The new year is here and that means new resolutions. What I’ve learned from my business day job is you must measure your success of previous goals before you can create new ones. I must admit, that’s the part I’m very deficient in my job. I like to mindlessly keep moving forward and assume it worked out just fine. But I wrote six resolutions last year and put it out on the internet. I guess it’s my responsibility to follow up with how I did.
1.) Work with critique partners: Check.
My writing experience moved to a new level in 2012 when I enlisted the help of two lovely women to read my manuscript early in the year. The experience made me feel beyond vulnerable and was so freeing at the same time. My impatience had me checking my email the moment after I hit send to see if their feedback waited. What I learned about myself was I wanted to hear I was good. This is not what a critique partner is for. I’m so grateful for the patience of my critique partners and being brave enough to be honest about their opinion. It took the rest of the year for it to really sink in. Even the other day as I scrapped the first two chapters to a complete re-write, I reminded myself how they told me that a year ago but I was too stubborn to listen. More lessons learned. My favorite line from one of them was “The characters were too Cobra Kai.” Now I’m self-checking about if it’s too Cobra Kai or even Karate Kid.
2.) Attend two concerts: Check.
I met the mandatory minimum. Elliott Brood and Fun filled my concert card. You check out the pics here and here. One picture I recently got from my partner in concert crime was my attempt at the Nose Game. This photo was taken on like the fifth attempt of mashing my face into that girl’s back. Sorry girl.
3.) Work with fondant: Check.
I worked with it. Then I vowed I’d never work with it again. I’ve tried different recipes, the cheap store bought stuff from a box, and even the expensive cake ”jefe” brands only to come to the resolution it’s not for me. I did a couple book reviews with it and I was excited about how they looked. You can see my attempts with Anna Dressed in Blood and Beauty Queens.
4.) Read 25 books: Close, but short.
I clocked in at 21 books for the year. I’m a little surprised that was it. They were:
- The Lightening Thief
- The Fault In Our Stars
- This Is Not A Test
- 50 Shades of Gray
- The Mockingbirds
- Code Name Verity
- The Disenchantments
- Ditched: A Love Story
- Anna Dressed in Blood
- The Truth About Forever
- Beauty Queens
- Once Was Lost
- False Memory
- Writing Irresistable Kidlit
5.) Interview Mikel Jollett for the blog: High hopes, low success.
A boss once told me when setting up goals for the year to pick a couple easy ones you know you’ll be able to do and then pick a “stretch goal.” Mikel is my stretch goal. I’m not quite sure what I would even interview him about. Ask him what he thinks about a blog that writes about him regularly, but doesn’t know him personally?
When I wrote the goal it was his creative process in mind. Is he immune to the crushing doubt that comes with being an artist? What does he do to keep himself inspired? Does he hit tail in every city? I haven’t quite figured out why he would want to do the interview. Maybe you could help me with that. I am going to see him in April. Maybe I’ll ask then.
6.) Get an agent: Rollover to 2013
I read a tweet the other day that said, and I paraphrase, ”Don’t resolve to get an agent. Resolve to create a great story, edit it, and write a killer query.” I see the logic behind this, but to me saying you want to get an agent is the same thing. If you don’t do these things, there’s no way in hell an agent is going to want to represent you.
Another year down and more lessons learned. But no agent yet. I say that with good feelings about 2013. Once again, I was lucky this year to meet some great agents and get terrific feedback. When I think about how far I’ve come from when I started this process four years ago, I can smile about the fact I’m still moving forward to write a great story, edit it, and write a killer query.
Coming Soon: Resolutions for 2013!