Unlike 2015, I’m posting this at the end of December because I want to dive into the excitement of a new year the first part of January. ūüôā

If you’ve been with me for a while, you know I do goal/intention setting with one of my critique groups and I write about it here.

My goals from last year included:

  • sending a revision of my contemporary YA novel to my agent again (this is the one that I’d been working on for 5 1/2 years)
  • planning out my quasi-fantasy YA
  • writing¬†eight picture book manuscripts and sending them to my agent
  • launching six more¬†online classes

Are Goals Good?

I’ve read about the pros and cons of setting goals and written about it as well (see¬†Intentions vs. Goals). For many, having goals and then not meeting them creates a sense of disappointment or failure. That used to be the case for me. Not anymore. Reviewing my goals now creates amusement (eight¬†picture book manuscripts? Really? Not with my teaching and speaking schedule this year!) and an appreciation for the creative process. Like life, it’s constantly changing, and part of the fun is to move with the changes, rather than resist them.

Goals and Change

Some changes we create ourselves–like a decision to cut back on my teaching so I can write more and set aside the contemporary YA for a time–while other changes are thrust upon us–perhaps something big like a job change, a move, or a family situation. When this happens, our writing also changes and that’s okay.

2016 Accomplishments

If I went strictly by the goals I set out in January, it would be a sad situation indeed. I didn’t get that YA to my agent, I “only” completed four picture manuscripts, I didn’t do any work on the fantasy, and I did nothing on the online classes.

So what did I do?

I finished four picture book manuscripts and sent them to my agent. Two went out on submission–no acceptances, but great feedback.

I put my energy into the in-person classes to which I had committed so I didn’t do any new online classes.

I re-committed to my Picture Book Quick Tips video series, creating videos and posting them every other week when possible.

I made a very painful decision to set aside the contemporary YA in favor of a brand new book. I spent October planning that book (see my October posts) and November writing it for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) (see my November posts). I wrote an entire novel, hitting all my plot points, in 30 days. This was a HUGE accomplishment for me. I now know I can plan out a novel, I can write quickly, and I can write an entire first draft quickly. I look forward to using some of my processes on the contemporary YA and the quasi-fantasy novel.

Things changed for me in 2016 and I went with those changes, coming away with not only new projects for 2017, but a new sense of who I am and can be as a writer.

That’s what I call success.