I have a lot to cover in this post, so let’s jump right in.
First of all, if you aren’t writing down your goals for 2014, stop reading right now and go do it. It will remind you where you want to go. It will make you more accountable. It will help you succeed. Be specific and break the goals down into achievable tasks. Here’s a great tool from Katie Davis that can help you set and track your goals.
In 2013, I wanted to read 500 picture books. I read 501. Each month, I wanted to draft one new PB manuscript, edit at least one, and submit at least one. At year end, I have 10 new manuscripts, 17 revisions, and 19 submissions.
I also had two other goals I knew by February wouldn’t happen, so those were eliminated early. I think it’s important to reevaluate your objectives once you’ve gained a little distance from the January resolution-setting frenzy.
The really big deals in 2013? One, I got my first kidlit contract for a story in Highlights magazine. Woo hoo! I’m so thrilled! Two, my proposal to produce a workshop for PB writers for NESCBWI was accepted and will be held in March 2014. More about that in an upcoming blog or go here. And three, I was a judge in the Cybils Fiction Picture Book category. It was a tough job, but so much fun to work with Pam Coughlin of the Cybils organization and the other judges: Laura Given, Dawn Mooney, Jodell Sadler, Caryn Schafer, Melissa Wiley, and Paula Willey. See the 2013 Finalists list here.
This year, I want to continue studying PBs and writing for that market, but I want to expand into writing for older kids. I also want to research agents and publishers in more depth, take more workshops, and study the craft. By year end, I want to have a dozen or so polished manuscripts and an agent representing me. Watch me do it.
What will I see you do in 2014?