Hope you all had a relaxing holiday break. Many wishes for you in 2016.
In setting my goals for 2016, I am first following Julie Hedlund’s anti-resolution revolution and writing down my successes. In the past, I didn’t even make resolutions. Seemed pointless since they came from a place of what wasn’t achieved, a place of negativity. With Julie’s approach, you celebrate successes from the previous year and use it as a base to build upon. I did this last year and faired better in making forward progress. My next thing is to figure out what happens at mid-year when the plan starts to unravel. It’s possible I should make only 6-month goals in order to remain flexible with my changing needs. Without further adieu, here is my recap of my successes big and small for 2015.
- Rejoined my in-person picture book critique group. Love being back with my peeps.
- Got an accountability partner. Just sort of happened and it’s been great.
- Three month picture book mentorship with Kathi Appelt.
- Winner of the 12×12 Diversity Scholarship!!
- Attended three SCBWI conferences (Asilomar, Spring Spirit, and Oakland) and Kidlit Summer School.
- Took an excellent on-line class on Character Building in Picture Books.
- Grew in my picture book writing skills.
- Realized I love writing with lyrical language.
- Started using storyboarding during the revision process and loving it. Really helps with pacing and being able “to see” the full story. (Got the idea after seeing this terrific post.)
- Volunteer PB application reader for We Need Diverse Books
- Positive feedback on my stories from a few agents.
- I read 212 books! Checkout my post where I break down the numbers and list some favorite titles (Adult thru PB)
- Seeing myself continuing to grow as a writer. Taking joy in the process without getting too consumed by the agent search.
This past year turned out to be a year of “revision”, due to my three-month picture book mentorship, professional critiques, and an R&R (request and resubmit) I received from an agent. As a result, I only wrote 1 new PB draft. So my word for 2016 is CREATE. My over-arching goal is to create new material. Whether they be drafts of new picture books stories, or background material/character sketches/free-writes for my YA novel idea.
Goals for 2016
- Finish latest round of revisions for prospective agents.
- Take Nonfiction Archaelogy and start a new PB story which will be a NF Biography. (So excited to be finally taking this class.)
- Attend 1-2 writing conferences. (maybe NJ-SCBWI ??)
- Finish reading Writing Irresistible Kidlit by Mary Kole – excellent craft book.
- Write 12 new sh***y first draft PB stories. (This will be my biggest challenge. I dread first & second drafts. I have a strong internal editor. Thanks to Julie Hedlund’s 12 Days of Christmas group I’m gonna shoot for the stars!)
- Read/listen to 25 novels. (I love audiobooks! No way I would be able to get through this many novels without it.)
- Restart research efforts for my novel.
- Add two more polished stories to my portfolio.
- Blog at least once a month. (I do miss conversing with all of you. )
- Write/think about stories/Study Craft EVERYDAY – even if only for 5 minutes. (Up till now I work in spurts which is okay, but when I fall off the bandwagon I lose momentum.)
Wishing you the very best. What are some of your goals for 2016?