On this day last year, I took the advice of children's author Julie Hedlund and posted my writing successes on my blog [Writing Achievements from 2014]. Julie’s approach is an alternative to traditional New Year’s resolutions that stem from negatives, like 'what I didn’t do last year' or 'what I need to fix about myself.'
Her suggestion is to review your successes and achievements, and then use them as a foundation for setting goals. To me, this makes a lot of sense. I've been thinking about mine. Here are a few of my writing-related successes from 2015:
1. Like last year, in January I signed up for Julie Hedlund's 12 x 12 (12 picture books in 12 months), with the goal of writing more picture book manuscripts. I didn’t write one every month but I did end up with five, the same number as last year. And12 x12 also led me to my agent, Janine Le!
2. I played around with an idea I had for an amusing picture book that involves a very large animal and ended up spending a lot of time working on it throughout the year. I was fortunate to have valuable feedback from many wonderful critique partners and an amazing editor, in addition to helpful advice from my agent. I learned so much about writing and revising picture books!
3. In June, I won an honorable mention for my middle grade novel WILDERNESS GIRL in the Rate Your Story Writing Contest. I spent some of the summer and much of the fall revising the novel, again with insightful feedback from critique partners and my agent. At times it was hard work, but the end result was a stronger novel with more spark.
4. During the summer, I also revised another middle grade novel, THE MIRACULOUS DOG CURE. There are more revisions to come, but it was really great to finish a thorough revision of this novel and give it more structure.
5. In September, I bravely ventured out of my writing cocoon to attend my first SCBWI get-together in Toronto. It was interesting, fun and I met a new writing friend, Erika David, who lives practically in my neighborhood!
6. In November, I participated in PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) organized by author Tara Lazar, and I completed the challenge by coming up with more than 30 ideas by the time the month was finished. I’m looking forward to the fun of creating some new stories.
What are you most proud of from your writing or reading life this year? I hope you feel good about your writing and reading successes!