Saturday, December 31, 2016

Celebrating Successes from 2016

If you are looking for an alternative to setting New Year's resolutions, you might want to try this idea from children's author and entrepreneur Julie HedlundJulie’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 reading- and writing-related successes from 2016:
1. I was one of the judges for the final round of the Cybils Awards for Fiction Picture books last January & February. Despite the nail-biting moments of struggling to decide on a winner, the process of discussing picture books with others who love them as much as I do was great and I learned a lot.
2. I participated in the 12 x 12 Picture Book Challenge again (writing 12 picture books in 12 months). I didn't write any more picture books than last year but it was a good way to stay motivated.
3. I worked on revisions to one of my middle grade novels and my agent sent it out on submission before the end of 2016. 
4.  I revised several picture book manuscripts.

5.  I attended a few local SCBWI meetings and I also participated in a book club (adult literature) at my local library. So much fun to meet more people who also love writing and books!       

6. I read over 150 children's and YA books in my personal reading challenge.

Some years it's easy to find successes, but this year I was a little afraid there wouldn't be any. I experienced several life-changing events in my personal life that made it hard to focus on writing or reading. But no matter how small, celebrating successes is important. I urge you to give it a try. Head into 2017 on a positive note!
What are you most proud of this year? I hope you feel good about your successes!


  1. What a fantastic idea! And congratulations on so many successes. I'm impressed that you read more than 150 books. I didn't quite make my goal of 100 but I came very close (although if I included picture books, I'd have exceeded the goal easily). What am I most proud of? I wrote and revised my first novel-in-verse.

    Happy 2017!

    1. Congratulations on writing a novel-in-verse! That is one challenge I haven't tried and I imagine it would be quite difficult.

      I bet if you list your successes you'll find you've accomplished more than you think. It's an interesting and surprising exercise.

      My reading list this year does include picture books, I figured why not if I'm reading them? I read close to 100 of them so they make up a bit part of my reading list!

  2. Congratulations on all of the positive things you accomplished in 2016. I love this idea! Definitely a better way to start the year than focusing on all the things you didn't do. :)

    Wishing you a Happy 2017!

    1. Thank you, Jess! Happy New Year to you as well!


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