It’s January, so it’s goal-setting time. I’m pretty excited about that because setting goals last year proved successful for me. Yeah, some aspirations fell into that dusty place behind the desk, but that’s fine. I think most of us tend to over-do it, inspired by the spirit of the season and peer pressure. So I don’t beat myself up for those lost goals. I consider it the angel’s share, and I focus on my successes.
This month, over at Marcie Flinchum Atkins’ We’re All In This Together, Sue Heavenrich, Amie Rose Rotruck, Donna L. Sadd, Alayne Kay Christian, Vivian Kirkfield, Marcie, and I talk about writing goals for 2014, and how we expect to achieve them. Go check it out. There are links to resources that may help you.
My goals for 2014? I mentioned them in the previous post, but here’s the formal list:
- Write at least one new PB manuscript per month.
- Revise at least one PB manuscript per month.
- Submit at least one PB manuscript per month. (Being a GOLD member of Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Picture Book Challenge will help me achieve these first three goals. If you’re writing PBs, think about joining 12×12. You have until 2/28/14 to join, then the door to this BEST thing you can do for yourself slams shut. Go. Now. Really. Stop reading this blah-blah-blog and sign up.)
- Continue to read lots of picture books. The focus is on books that are the best examples of the craft and to better understand what’s going on in the industry (what gets published).
- Study craft. Take classes. Attend workshops and conferences. Improve skills.
- Sign with an agent. Not just any agent. I’m very particular about whom I’ll choose as my partner in this business.
- Give back to the community. Last year, I volunteered at the New England SCBWI spring conference, as a Cybils judge, and as a forum moderator for the 12×12 challenge. I’ll probably do the same this year (though I’m off to a rough start in 12×12, having been too sick to spend much time in the Forum these last two weeks). I’m also coordinating an NESCBWI workshop for PB writers that will be held in March, and I’ve taken a leadership role with my SCBWI crit group. Lastly, I’ll continue to share my favorite PB reads on my blog each month.
Sorry, angels. I expect to reach all these goals this year. I’ll have to share something else with you in 2014. Will you take my great and undying appreciation for sticking with me to my successful end? I thought so. Thanks!
In the last couple of weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of contributing to two writing blogs.
(c) 2013 Photo by Carol Munro
Laura Shovan (poet, author, educator, and editor of Little Patuxent Review) is celebrating National Poetry Month with TechnoVerse, an exploration of how technology intersects with poetry. If you’re a poet, there’s a bounty of greatness awaiting you. My post is about using e-mail to write poems with a friend.
My 12 x 12 friends and I got into an interesting conversation on our group’s Facebook page last week, which inspired children’s writer Marcie Flinchum Atkins to create a weekly series on her blog called We’re All in This Together. She and a handful of friends (including me!) will address a variety of topics near and dear to writers’ hearts. The series debuted this week with a two-parter about dealing with rejection (oh, dear, our aching hearts). Here’s part one and part two.
I hope everyone is enjoying the weekend.
They (yes, the infamous They) say when you write down your goals, you’re more likely to achieve them. Post them on your blog, and you’re hoping your friends will reward you with chocolate and wine to celebrate your success. Or console your failure.
Last year I hopped back into the kid-lit pool and began writing picture books again after a long absence. Thank you, Carol Bender, for letting me know about Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12 group for picture book writers. It was so inspirational. I enrolled again for 2013. (In fact, I’m one of six administrators helping Julie this year. If you write or illustrate picture books, check it out. Last day to enroll is February 28.)
I also got back into writing poetry (a temporarily overlooked passion) when I wrote a poem every day in November to help raise funds and awareness for the Center for New Americans.
In 2013, I want to bump up my picture book and poetry writing efforts, so here are my goals for all to see.
- Write one new picture book manuscript each month.
- Revise one picture book manuscript each month.
- Submit one picture book manuscript to an agent or editor each month.
- Read 10 picture books each week.
- Follow Jane Yolen’s 2013 Poem-a-Day project (she e-mails a daily poem to her “subscribers”) and write one poem inspired by each of hers.
- Poem Volley with my friend Maureen Solomon, promising to write and return a poem within a week of receiving one from her.
So there you have it – goals written down and declared publicly. All that’s left to do is the work, and success is assured.
Oh, and friends? Please note.
My favorite wine is 7 Deadly Zins or any red from Jonathan Edwards Winery.