in five years?

An author asked me that years ago and prayed for me when I said "I want to be where you are, an award-winning author with a sizable pile of books to my credit..."

I don't think she expected my honesty. Or that once a goal is set, I am determined to do the work to meet it. I can't predict the outcome!

But I have the power within myself to do everything I can to make it come true if I work hard enough.

I'm not worried about your undone stuff, my friends.... We've all got a pile of that.

But now is the best time to set your plan in motion, before guilt at turning that new Pelitron into a drying rack for fine washables sets in. :)

Share your plan with us if you'd like!

I'd love to hear it!

And while you're here I would be REMISS not to mention that "A Cowboy in Shepherd's Crossing" is available NATIONWIDE right now, wherever mass market paperbacks are sold and also on Amazon!  Jace Middleton always works his plan... a talented construction contractor and cowboy, Jace does whatever it takes to get the job done. When faced with leaving the town he loves, the town his family helped settle, Jace faces the choice with reluctance and determination... but when old secrets come out, and an eccentric and possibly more-than-eccentric old white woman reveals that she is Jace's biological grandmother... everything changes because the determined cowboy discovers he's been living a lie for thirty years... This beautiful story wraps itself around your heart and touches your soul as you take Jace's journey with him. I hope you dash out and buy it (or use the link RIGHT HERE!!!!) and that you love it!

Multi-published, award-winning inspirational author Ruth Logan Herne loves what she does and hopes that shows in everything she publishes. As creator of the Shepherd's Crossing Western series, she's having so much fun writing a cast of unforgettable and diverse characters in a crazy beautiful and rugged setting.... You can find her on Facebook where she loves to share all kinds of things, on Twitter, at and you can find her books through bookstores, Walmart, anywhere mass market media books are sold, and of course the entire library of her 50 books is available on Amazon at Ruth Logan Herne's page!


  1. What's a Pelitron? (That should give you an idea of how far gone I am.)

    1. Kathy, I had to look it up! I think it's some kind of exercise equipment. LOL

    2. They have VERY INTENSE COMMERCIALS during sporting events on TV. Football. Baseball. And these people RACE virtual cyclists all over the world and they all live in gorgeous houses and the women are size 2 and tall with no hips and the men are ripped.....

      Absolute reality, of course! :)

  2. Thank you, Ruthy.
    I don't honestly know what I'm going to do next, but I'll do something, which is better than nothing. I submitted my second book to Pelican, more or less at their request (if "What are you working on?" counts). I have two proposals to agents regarding my Genesis winner going out tomorrow. My crit partner will be critiquing the proposed sequel to the Genesis winner, which is in draft form, so that's that. I have a couple of earlier books that I'm planning to edit making use of What I Know Now, a lot of which came from this site. And I'm working on potential guest blogs and researching the Revolutionary War, Boston's events, for a possible historical. After that, I don't know. I'm waiting on the Lord to tell me what to actually WRITE next. I don't want to start anything new, meaning a new story from scratch, until I have firm direction. We'll see...
    Not doing great in home organization. The Christmas stuff is still up but that's because we do Twelfth Night, then leave them up for my January birthday. House not a mess but could definitely use some paring-down.
    Health not bad but could be better. Not walking as much, got to get back up to speed, no pun intended. Didn't exactly fall off the diabetic wagon in the three-holiday arc, but did push the envelope. How is THAT for a mixed metaphor? Editors and future editors, if I write anything like that in my actual novels, just shoot me.
    Out and about, back later, I hope.
    Stalwartly facing 2019

    1. I want you embracing 2019. LIKE HUGGING IT!!!!! I don't care if the house is a little choppy because I blame that on CREATIVE PERSON AT WORK!!!! :) But yes, grab hold of those projects and enjoy them, my friend! You've come so far!

    2. Thank you, Ruth. Yeah, I have a plan and I have goals.

  3. Great post, Ruthy. So far this first week of the new year I have not done anything writing related, but will work on those goals and get started next. Today is devoted to packing away the Christmas decorations, which will help me get in the frame of mind to move ahead in the new year. And I am going to the gym soon! I started doing that in June and have kept at it.

