2017 in Review, Looking Forward to 2018

Happy New Year to all my readers!

Once again I am participating in Julie Hedlund’s anti-resolution revolution. Instead of focusing on what I didn’t accomplish, I review my successes and use that as a building base for my 2018 goals. You can see my 2017 goal setting here. I did accomplish some of my goals but I was a bit squirrely and had my hand in a few too many different project types. More on that later.

List of 2017 Successes:

  • Persevere in the difficult picture book revision. Review course material, favorite books, do paid critiques and above all keep trying. Start to explore early chapter books to see if that’s an option. (Check sort of – didn’t review old PB course material as I had hoped. Truthfully, didn’t have a solid plan hence didn’t make the time. I did start Chapter Book Blueprint and take a PB class through the Writing Barn.)
  • Take a novel craft class. Have the big elements figured out – story arc, main and secondary characters, motivations, stakes, etc. (Check sort of – I did complete the Story Genius class which was fabulous and did learn more about my characters and story arc. However, I also realized how much more there is still to do. What I accomplished in those three months was just the tip of the iceberg. Reality is doing this novel will likely take years, and right now isn’t the time for it.)
  • Continue research efforts for the novel. (Nope – after realizing how much time I would need to spend, I felt it was best to back-burner this one for now.)
  • Attend agency retreat and one conference. (Attended our agency retreat which was so wonderful and unlike anything I have ever been to.)
  • Write 6 new sh***y first drafts. (Check!!! – I actually ended up writing 7 new drafts. Accountability via the Writing Barn class was definitely the reason I wrote three new stories in 6 weeks.)
  • Revise 2-3 stories to a polished state. (Miss – Only got 1 additional PB to a polished state.)
  • Read/listen 20 novels. (Check!) Check out my post where I break down the numbers and list some favorite titles (Adult thru PB)
  • Blog once a month. (I wrote 14 blog posts but there were a couple of months where I didn’t post anything.)
  • Participated on a panel at our local chapter SCBWI meeting (More of a surprise than a goal, but something I really enjoyed participating in.)

My word for 2017 was PERSEVERE and to stay focused on growing as a writer. This I did do which was evidenced by focusing more on taking writing classes, working on R&R’s from editors, and creating 7 drafts. While I did persevere, I don’t think I was as focused as I could have been. Some things like starting a CB class or revising my NF PB weren’t even on the radar at the start of the year. As a result, my energy was spread at across a YA novel, a CB, my fiction PBs (my bread & butter), and a non-fiction PB. The result is I was spread too thin. So my word for 2018 is FOCUS – to stay focused on my fiction PBs and completing the first draft of my chapter book.

Goals for 2018

  • Keep exploring and trying new ideas, and don’t be afraid of failing. Trying to explore multiple ideas/paths early on in the project. Be free to be silly and crazy. (I have a strong editorial mind and hence am trying to work on getting the creative/exploratory side stronger and to “play” more.)
  • Write 8 new sh***y first drafts.
  • Revise 2 stories to a polished state.
  • Finish my Chapter Book Blueprint class.
  • Finish the first draft of the chapter book.
  • Read 350 books, which includes 23 novels.
  • Blog once a month. One book talk video a month. (I really want to talk about more books so hoping a 1-2 minute video will be quicker. If these tasks take up too much time will likely cut back.)
  • Attend 1 or 2 conferences (Already signed up for the SCBWI Winter conference)
  • Spend 15 mins a day on writing.

Wishing you the very best. What are some of your goals for 2018?

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5 Comments to “2017 in Review, Looking Forward to 2018”

  1. Wow Darshana – this is so inspiring. I like how you are able to let things go to move onto other projects that are more meaningful to you at the time. And I love your word – focus! Cheers to 2018!

  2. Good word, Darshana! Focus was my word in 2016, and although I did not receive a contract, I did produce a couple of MG novels and plenty of revisions! This year, I plan to perfect my setting and character descriptions to make them stand out and be more relatable. Happy 2018!

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