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.
Posted in Uncategorized
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 sent out a new article yesterday to parenting magazines that is directly related to my memoir called Origins: Talking to Your Children About Alternative Conception. I’m hoping that it will be picked up by several publications.
I’m also very excited to be preparing for my first National Novel Writers Month (NaNoWriMo). It occurs during the month of November and the sole goal is to write 50,000 words on the page during the month of November. The group and web site are designed for fiction writers, so I’m choosing to participate even though I’m not writing fiction. But I’ve heard many times that good memoir reads like fiction, so I don’t think this is a huge leap.
Fellow writers who have done it before suggest that I shoot for 2000 words per day, which will allow me five days during the month to write nothing if needed. I believe 2000 words is about three or four pages a day. That’s certainly more than I’ve ever written in a single day except when I was being paid by the hour to write over ten years ago.
I’ve signed up on the web site and last night, I organized my electronic files for the nine chapters of my book that I still need to write. I also set up two more files for magazine articles I’d like to write in November.
I also have signed up for a 12-hour scrapbooking event on Nov. 6, although I don’t plan to do much scrapbooking while I’m there. I’m hoping to use it to get a jumpstart on my word count. The great thing about these scrapbooking events is that they provide all three meals and a large quiet work space out of the house. So there are very few distractions. Plus, it’s a fundraiser for a pre-school and it only costs $45. I highly recommend them for getting things done, even things that aren’t scrapbooking or marathon writing.
Through the NaNoWriMo web site I’ve been monitoring others who are also taking on the challenge. I’ve noticed that a majority of the people who are introducting themselves on the web site are college students and high school students who are home schooled. The site does have a scaled back youth version that is very popular. One friend is doing NaNoWriMo with her teen daughter. I love this idea and will consider getting my boys into it when and if they’re old enough and interested.
It’s not too late to join me. If you are interested, simply go to the web site and sign up for free. They appreciate a donation but I plan to make mine afterward. If you’d like to become a guest blogger here during the month of November and write about your experience with NaNoWriMo (or any other relevant topic) please let me know.
Since I’ll be writing every day, I expect to post more frequently on this blog and hope that you’ll enjoy following me through this month-long challenge.
Subscribe now if you haven’t and thanks for reading.