    Thanks for the push into the new year.

    1. YOU'VE GONE SINCE JUNE????? I am so stinkin' proud of you! Happy dancing for you! And yes, moving ahead into 2019 is the goal. To boldly go where no writer has gone before.... Well, they have, but that writer was not YOU. You are you!

      Go get 'em, Sandy!

    2. Thanks, Ruthy. I will go get 'em!

  4. Hi Ruthy. You are so right about time flying, life hapoening and you wonder where the first week of 2019. I don't have any lofty goals set but I do want to dig deeper into words. Definitely God's Word but also the words of others. Books and reading have always been such a big part of my life and I don't feel a need to change. Read more, learn more, dig deeper into God's Word. Best wishes for the next 51 weeks of 2019.

    1. I love you.

      First, avid reader and explorer and thoughtful person, those are marvelous attributes.

      We don't have to have lofty goals.... Well, when it comes to work, I have to have certain goals, but I never aspire to the lofty ones, either. But the volume ones, of working regularly, those are a huge help to me writing because when life socks me with a left hook or right jab, it's so much better if I'm not behind the eight ball with work. Do you know what I mean?

      I find that if I'm calm with work, I'm calm with the sure-to-come emergencies.

  5. Right now, my plan is to get the Christmas tree down TODAY!! LOL And to buy groceries for my book club (here) tomorrow night! And to pick up my daughter while her car is being serviced (I think I'll combine the grocery and auto--which will help my grocery trip go faster with help). :)

    But in the longer term... I have a novella to release soon and need to pull together all the cover info and get it to my cover designer. Then I need to move on to my yearly planning.

    1. Those are good plans! I'm laughing about the tree because we had a houseful yesterday and the tree is still waiting... and there's a CRITTER living where I store the Christmas stuff in the attic, and I might be reticent about pulling out the totes alone... I need a hero!!!!! :)

      Huge congrats on the novella release! I love seeing this!

      And I, who rarely plan anything to extremes, always have my yearly and bi-yearly writing plans.

      I am a firm believer in seeing where I'm going, that way I know when I'm making a wrong turn. :)

  6. My favorite line,
    "I'm not worried about your undone stuff, my friends...we all have a pile of that." Whew, I feel I've been given a reprieve!

    Lol on the "Pelitron drying rack". those commercials are persuasive, but...nope, I'll go to the Y) I finally gave me treadmill to my daughter, who probably uses her for a drying rack too.

    The only real goal I've worked on for the year so far is making a list of books I'll be reading this year. 90 of my 120 spots are filled in, eek! Only 30 slots open for books I don't know about yet and Christmas books. So what's coming up for you this year Ruthy? I have to get your books on my TBR shelf! There are some great books on the 2019 reading horizon!

    1. I just spotted Healing the Cowboys Heart on amazon for July, adding it to the list!

    2. Tracey, let's see.... the historical novella collection comes out next month "The Sewing Sisters Society" and you may have read them in Seekers historical collections, but now I'm bringing them out personally.... and then in March is the first full-length historical from Second Chance South Dakota "A Most Inconvenient Love", Rachel Eichas's story.... And then "Just Over the Horizon" from Guidesposts in June and "Healing the Cowboy's Heart" in July from Love Inspired.... and then the third Wishing Bridge novel in September and a new series for Love Inspired beginning in December... and I may slip the second historical novel in there, depending on how the next six months go. God is good!

    3. Whew, glad I asked, 4 more spots filled! I'll try to read 'em as fast as you write 'em, I have one right now to get to this month!

  7. Hi Ruthy and Seekerville.
    Great post.
    Mary "The Dork" Connealy

    1. Hi, my friend.... Nothing the least bit dorky about you. You are loved.

    2. Mary! You are most un-dorkiest dork ever!

      And anyone with a cute new grand baby gets all kinds of reprieves!

