Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Beginnings

I love this time of year! It’s a time of new beginnings and fresh starts. No matter what you've done up until now, you can start over with a positive energy and hope for all the possibilities the brand new year brings.

Every year around this time, I begin planning for the next year. I start to think about what I’d like to do differently when the calendar year flips over, and I take stock of the past year, examining what worked and what didn't. I begin to make my lists. I dream big and I dream small. I broad-brush my goals, then I go back in and paint in the details by making sub-lists under those bigger topics.

After I've finished my plans, I post these goals on my office wall--yes, on an easel-sized post-it note to myself. So that all year long I can check off my progress. Usually, by the time June hits, I’m ready to re-evaluate my yearly goals, update and make new lists. Last year I found that by June, I’d accomplished everything I’d set out to accomplish for the year. So I had to plan again. Now, looking back at the list I had for myself in June, I've also accomplished the majority of those tasks and met those goals. It feels good to see a physical “track record” ... and to know that all the time and energy and sweat I exerted really did pay off in big and small ways for me.

One of those payoffs for me this year debuts later this week. My contemporary romance, Essence, will be released  on January 2, 2014 by Soul Mate Publishing. As you can imagine, I’m a little excited and a lot nervous. I have published a few Indie titles myself, but this is the first book of mine that a publisher has picked up. And it’s my first contemporary romance. The journey has been a good one. I've loved working with SMP. And I think this is a good next step for me. Okay, so I’ll squee now! All right, all right. Maybe not. I’ll wait until the pub day to do that because my control freak side worries about everything that can go wrong between now and then. Even though I really know better. It’s going to be fine.

So I’ll go back to focusing on my lists for a few more days, hammering out all those fun and exciting things I want to explore this year and the number of ways I hope to develop my writing career. Then, come January 2nd, I’ll add learning the ins and outs of marketing a book to my daily and weekly writing routine.

Yes, one of my big goals this year is to figure out how to promote a book effectively. I've already begun to promote Essence and will start a blog tour January 27th to get my name out there, and hopefully sell a few more books in the process. I’d love to see you on the virtual road! Check out my website for details on the full line-up of my blog tour toward the end of January.

So what do you do at this time of year? Do you set New Year’s Resolutions? Do you set personal goals for yourself? Do you re-evaluate and take stock of where you’ve been and where you’d like to go? I’d love to hear what you’ve found successful or helpful over the years & if you have one or two goals you’ve set for yourself, shout them out! It always motivates others to know those around them are reaching for the next rung on the ladder or the stars.

Buy your copy of Essence starting January 2, 2014 at and be sure to tell me what you think in a review on Amazon & at Goodreads. All my Indie published titles are currently available at To find me on the web, go to If you’re on Facebook, look me up at: MackenzieLucasFanPage or on Twitter at: @MacLucas_writer.

Book Giveaway:
Readers who comment on today’s blog by sharing one of their goals for the new year will be entered into a drawing for a free copy of Essence.

$50 Spa eGift Card Giveaway:
And two lucky followers who LIKE my Facebook page MackenzieLucasFanPage between today and January 15 will each win a $50 SpaWish eGift card.

So come on, let’s play! Comment, like, and share. It’s always fun to have as many participants as possible in these contests. As Misha says, join in my reindeer games. It’ll be fun!

Happy New Year and happy goal setting. Let's see what we can do in 2014!

More about Essence. More about Soul Mate Publishing.


  1. Mac!! I'm so excited for you - and blown away by how organized your goal setting is. My big goal this year is to tackle my work habits - I want to structure more time with butt in chair, fingers on keyboard. I've lined up access to a communal office for writers and set a floor goal number of hours per week that I intend to use it. I like where my craft skills are heading. Now it's time to focus on my process skills.

    Can't wait to read the published version of Essence!


  2. Can't wait to read, Mackenzie. You inspire me by all you've accomplished and the great reminder to set those goals, and write them large (figuratively and literally) and keep to a schedule. I wish you all the best...My resolution is to spend more time on the creative side of my brain, the marketing can be exhausting, but I get my strength from the actual writing, so I've got that written on my homepage ..."You should be writing!".

  3. Keely ~ That's so exciting! What a wonderful goal for the new year and you're already making great strides to meeting that goal by setting up the writing space. All my best for a productive year filled with all the progress you desire! Yeehaw. ;0)

  4. Ha! Love it, Emelle. Yes, and you're a master (or should I say mistress) of marketing. You've done an amazing job with Secret Sister and Once and Forever! Good luck with the creative side this year. I have no doubt you'll hit your goal(s) out of the park. Happy New Year!

  5. Thank you, Mackenzie. Looking forward to reading it. I love how you begin a new year with goals and actions. I'm going for that this year and reviewing the past year, as you suggest and not be in such a hurry to get out of the old and into the new without reflection. WooHoo and Happy New Year, Mackenzie.

  6. Deborah ~ You're always the one who says, "The Universe rewards action!" And I believe it. Here's to a solid bit of honest reflection & action plans for 2014! Huzzah!

    Happy New Year to you too!

  7. Wow, this was very inspiring! I love the idea of doing a re-evaluation of your goals in June. I think I'll try that in 2014!

    My biggest goal this year is to organize and streamline my work time, so I'm getting more done with my hours every day. You know how sometimes you have to flatten the tube of toothpaste and rake your brush over it again and again to eke out the last little bit of paste? Yeah, that's what I want to do with my time. ;-)

    Congrats on your new release! Can't wait to read it!

  8. Misha ~ I love that analogy. How wonderful. Good luck squeezing more work out of your time tube. Heehee. I'm sure you can do it. You are a force!

    Happy New Year!

  9. Congratulations, Mackenzie! You're right. Hard work does pay off. And your new release is proof!

    Can't wait to see what your goals for 2014 produce! My goal is to do a bunch of outlining in January and then see one of those ideas as a full-fledged manuscript by the end of the year. We'll see how it goes!

  10. I can't tell you how happy I am for you. It will be really exciting to see your first SMP release. Yay!

    I have a goal to get back to basics and remember the things that I love. I'm lining up my life to return to those things and hope to have that accomplished by the time summer rolls around. I am a list maker too but I've never made sublists before. I like that idea. Think I'll try it.

  11. Good for you, Lisa. That sounds like a good one. I like it. It's important to return to those things we love ... it's often what keeps us going.

    Can't wait to see what the new year brings for you! Happy New Year!

  12. I can't wait to read. My goal is to bring less work home with me (I am a teacher) and spend more time with my own two personal children than I do on the 23 on my roster.

  13. Yvonne ~ What a great goal! Good for you. Yes, I have three teenagers at home and, honestly, I don't know where the years went. My oldest goes off to college in less than six months. How did that happen?

    Spend time with them now! Good luck with that goal.

  14. Yvonne Richards ~ You are the winner of the free copy of Essence. If you send me your e-mail address, I'll make sure you get your free e-copy. My e-mail address is mackenzielucas(dot)writer(at)gmail(dot)com. Please e-mail me with your contact e-mail so I can send your gift! Thanks for participating!