Three years ago I wrote a blog post that garnered quite a bit of attention. It was titled, 2012 Anti-Resolution Revolution. I skipped 2013, but got back on track in 2014. I’m bringing this tradition with me into 2015, and I’ve asked participants in my 12 Days of Christmas for Writers program to do the same.
Here is an excerpt from the original post:
It is so tempting to start listing all the things one wants to accomplish at the start of a New Year, but in my experience, the process (and thus the result) is flawed.
I believe the reason resolutions often don’t work is because they start from a place of lack, of negativity, of failure. We think about all the things we weren’t happy with in the previous year and set out to “fix” them in the new one… Lose weight = I weigh too much… Make more money = I don’t have enough money. Write more often = I don’t write enough
There is absolutely nothing wrong with setting goals, and achieving them is even better. However, the goals need to be set on a strong foundation… Let’s first celebrate success and then determine how to carry that forward into the New Year rather than berating ourselves for what did not get done
It is CRITICAL to reflect on what you DID accomplish in the previous year. How else can you build from the base you already have? If you don’t take the time to tally up and celebrate what you’ve already accomplished, your resolutions will crumble. You’ll be starting from scratch in every category, and starting from scratch feels scary.
Here is what GOALS (vs. resolutions) look like when crafted this way. Lose weight = What did I do last year to improve my health, and what can I do to continue that progress? Make more money = How much money did I make last year, from which sources, and how can I increase output from those sources and add new ones? Write more often = What did I write this year and how am I going to use that writing in the new year while also writing new stories/articles/books, etc.?
Because I am a firm believer that it takes far more courage to celebrate and compliment yourself than it does to criticize and berate yourself, I’ve invited 12 Days of Christmas for Writers participants to post their successes on their blogs and websites too. Feel free to share links to your posts in the comments here!
Here is a list of my major professional accomplishments of 2014.
- I wrote 7 new picture book drafts and revised 12. Plus I wrote a book proposal. That’s a personal best for me in terms of volume of writing!!
- Launched the third year of the 12 x 12 picture book writing challenge with a spruced up Membership Forum. Grew to 750 members!
- A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS storybook app won the Independent Book Publisher’s Association Benjamin Franklin Digital Gold Award.
- A SHIVER OF SHARKS storybook app won a 2014 Digital Book Award.
- Attended the first-ever Picture Book Boot Camp with THE Jane Yolen at her home in Massachusetts.
- My agent, Erzsi Deak, took my one of my books out on submission (still awaiting responses).
- Ran the second annual Writer’s Renaissance retreat in Florence Italy to great success.
- Launched a brand new website for Writer’s Renaissance.
- Filed my first tax return as a single, self-employed person.
- Launched a comprehensive online course – How to Make Money as a Writer.
- Launched The Ultimate Guide to Picture Book Submissions (with my friend and colleague Emma Walton Hamilton).
- Participated as a speaker in the SCBWI-MI webinar series on the topic of being an Author Entrepreneur.
- Met with all Denver-area bookstores to plan events for the launch of MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN and to get them to carry the print version of A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS.
- Learned, once and for all, to use Scrivener. I have to credit Joe Michael’s excellent course,* which I keep open every time I write in the program.
- Presented at the 21st Century Children’s Nonfiction conference on the topic of changes in the publishing industry, storybook apps, and connecting with your audience.
- Presented at the New Jersey SCBWI conference on the topics of author-entrepreneurship and crowdfunding.
- Attended the LA-SCBWI Annual Summer conference and was interviewed by Lee Wind for the Official SCBWI Blog.
- MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN released on September 9th!
- My first radio show interview took place the day before my book launch party.
- Held hugely successful book launch at Saturn Booksellers in my hometown of Gaylord, MI. (psst… Saturn still has signed copies of the book in their store…)
- Visited all three elementary schools, for free, in my hometown during my launch week.
- Presented at the SCBWI-MI conference on the subject of 21st century publishing.
- Presented at my first-ever book festival – The Southern Festival of Books – with MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN illustrator Susan Eaddy.
- Conducted school visits and several bookstore signings with Susan Eaddy, including Parnassus Books, The Tattered Cover, The Book Bar, The Bookies, and Boulder Bookstore. (As a public service announcement, ALL of these stores have signed copies of MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN)
- Fulfilled all the rewards for Kickstarter backers of MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN.
- MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN was nominated for the 2014 CYBILS awards in the picture book category.
- Spent a week in London doing research for my picture book biography.
- Launched a brand new website for the 12 x 12 Picture Book Writing Challenge
- Participated in PiBoIdMo and came up with 28 new picture book ideas, one of which is already drafted.
- Hired a bookkeeper and have begun to get my business finances in order, not just for tax season but also for planning and forecasting.
- Continued to contribute to Katie Davis’ Brain Burps About Books podcast.
I’m quite happy with this list. 🙂
Now it’s your turn to make YOUR list! Share in the comments if you’d like. 🙂
*I love Joe’s course so much I became an affiliate. That means if you use my link and make a purchase, I get a small commission. As always, I NEVER recommend anything I don’t love and use myself. But it is important to do your own due diligence before making any purchase to determine whether it will work for you and/or meet your needs. 🙂