2012 – Year in Review


A belated Happy New Year to all my wonderful readers. I am writing this post about a week later than I would have liked too, however that is a good sign for me. It means I am sticking to my New Year’s resolution on meeting my weekly writing goals before blogging. More on that shortly.

2012 was an awesome year for my blogging. Increased the readership multiple-fold, partially due to establishing a presence on Facebook and Twitter. I wrote 68 new posts this year the majority of which were picture book reviews that were contributed to Perfect Picture Book Friday, Children’s Bookshelf, Kidlit Blog Hop, and the Carnival of Children’s Literature. I highly recommend you check out these sites for other great kidlit reads or information on children’s literacy. It has been an absolute joy conversing with you about great kids’ books. The top 5 read posts of the year were:

One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Tale
Where is the Green Sheep?
The Big Orange Splot
Cookies: Bite-Sized Life Lessons
See Inside Your Body

Interesting since the Big Orange Splot and See Inside Your Body were posted in 2011. These posts were all popular with SEO, since people (most likely educators) were searching for the book title plus activities. Susanna Hill from Perfect Picture Book Friday was onto something when she required all reviews to have activity ideas. Thank You Susanna. 🙂

While my blogging year was good, I did not generate enough new picture book material.

  • Completed five drafts for the 12×12 Picture Book Challenge (instead of 12). An excellent community of PB writers. Sign-up is going on for 2013 here. I highly recommend it and will be doing it again this year.
  • Completed PiBoIdMo 2012 (come up with 30 PB ideas in 30 days). This was my third time participating and it was easier for me to come up with ideas than in year’s past. Yeah!
  • An almost polished version for my PB concept story.
  • Attended SCBWI Illustrator’s Day, East Bay Regional Conference, and several smaller workshops.
  • Took Anastasia Suen’s Picture Book Writing Workshop
  • Participated in two wonderful critique groups.

My goal for this year is to get more picture book content generated. This year I am trying to stick to this priority order:

  • Complete PB writing goals for the week
  • Social Media (12×12 related, reading blog posts on the craft)
  • Writing Book Reviews

I feel this change is necessary if I am going to get up the initial learning curve of PB writing. I do still plan to tell you about the greatest in children’s books. I do not know what my blogging schedule will be at this time. Right now I am trying to see if I can keep up with my weekly writing goals and will then determine if I can create a blogging schedule that I can keep to.  I will still be updating my Goodreads on a regular basis, if you would like to follow me there.


My writing goals for the year are :

  • Have my PB Concept story polished by March 2013
  • Submit PB concept story to several publishing houses in 2013.
  • Write 6-8 new drafts
  • Have three polished manuscripts by the year-end.
  • Complete Character-Driven Workshop from Picture Book Academy
  • Attend one writing conference, possibly Books of Passage in June or a Big Sur Writing Workshop put on by Andrea Brown.

Since I only seem to get things done by creating deadlines. I created sub-tasks for each of my writing goals for the year and put them into Google calendar. I then printed out the task list and hung it in my office, so it stays at the forefront of my mind.

On the reading front, I just finished reading-aloud The One and Only Ivan to my 4.5yr and 6.5yr old girls. They loved it. Next we are reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and I told them we could watch the movie, most likely the old animated one. The girls are really starting to enjoy doing read-alouds and I hope to continue it throughout the year. I also read 200+ books this year.

What are your reading or writing goals for the year?


20 Comments to “2012 – Year in Review”

  1. Thanks for mentioning The Children’s Bookshelf. It has been a pleasure having you link up your posts and I am so delighted to have been introduced to your delightful blog. Good luck with all your writing goals!

  2. Great accomplishments and goals, Darshana. I, too, need to concentrate on writing. I find it difficult to produce a polished piece when I am busy with social media. I almost feel like putting that on the back burner just to focus on my writing. It’s hard to do though since I find the writing community so helpful in keeping me abreast with the industry. Btw, I awarded you the very inspiring blogger award! Thank you for all you do!

    • Hi Romelle, thanks for stopping by. Ideally I would have said my social media would be item #3, but I knew that wasn’t realistic. I take 5-10 min social media breaks several times during the day in-between other tasks. Thanks for the inspiring blogger award, very kind of you to include me. I did post about it on my FB page. 🙂

  3. I’m so glad there’s another writer out there who does goals and sub-goals, etc. I’m so glad you’ll be back in 12 x 12, and I think the way you’ve prioritized makes complete sense. As for the writing conference, I’ve never attended Books of Passage, but I’ve been to Big Sur twice and it’s excellent. I also have Ivan on my reading list, as my daughter just finished it. Good luck and Happy New Year!

  4. Thanks Julie! I noticed that on my job I only get my tasks done when there is a deadline coming up or I am accountable to the customer. So I knew there was NO way I would get 6-8 new drafts done in 2013 unless I made sub-goals and kept it in the forefront. A local published author recommended the Books of Passage conference (just north of San Francisco) to me. Here is the link for it: http://bookpassage.com/childrens-writers-illustrators-conference . It is a small conference only ~75 people, but a bit pricey at $425.

  5. Your goals and priorities look spot-on, Darshana! I wish you all kinds of success with them. (And I’m so glad to see your concept book is high on the list of priorities!)

    Here’s to you and a stellar 2013!

  6. Great post. I’m goal driven too and setting myself up for the SCBWI CA North/Central Spring Spirit Conference in April. 10-20 Character Sketches for the session with Laurent Linn. So onward and upward!

  7. Your printing and putting the list in a place where it will be foremost in your mind is a good idea. Going to do the same with my goals to. Thanks for sharing and wish you all the best for your concept book this year. Glad to see you are joining us in 12×12 2013.

  8. Great example for goal-setting, Darshana! You’re very specific. I need to do that!

  9. Hi Darshana and welcome to 12 x 12 2013! This is a great post and a good way of getting a lot done over the course of the next year! Thanks for sharing it and happy writing!

  10. I’m ready to write more, and engage in social media less…so difficult to do when I desire to encourage other writers. But, I do need to accomplish my own goals of having a book accepted into publication this year! Thanks for your motivating post, Darshana.

  11. Love the way you’ve gone about setting goals and sub tasks and having a proper task list in place, Darshana. I find it inspiring, and a very methodical way of going about things. Am motivated enough to try having a detailed task list in place for myself!
    Wish you the best in getting each and every entry on your list ticked off 🙂

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