1. Write two books: I'm a slow writer, so for me, that was pretty ambitious. I did write one book, and a short story, and got to 18K on my current MG WIP, which I'm hoping to finish in the 40-45K range. So I wrote one book, a short story, and got about halfway on another. Not too bad!
2. Read out of my comfort zone: I did a little, but not a lot. MG/YA's my thing, but I managed to read 19 books (out of 49) that were adult, ranging from historicals to romance to mystery. Which out of those 19 books, 6 were Marion Chesney re-reads, which aren't out of my comfort zone at all. I LOVE HER BOOKS!! I tried to read a non-fiction about dinosaurs (I love dinosaurs) but I only got a few pages in.
3. Focus less on social media: Not really. There were a few times I bowed out as I had things I needed to complete, but for the most part, I was as active as I always am. But honestly, the writing community is awesome, and I love building relationships through it.
4. Keep the house up more: So, so. My creative side works better when the things around me are orderly. But when you work full-time and then also parent, things pile up despite your best efforts. Thankfully I've organized things over the years to where a concentrated 10-15 mins of going through the house makes it where I can sit down to write at night without feeling twitchy!
5. Begin querying in Feb: I did! And I sent my last batch of queries in December. I decided to go by Writer's Digest's rule of thumb to send 100, even going over that a bit (106). Out of all that, my request rate thus far is: 7 fulls, 9 partials.
6. Stay positive: I will always believe that dreams do come true, but as for staying positive... some days are harder than others! My CPs had some moments of talking me off the ledge. =) When I started doubting myself, I'd give myself a few hours to be down (or a few days, depending on the circumstances-- like getting rejections for two fulls on the same day-- that one hurt!). And then I'd get optimistic and hopeful again and start dreaming about my one-day book launch party. Trust me, that baby is planned down to the T.
And now for 2015's goals!
1. Write two books.
Since I didn't hit this last year, we'll try for it again. *cracks knuckles*
2. Get an agent/publishing contract.
So I know this is beyond my control, and we all know you shouldn't set those types of goals for yourself. But I can control how hard I work behind the scenes to lay the groundwork for either of those two things to happen. So this year I need to really focus on my work ethic. Is it more fun to surf the web and watch the latest book-to-movie adaptation? Sure. But that won't get me closer to my goal.
3. Relax about getting an agent/publishing contract.
I'm sure you're scratching your head about now. Here's the thing: I want the above ferociously. I'm sure most of you know exactly what I mean, as many of you do as well (go us!). Being a full-time writer is what I want out of life. And I don't have to be rich (ha, ha!). I would just love to eventually make enough to quit my day job. Which means I would also then be able to be a stay at home mom, which is another of my dreams.
You can imagine sometimes how much I'm despairing as I leave behind my writing, bundle up the kid, and lug the diaper bag out the door. I don't want to leave his care to someone else (though I have terrific baby-sitters). I want to do it. But it's not an option right now.
So here are these two desires mixing together and I feel like at times I'm just sitting still. I have all these wants and dreams-- so why can't I work faster? Why does it take so long for a draft to be written and revised? Why does my brain sometimes need two weeks to think on plot twists? Why aren't I writing right now? This very minute? What's wrong with me? Do I not really want it enough? Am I only paying lip service to my dreams? Is all this worry and anxiety and work for nothing? *stops for breath and to stuff a tootsie roll in my face*
Can you see why I need #3? I of course don't want to stop striving for #2, but I need to learn to cut myself some slack. All I can do is my best, while still enjoying life. My motto for 2015 should be: Work hard, but still have fun.
And lastly, but not least importantly...
3. Stay positive and believe dreams do come true!
Here's to everyone having a dream fulfilling & productive 2015! *raises diet vanilla coke and clinks glasses*
OH! And real quick before I go-- my favorite reads of 2014! How could I forget that? In no particular order, they were:
The Eighth Day by Dianne Salerni
The Screaming Staircase & The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud
Three Times Lucky & The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage
Grunge Gods and Graveyards by Kimberly G. Giarratano
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham
Such great books, that all made me smile, laugh, and/or cry. Read them, you won't be disappointed!