2017 will be a breakout year for me. Say that with me! 2017 will be a breakout year for me! Now, give yourself a big pat on the back! Now, you’ve joined me on an odyssey to bring creativity and abundance into your life. I have a renewed focus this year and my theme is simple: Relentless Aggression. Now, this isn’t aggression in the angry, negative sense this is aggression that fuels you to pursue a goal and a passion with tireless vigor. We often put more energy into the dreams of others (ie. a day job) than we do our own dreams and passions. This year, I challenge you as a I challenge myself to envision something for yourself that would truly be incredible, almost unbelievable and then I want you to think about how someone is living that life right now and they breathe the same air as you.

Why not you?

Once you’ve got that image in your head you have to really put in the work to see that dream come to fruition, but here’s the kicker, you know where the road lies. This work is not futile. So, with that said I have a few things on my list that I’d like to share and a few things I’m keeping really close to my chest so that I can water them with my prayers over the next few years so they can grow stronger.

  • Write 2 novels. Last year I got one draft completed, but I’m editing that one and I really need to be more diligent about producing the content. I’ve got an outline for my next novel, an #ownvoices Steampunk Reconstruction-era Romance just waiting for me to get some good research done so I can tackle it.
  • Write a few short stories and poems and submit them to literary journals. I haven’t done this and I think it’s because I love novels so much that I feel like the short stories can always go on to have a fuller life.
  • Grow my following. My following on IG, Twitter and here on my blog has grown in fits and starts because I haven’t been consistent with you guys, but I need to really be better about cultivating my relationships so I’ll be doing that more.
  • Booktube it up! I have the channel, but again, 2016 wasn’t consistent. That will all change this year.
  • Release my first novel on my own imprint, Rochelle and Reed Publishing. Named after my childhood friend, Rochelle, who was murdered ten years ago, this project is near and dear to my heart and it has to be handled with care, but it can be so impactful. I’ll let you guys know just how much in a later post.
  • Grow the #iwriteincolor community. It’s so important for marginalized people in America to take control of their own narratives. This campaign focuses on that effort and I’m hoping to make it larger this year. You can join me in kicking off the year with a full month of putting kids just like you at the center of their own stories by joining the campaign. Find out more here.
  • Launch my business. GeekWraps is a business I’m starting where I’ll be selling nerdy printed headwrap fabrics for girls like me who like a little geeky flare with their cultural headwear.

So, what goals are you setting this year? Here are a few books that are helping me get started and I hope they’ll help you.

On My Digital Bookshelf:

Visioneering by Andy Stanley

It’s taking me forever to get through this one, but it’s one of those books you have to bite little bits off and digest before moving on. I’ll probably be reading it all year.

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life By Jen Sincero

This is such a fun and easy read, but when I tell you there are pearls to be had! Please believe me when I say that this book will feed your spirit and keep you pumped for your success throughout the year. As a companion to this, I suggest Secrets of Six Figure Women by Barbara Stanny,  which I loved last year and paved the way for me making some really bold decisions in my life.

Your First 1000 copies by Tim Grahl

This was a really quick read that I was able to read via my Kindle Unlimited subscription (I highly recommend it) and while it gives you great advice for growing your following and connecting with readers it isn’t as specific as you might think. It really does apply to anyone who is trying to build an online business of some type.

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