Are you a New Year’s resolution maker? 

Many of us see January 1 as a fresh start, a clean slate, a time to do better, try harder, lose that holiday weight or do whatever is on your priority list. 

But what about being a resolution keeper?

Gym memberships typically soar in January, but by February and March people slack off the workout schedule and fall back into their normal routines that often don’t include exercise. 

So, I try not to make resolutions that are too hard to keep. 

One I made a few years ago I still maintain: getting a monthly massage. 

For 2022, I resolve to schedule more coffees, lunches, happy hours and dinners with my friends. I am determined to keep that.  

Another resolution I tried a few years ago was to bring more “focus” to my life. But at the time, it didn’t work. 

As many of you know, I am a novel writer, jewelry maker, fiber artist, jazz singer, video maker, volunteer. During the pandemic, I created, wrote, produced and directed “AZ Creates,” a TV program on YouTube to promote artists and authors, posting 16 episodes over two seasons. I recently hosted a business podcast show and may do a mystery podcast next year.

Fortunately, I have a lot of energy and don’t need more than about six hours of sleep. I joke that I have a short attention span, and the “squirrel!” distraction that comes to mind fits me well. 

But am I a Jill of many trades and Mistress of none? 

I honestly believe I do a number of things reasonably well, but at what cost? There’s the packed schedule, fast paced life, lengthy to-do lists, and perhaps mixed messages over who I am and what I do. 

About three years ago, when I tried to “focus” on one or two mediums rather than four or five, it wasn’t long before I fell back into the “that looks like fun” mode and before I knew it, the focus was gone. 

When I took a look back at my life, I realized that I’d been living that way since high school, being involved in chorus, band, madrigals, theatre, basketball, softball, track, and in college, theatre, ROTC, singing, basketball and whatever else looked interesting. 

So I embraced the diversity and craziness and ran with it. 

But I also learned a disappointing lesson recently during a couple of art studio tours, where I displayed my fiber art, polymer clay jewelry and crime fiction novels. I only sold a couple of small pieces of fiber art, but sold jewelry and books surprisingly well.

Obviously, a $300 piece of art is a harder sell compared to a $50 necklace or a $12 book. Add the challenge that most people are not familiar with fiber art over a painting or ceramic sculpture, and that increases the degree of difficulty. 

Art overall is a hard sell, especially during and since Covid. 

Is it a marketing issue? Just haven’t found my niche? It’s not from lack of trying, as I’ve had my Fagen Designs art business since 1999. I’ve worked with professionals on marketing, social media, newsletters and website.

Whatever the reason, I’m ready to put fiber art on the back burner for now, and try to find gift shops for my jewelry. 

I’m also at a stage (age?) where I think I would like to relax a little more. Have more time to spend reading during the day, not just at night. Go see more movies. Enjoy live music and theatre. Watch all the streaming television channels I pay for each month. Sit in my back yard with my kitties and watch my pool’s waterfall. Hang out with my friends.

So, here come my 2022 resolutions: 

  • focus more on my writing
  • spend more time with friends and family

While there are millions of books to compete against, I feel like I have a little more “control” – if that’s possible – selling books over art. 

There’s my current series, “Behind the Mic Mysteries,” in which I just released my third book with my radio crime reporter, Lisa Powers. I’ll probably write at least a couple more books in that series. 

I’ve also started a new book called “Raw Image” in a new series, “Behind the Lens Mysteries” with a new character, TJ Banks, a tough television reporter/photographer about whom I’m anxious to write. 

I want to be able to spend the needed time that comes with published books to do marketing and promotion, speaking engagements, finding new outlets to sell the books, etc.

In addition, I have a lot of other writing projects I would like to spend time on, such as a creative nonfiction book about my grandmother Blanche Fagen’s life, based on more than 70 years of her diaries. Then there are a  variety of short stories, perhaps a memoir or two, and a potential screenplay with a friend.

So time will tell whether I will actually be able to focus on storytelling, writing novels, and living in that world of make-believe versus spreading myself perhaps a little too thin over several different mediums.

How many of you like to work in a variety of mediums, or do multiple things at once?

How many of you prefer only one or two things at a time?

For those of you able to “focus” better, I would love to hear how you do it, how you choose one medium over another, what you take into consideration to make those decisions, etc. 

For those of you who are like me, and possibly on the ADHD spectrum, let me know how you juggle everything.

Hit reply and comment or shoot me an email at

And Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you all!