  8. Hello Seekerville! My excuse for not getting anything done the first week of January is that my husband was still home on holidays last week! So, no writing-related items except one HAD-to-get-done blog post, but we did clean out closets like mad fiends and got the Christmas tree down this weekend and all the decorations put away. Now that I have the house to myself again I'm filling in my News Years writing goals and planning out my first quarter of the year. :) And a Pelitron is a $3000 stationary bike you can hook up to the internet and take "classes" with via any monitor you like, or you can challenge real people via the same monitor to races. My stationary bike works alone and I just play music to ride by, so I feel very old school, lol.

    Ruthy's right - five years is NOT a lot of time. I just had a 3 year memory pop up on Facebook this morning and it was for my old scrapbooking "business". One of those home-based businesses that I was doing because it was easy to do from military posting to posting and it gave me a reason to get out and meet new friends as well as make some money. Only three years ago in January 2016, that's what I was doing. By the end of 2016, I'd entered the TARA and placed second, met Tina Radcliffe online, started writing Northern Deception and by March 2018 I'd sold it to Anaiah Press. And along the way I'd stopped scrapbooking because I had no more time for it. :) (I didn't give up spinning and knitting though!) I don't have Ruthy's prolific output but I'm working on that aspect. And I have Seekerville and Tina to thank for getting me back into writing after a ten year hiatus. So, here's to a productive 2019 for everyone! :)

    1. When I look back 5 years, I am amazed at how my life/work has changed. You can look back only 3 years and say the same thing!

      Congratulations on your writing success!

  9. The Trickster
    Scores Big!

    Oy vey iz mir!

    You got me good!

    I read this whole post thinking Mary wrote it in an attempt to cheer us all up. This is how Monday was advertised. I thought, "If this is cheering up, what can we expect from Ruth's upcoming post of sorrow?"

    But then I assumed too much and too soon. As they say:

    "Fools Rush in Where Wise Men Fear to Tread."

    My One Word this year is 'Adapt' which seems already to be most appropriate.

    Now I am going to have to read this post all over again to place it in the correct framework.

    You can be fearless but don't fear less.

    1. Oh, poor Vince! Hey, I FELT cheerful writing it, but I'm usually at my most cheery self when chastising others and helping them to achieve their richest potentials exponentially. :)

    2. And I'm laughing because I can totally feel your angst as you read. :)

      Anyway, Mary had something come up for today so I slipped in and you are STILL STUCK with me on Wednesday because that's ready to rock and roll and I do love hearing myself talk both literally and virtually, my friend.

      But I do disagree.... I think we should all trust God more and fear less. I think fear is a game-changer if we allow it to bring worry and chaos into our lives... we can't avoid it 100%, but we can sure take charge and chase it into the shadows.

      Fear is often the enemy of just about anything we try to do and life is too short, my friend. Too short.

    3. .
      Fear: YES!

      But make fear your servant and not your master.

    4. I'm happy you'll be back on Wednesday...but I'm checking the name at the bottom before I read it.

      Fear Not...but Verify!

    5. .
      "If you have butterflies before public speaking, fear not, teach them to fly in formation and they will take your speech to new heights!"

    6. .
      "Sometimes a romance writer may stand in need of a good swift kick in the derrière. Just make sure you're not standing on Lover's Leap when you do it. This goes double for edgy Christan writers."

    7. Hahahahahahah! I put my name right at the top of Wednesday's post so you'll know it's me immediately! :) Thank you for keeping me on my toes! And laughing!

    8. When I started reading, I thought it sounded like Ruthy and not Mary so I scrolled to the bottom to find out for sure!

  10. Great encouragement for the New Year, Ruthy!

    BTW, God gave me my one-word at church on New Years Day! TREASURE! As in find my husband, my children, my extended family, my writing community, health,... You get the picture. I awake each day eager to find the treasure God has provided. It's like a spiritual Treasure Hunt and I'm excited about what the future might hold! :)

    Congrats on the pile of books you have written in the last five years! You rock and inspire!

    1. Oh, I love that image of using Treasure as a One Word... Marvelous choice! I know Missy has "Joy" and I have "Kindly" (which needs no explanation for most of youse) :)

      I have a much easier time keeping track of one word than a series of annoying resolutions and the guilt that ensues when I break them!


