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New Year’s resolutions still intact?


It’s been said that most New Year’s resolutions are broken by mid January. So how are you doing with yours so far? If you’re getting discouraged already, rather than giving up, this might be the time to re-evaluate and make some revisions to those resolutions. Are your goals within reach? Have you set up a reward system for taking baby steps toward reaching those goals? Give yourself some slack, and remember that each day is a chance to begin again.

In regard to my writing, I decided to focus on just a couple of things this year and really try to follow through. I picked reading and marketing.

Reading is two-fold. First I need to keep up with what kids are reading. I also want to know what books are already out there on the topics that I’m writing. Second, I need to read books for the grown-up in me. For pleasure. And for direction. As I read, my mind picks up clues on how the writing draws me into the book, what it is that keeps me reading, and makes me not want to stop.

Marketing is my second major goal. I have poems and stories that are completed, or nearly completed, that should be out looking for a home instead of sitting in my file cabinet. I need to take time to decide the best course for those manuscripts and get them on their way! I also need to finish, or revise, those that are oh, so close, to being ready to send out.

So far this year I think I’m doing okay. I've given myself a month by month schedule. I’m close to reaching my goal for January. But if I fall short during the year, I’ll just start over again the next month.

A friend sent me the following quote which I’d like to share with you. I hope it reminds you of your accomplishments in the past year, and encourages you to celebrate every step that you take toward your goals in 2013!

Time for—

This is a time for reflection as well as celebration.

As you look back on the past year and all that has taken place in your life,
remember each experience for the good that has come of it
and for the knowledge you have gained.

Remember the efforts you have made and the goals you have reached.

Remember the love you have shared and the happiness you have brought.

Remember the laughter, the joy, the hard work, and the tears.

And as you reflect on the past year, also be thinking of the new one to come,
because most importantly, this is a time of new beginnings
and the celebration of life.

—Taylor Addison
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New Year's Resolutions Still Intact?


Happy 2012!

Is it too soon to be breaking New Year’s resolutions yet? One of mine was to be on time with weekly blogs, and here it is already January 5th! Here are a few other resolutions, that are still intact up to now.

Reading—at least one book a month. I’d like to say one book a week, but another of my resolutions is to set realistic goals. So if I go for one a week and don’t make it, then I feel let down. But if I go with one a month and read more than that, then I’ve exceeded my goal and feel pretty good. I’ve actually read two books so far in January. One, a Christmas mystery book, and the other, DIAGNOSIS: MONSTER, a children’s book by Nancy Polette which I absolutely enjoyed.

Writing—to finish what I’ve started (I have at least a few things close to being completed), and start something new (I have ideas that have been floating around in my head forever—and my kids wonder why I don’t remember things they tell me!). There are at least two manuscripts that I am determined to finish before the year is out. The best way for me to accomplish that is to aim for their completion sometime in the next few months. I’ve a good start on one of them so far. This category would probably include working on submissions to contests and grants, too.

Marketing—submitting my ‘finished’ manuscripts, the ones that I’ve worked on until I feel they’re ready. That includes some that will probably never be books but would be a good fit for a children’s magazine. And sending out poems that don’t have a home, and submissions to contests and grants. I think I should be able to do this once a month, or at least twelve in 2012. Hey, that might be a good slogan—12 in 2012!

Networking—this is my real challenge! Blogging once a week tops my list. Here are some other things I’d like to do: update my website, learn how to do more on my website, post on facebook more often, maybe even create a separate author listing on facebook, check out other authors on facebook, jacketflap, twitter, and their websites on a regular basis and post on their sites. Another thing is to connect more with other children’s authors in Missouri, through critique groups or by attending author appearances close to home.

When making New Year’s resolutions, it’s also important to look back and see how you did with your Old Year’s resolutions. If you sailed through all of your goals with flying colors, then maybe you need to up the stakes a little. I think that if the resolutions that you made helped you move forward even a little, then you succeeded. So take a look back before striking out in 2012. Then file 2011 away, and leap into the New Year!
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