I can’t believe it’s time once again to tally up the achievements of the past year and plot out goals for the next one. Didn’t I just do this? Normally I love this kind of thing (see!) but this year, I have to admit, I’ve been dreading it. Why? Because, thinking back on the past year, it strikes me that not much has changed in my writing life. I didn’t sign with an agent, didn’t sell any magazine pieces, and my picture book didn’t even launch as planned. And here’s another case in point: Just this month, I began querying my middle grade hot air balloon novel. At the same time last year, I was giddily preparing to query… my middle grade hot air balloon novel. Sigh.
So perhaps, despite my love of all things list-related – bullet points and page breaks and pithy statements – perhaps they don’t quite do the year justice. That hot air balloon novel? When I queried it back in February I got rejections. Lots of rejections. Piles of rejections. But some of them were thoughtful and specific and useful rejections, which gave me the encouragement I needed to rebuild that novel from the studs. The manuscript I’m querying today is vastly different – vastly better – than the one I sent to agents in February. Since then, I’ve written other stories, read craft books, killed scores of darlings, read in my genre, and been blessed with brilliant new critique partners. How could it not be a better manuscript? So, yeah, these lists look basically the same as they did last year. But they’re not.
I’m going to make them anyway, of course. Because I love lists.
2018 Writing Achievements:
- Became a published author! (The poem below appears in the January 2019 issue of Highlights. Check it out!)
- Attended WriteOnCon writing conference
- Completed a light sci-fi MG novel and submitted it to Pitch Wars, receiving helpful mentor feedback
- Joined a Pitch Wars critique group and met above mentioned critique partners
- Attended an SCBWI meetup and met local critique partners
- Revised a draft of the hot air balloon fantasy MG novel and began querying it
- Read 36 new middle grade novels (not including CP manuscripts, adult novels, etc.)
2019 Writing Resolutions:
- Continue to query the fantasy MG
- Revise my Pitch Wars manuscript
- Participate in Pitch Wars again
- Prepare for the launch of Bob (still gulp!)
- Attend in-person SCBWI writing conference in March
- Read at least 35 new middle grade novels
- Try to keep this website updated (but don’t beat myself up if I don’t)