One of my writing mentors, Christina Katz suggests cataloging your accomplishments before setting goals for the new year. Give this a try before setting your New Year’s Resolutions.
Here are my writing-related accomplishments during 2010:
- I published 10 articles in local and regional publications
- I have 12 articles already written that can be circulated as reprints and published elsewhere
- I took two classes: Writing & Publihing the Short Stuff and the Dream Team
- I completed edits for a personal essay, Finding My Way, that will be published in the anthology, Bless Your Heart, due out in Fall 2011
- I wrote ~70,000 words of my memoir, and polished about 10,000 more
- I blogged at least 3 times a month right here on my own blog all year long and converted my old blog to WordPress (highly recommend it)
- I joined my county writers and publishers group, Whatcom Writers and Publishers, and attended two meetings
- I joined a critique group and connected with at least 4 other writers in my town. Some of them are in my blog roll to the right.
- I opened a separate bank account to hold earnings from writing
- I started telling people that I’m a writer when they ask what I do
- I narrowed down the kind of writing I’d like to do in the future to two niches: assisted reproduction and environmental conservation & toxicology
I’m sure there are a couple that I missed but that feels like a lot of success for one year.
Looking ahead, I came up with these goals for 2011. Please let me know if you would like to help me acheive any of these aspirations.
- Publish more than ten articles this year, hopefully at least one will be in a national publication
- Finish the draft of my memoir and revise it until I am satisfied, and then submit my proposal to at least 10 more agents
- Earn some money writing this year
- Increase my blog readership, and explore blogging strategies, such as guest blogging
- Consider taking a personal essay class and/or a class on platform development
- Start publishing small stuff in my newer niche: environmental conservation & toxicology
- Attend two conferences this year, Pacific Northwest Writers Association meeting and Chuckanut Writer’s Conference
- Meet and get to know the owners of my local book store, Chuck and Dee Robinson at Village Books
- Publish a personal essay or short story in an anthology—I’ll check out Chicken Soup for the Soul, Cup of Comfort through Adams Media, and Seal Press
I hope that your year has been as productive and rewarding as mine and that you will achieve any goal you attack in 2011.
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Tagged adams media, agents, anthology, assisted reproduction, bless your heart, blog, blogging strategies, chicken soup for the soul, Christina Katz, chuck robinson, chuckanut writers conference, critique group, cup of comfort, dee robinson, dream team, environmental conservation, finding my way, guest blogging, holidays, income, memoir, new years resolutions, pacific northwest wirters association, personal essay, platform development, seal press, short stuff, toxicology, village books, whatcom writers and publishers, wordpress, writing
I received a rejection just a few minutes ago from one of the two agents I most wanted to work with. I have to admit I’m a little sad. It seems harder to roll with rejection from someone I let myself get excited about.
Elizabeth Wales was a long shot for me. She’s been in the business for years, happens to be in Seattle, and represents some bigger names. But she got my hopes up when I met her at the Pacific Northwest Writer’s conference because she was the only agent that was also interested in my background as an environmental scientist. Ms. Wales represents several scientists and engineers who write non-fiction books, an area I dream about breaking into someday. Her form rejection e-mail is posted below.
Lynn Price of Behler Publications blogs regularly that writers are too often in a hurry to be found and get their work published. She reasons that this rush compromises quality. I am definitely feeling in a hurry sometimes. I know what I want and I want it to happen now, not two years from now. I’m impatient about lots of things, so why not this? But I have reasons for wanting to make things happen sooner rather than later. How long can I learn about writing and plug along without actually earning a living at it? Most people don’t have the “luxury” that I have at the moment. My impatience is spurred by the fact that I don’t know how long I have the luxury either.
So, I’ll try not to be in such a damn hurry. If I don’t end up with an agent after this round (I’m only waiting to hear from a couple), then I’ll be patient and finish the manuscript and submit to another group of carefully selected individuals. Maybe in February.
In the meantime, I’ll expand my platform (writing resume) by publishing some more articles in magazines, and maybe branching out into public speaking.
I’m still planning to participate in my custom version of NaNoWriMo. Please let me know if you are going to join me in this adventure.
Ahhh, the rejection:
I enjoyed meeting you at the PNWA conference this year.
After reading Egg Mama, my agency must pass on offering you representation. Because of the amount of client work in our office, we try to make quick decisions on all possible new clients and projects. Our process is ultimately subjective and we do the best we can.
We wish only to encourage you even though we can’t pursue working with you at this time. Thank you for sharing your work with us. We wish you the very best with your writing.
All the best,
Wales Literary Agency, Inc.
PO Box 9426
Seattle, Washington 98109
Tel.. 206 284 7114
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Tagged agents, Behler, egg donor, Egg Mama, Elizabeth Wales, Lynn Price, nanowrimo, Pacific Northwest Writers Association, publishing, rejection, Seattle