Sunday, December 28, 2014

2014 Success / Anti-Resolution

Children's author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year. She believes the way New Year's resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity - what DIDN'T get done or achieved in the previous year.  Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one. I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution! Here is my list for 2014.
My Writing Successes of 2014
  • 12x12 challenge
    • 23 manuscripts completed. (and 6 of them are great! IMHO)
  • I had multiple agents ask for more work and tons of personal feedback from agents and editors.
  • I joined a local Critique Group and they ROCK!
  • I became more disciplined about my craft.
    • Attended 5 webinars.
    • Took 2 college courses.
    • Attended 2 conferences.
    • Did my first two author visits (those kids were so welcoming and eager).
    • Created my own writing space that is just for me.
    • And a partridge in a pear tree.... no wait that one didn't happen
  • PiBoIdMo Winner.
  • Received a 4 on Rate My Story.
  • Adopted a stray puppy from the shelter who inspired 3 stories.

So as Julie Hedlund suggested, my writing resolution is to build on my successes and not focus on what I didn't do.  So I challenge you writers: Make a list of every success for 2014. Really think about it because I had a lot more than I thought.  Look at it.  Be proud of yourself. Enter 2015 on a positive note of light and optimism.

May 2015 be even greater.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Listen this Holiday

You may have Holiday traditions that revolve around the actual holiday; baking cookies, decorating, religious gathering. My favorite tradition comes after all the food, after all the gifts, when everyone sits around, drunk on pumpkin pie and cookies, and they tell stories. Not all the stories are holiday based.

Most in fact are the various ways we injured ourselves as kids.

Writers, listen to these stories. There are gems among them. Ask your older relatives how they met the love of their lives. Ask that crazy aunt the craziest thing she's ever done. Ask Uncle Bob how he ended up marrying a girl who punched him in the nose when they first met. Ask the twins how they saved 3 bunnies last spring.

Listen to the stories. Listen for the feelings. Joy, love, sorrow, regret, and hopefully hope and humor throughout. You never know when you will be inspired by those you love or even your own memories.

Next time someone says, "Remember when..." listen.