    2. Hi Debby:

      "Treasure" is a wonderful One Word. It sounds like you or God may have read "Acres of Diamonds" which I love to listen to every so often. It expresses your very One Word!

      You can view a great rendition of this by Earl Nightingale at this link:


    3. Vince, thank you for the YouTube link. Well worth watching and just what I needed to hear! God was using you today so perfectly.

      Hugs to you and Linda!

    4. I have never heard of Acres of Diamonds... Vince, this was wonderful!

  11. 2019 is off to a roaring start for me!

    I took most of December off to work as Santa's Helper (okay, I did turn in a novella that was due). But since Christmas I've revised and turned in my fall 2019 release, started my next book in my current series with Revell, had a power-conference with my new agent, and started brainstorming possible new stories with my hubby (he's a great brainstormer, BTW!)

    I plan to be busy over the next several months, and like you know so well, Ruthy, busy is good. Very good. :-)

    Can't wait to read your newest books! I'm several behind!

    1. The scourge of being an avid writer is less time to read, but in the end... we are living the dream of being the writer we loved to read! God is clever that way!!!! ;)

      And what a solid beginning, Jan! Go you!!!!

  12. Mostly what I have done to work towards goals this year is scheduled blog posts to help advertise my new release in April... and get the house in better order so I can focus more on literary pursuits. Does it count as having Christmas put away if all that's left out is the kissing ball I can't reach? :-)

    1. Amy, it so totally counts! A Kissing Ball???? Oh, I love the romance of that! Wonderful!!!!!!

    2. A friend gave us a Kissing Ball this lovely with pine and berries and mistletoe! I still have mine and spritz it with water occasionally when it looks like it needs a drink. :)

    3. Debbie, ours is totally fake, but it was a spur of the moment purchase our first Christmas and I love hanging it up again each year. :-)

  13. I made a resolution years ago not to make resolutions. ;p LOL My trees and decorations are still up since spending time with my kids is more important than cleaning house. :) BUT it`s on my list of things to do before next week since that kicks off our birthday week (3 in one week!). I`ve started my research and planning of my second novel (YAY!) so my goal is to finish my first draft by June.

    1. Lee-Ann, you've got this in check wonderfully! It's never about the timing of when to do the sundry things... it's about the timing of doing the important things and then getting the other stuff done as needed.

      We can tackle those other things as needed... but family and profession are usually the first things first items because we love our families and the bank loves it when we pay bills! :)

      Love the triple birthday week. We have five birthdays between 12/9 and 1/2.... and Christmas and all the fun and family stuff that goes along with that. I always feel like I'm falling down on the birthday side because there isn't the time to do the normal things.... but then we do our big Cousin Palooza every summer, for all the grandkids, so that we can celebrate with them properly!!!

  14. Delightful post, Ruthy! You're always such an inspiration! I LOVE that you live a REAL life...and you don't mind sharing about it!

    I'm excited for this One Word is Transition. I blogged about why I know this is my word...but anyway, I'm leaning into finishing my synopsis and revising my manuscript for a request from a Love Inspired Editor who has been MOST patient with me while I find my way during this season of widowhood. I've set a few other goals for the months ahead. An exciting one for me is the RWA conference in July in New York!! Thanks for helping all of us kick-start this New Year! Blessings.

    1. Ah, Kate, the season of widowhood.... I remember when Anna Schmidt lost her husband and her poignant words touched my heart when she said "Don't tell me you understand how I feel unless you too have buried the love of your life. Only then will you know."

      Empathy can only go so far, but I absolutely admire your wonderful nature. God sure blessed us when he put you on the planet. And I love patient editors! THEY'RE THE BEST! :) And I might come down to the city for the Harlequin party next July... that would be so fun! I'll skip the conference, but I do love seeing everyone. But then we're in the middle of farm season, so the best laid plans often get tucked aside so that I can grow chrysanthemums! :) Life has so many beautiful facets, doesn't it?

