Susan Vaughan here. I don’t generally do resolutions. Whenever I’ve tried, they never work out or I realize I’ve made the wrong ones or I break them before January is over. So usually I just move on into the next year without plans. This year I’ve come up with some, let’s call them goals. Two are related to writing and two to life in general.

We published writers need to promote our books, but too often personal appearances, Twitter and Facebook posts and yes, let’s be honest, blog posts get in the way of writing that next book. Whenever newly published authors ask more seasoned ones what they should do to sell more books, the wise old guard reply, “Write the next book and make it better than the previous one.” Absolutely true, but promotion and marketing are essential too, and no one can say what exactly works to sell more books. And all too often, creating a graphic for Twitter or Facebook, like this one–

Ring of Truth - PhotoFunia-

–diverts me from what I ought to be doing, writing. Keeping all that in mind, GOAL #1 is to write first before I do promotion.

Yup, that’s pretty general, so coming up next is a specific one. Two years ago, after writing a totally new series, I started writing a mystery, a traditional mystery, not romantic suspense. But editing and revising the new romantic suspense series demanded my time, brain, and creativity, so the mystery sat on the computer’s virtual shelf. My Devlin Security Force series was published in 2015, and now it’s time to return to the mystery. How much have I written? I estimate it’s about half finished, about forty thousand words. It’s set on a Maine  peninsula I used previously in Once Burned and features the detective from Primal Obsession. So GOAL #2 is to finish the mystery, so here’s my villain.

Suspicious man

Now for some non-writing goals. This one came from my husband, so I’m tagging along. GOAL #3 is to enjoy live music once a month. The mid-coast of Maine offers many opportunities for a wide variety of music. The Rockland Strand presents concerts by well-known musicians. We have tickets in February to a concert by guitarist and songwriter Richard Thompson. For this month, we can have coffee or a glass of wine at the Highlands Coffee House in Thomaston and tap our feet to jazz or have a burger at the Quarry Tavern in Tenants Harbor and listen to soft rock or country or oldies. I’m on it!

Music Notes

Last is a goal for all of us. GOAL #4 is said best by writer Neil Gaiman: “May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art—write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”


*** My latest release is Always a Suspect, the prequel to my Task Force Eagle series. The Devlin Security Force series consists of On Deadly Ground, Ring of Truth, and Cleopatra’s Necklace. Nearly completed is a companion wedding novella, to be titled “At Last.” You can find more information about my books at

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18 Responses to GOT GOALS?

  1. Barb Ross says:

    Best of luck, Susan with your writing (and other) goals.

  2. Much good luck! I never make resolutions anymore either, but my daughter and I are trying to support each other on a weight loss regimen. Here’s is “Lose 40 by 40.” Mine is…well, never mind. 😉 I have two books to write this year, so here’s to deadlines!

  3. Congrats on great goals!

  4. Emily Allen says:

    Good luck on the goals!

  5. Teri Linscott says:

    Those are excellent goals! Good for you. I’m feeling rather inspired after reading this. 🙂

  6. Those are all fabulous goals, Susan. I might steal all of them, hehe. I especially like the live music idea. We are indeed surrounded by a rich cultural life here in Maine. And as I was saying to another writing friend earlier this week, it’s all too easy to get immersed in our little story worlds and forget there’s a real world out there that deserves just as much attention.

  7. Wonderful post, Susan, and inspires me to write down my goals. I find I tend to be more successful when I do that and share them with others. Love your part of the country. The music goal will be refilling your spirit so you can write more. I’ve shared this. 🙂

    • Marsha, thanks for sharing. Yes, part of my motivation in writing these down and making them public was to keep myself on target. Love what you said about the music.

  8. Deb says:

    Loved this Susan – like Lu, I may steal your music goal. A goal I make every year, never tell anyone, or say it out loud, so never accomplish even one night of music a year. Music does feed the soul and helps us accomplish all those other goals. I too ignore resolutions after a minute or two of making them. But I do write down goals and let others know about them. It brings out my self-competitiveness (is that a word?) and makes me reach to accomplish those goals. My big 2016 goals, besides annual word counts, is to publish a book or two, and launch a website. There – said it out loud. Ahhhhh!

  9. Wonderful post, Susan, wonderful goals. Happy New Year!

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