      And I think your word might be "Transition" but I also think your word is absolutely... perfect. :)

    2. Kathryn, I'm hoping to attend RWA this summer. Now I'm excited and looking forward to seeing you there! :)

  15. I loved and needed your words, Ruthy. December was a very unexpected month, and this month has started out to be the same. Writing time has been hard to come by. But, I know that I need to make time for writing and not become distracted by my desire to organize (and put off writing). I need an organized space to be creative, but I admit, I can go overboard. ;)

    Last year, my goal was to complete my book and submit it to an agent. December derailed that, but I intend to complete my edits, etc, by the end of this month, and then begin working on my next story (and yes, I have an idea of what it is!).

    Thanks for this post!

    1. Jeanne, I used to think I needed an organized area/time to write. Then I realized that my reality was probably never going to provide that, by the very nature of life with jobs and six kids and grandkids and weddings.... so once I got my first laptop I taught myself to write anywhere. That's why you'll find me in hotel lobbies in the wee smalls, curled up with my laptop and keyboard, so I don't wake up roomies or husband... because if I don't make the time, it just doesn't happen around here. We all have to find our own way, but there was such a fire burning inside me to make this happen once I got the chance that I just kept plugging along.

      Now I just think it's WAY FUN to be the eccentric author in the lobby in her pajama pants and sweatshirt.

      And now and again a hotel clerk will bring me coffee... what a sweet gesture! :)

      Don't go overboard on that organizing. It can run you ragged.

      Let the words take their shape, with you at the helm.

  16. Ruthy, I'll be honest and I was shocked when it happened, but I could not read or write anything through the holidays.I was shocked that grief would affect me like that. But I am back to normal on that as much as is possible with the other areas of my life. Hope to be back in full swing in the next couple of weeks. Last week. I reread what I had written so far on a couple of my projects because I had forgotten. At the same time I jotted down where I was headed in the story etc.

    But then it was close to the weekend. Our church changed the way we do Children's Church and the preschoolers are not in the service for the song service so I have them for an hour and a half instead of 45 minutes so I have been creating activities and crafts for them to do in the extra 45 minutes. I spend all day on Saturday just working on getting ready for Sunday. One bright side is I enjoy it and am working on trying my hand at writing my own curriculum. It's just nothing else gets done. Mondays will be my day to get caught up or rest.

    I started taking down the tree today. I need to get it all put away and fell overwhelmed at the task. Last night my brother said he had a 5 shelf bookcase he had assembled for me. (I am thrilled) I have 4 bins of books waiting for a bookcase. Only I need to make room for him to get in my house. I have ADHD and struggle with organization skills and clutter taking over. Of course knowing I have a bookcase arriving is great motivation. I have a 4 room house with no storage which is part of my problem. but with the new bookcase I will have 8 bookcases. Can you tell I love books?

    My health has been rough. Of course with the chronic vertigo, pre diabetes it can be fun. When I saw the doctor a couple of weeks ago I weighed 197 pounds I don't want to get to 200. Exercise is almost out of the question and what has put me in this situation ever since I got the permanent injury in my inner ear.

    My goals this year are to keep on striving and keeping on the course as I learn to write and prepare for publication. I am thinking that I will most likely need to have my books completely written and ready for a publisher to see before I sign any contracts because I never know when the vertigo will flare up so it is difficult to set deadlines in that way.

    Sorry to be so long. Any suggestions and encouragement are welcome. And even a kick in my pants if you think it is needed.

    I am grateful for you and all the Seekers and villagers.

    1. Grief has its way with us, and every person's walk is unique to them. You are doing just fine... We take it day by day, hour by hour, and we thank God for the amazing graces and blessings he's showered on us and we keep putting one foot in front of the other.

      I love your goals! They are worthy and just perfect for taking those steps. And I always advise authors to complete the books... and then revise and rewrite as needed. It's rare for a publisher to contract a new author without a full manuscript in hand.

      Bless you, Wilani! We keep forging on.

    2. Ruthy, thank you for such a motivating post! My goals for 2019 revolve around one word - contemplative. God is directing me to live a more contemplative life, even in my writing. I'm not sure where He will take me, but we'll enjoy the trip.
      Just want to say too that you are such an inspiration to the rest of us! Thanks for always sharing your thoughts, your encouragement and your giggles!


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