I love the idea of New Year’s resolutions. Sometimes I set them; sometimes I don’t–but the idea of a fresh, new start and setting goals for the new year appeals to me. Despite my love of a good goal, this January, I didn’t begin the year with any specific goals in mind, other than to revise my manuscript and hopefully send it off to an agent by April. Now that we are coming to the end of the first month of the year, I have taken a little time to reflect on what I have achieved, even without a particular list of goals in mind.
The First Achievements of 2019
- My first published piece of 2019 ran in The Village News on January 2 (also my birthday!).
- A few days later, on January 7, a short piece I wrote called “How to Eat Dark Chocolate: A Lesson in Living” was posted on Lifein10Minutes.com.
- Around January 15, I learned my short personal essay “The Reward” had made it to the final selection round of pieces to be included in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Life Lessons from the Dog. About a week later, I got unofficial word it will be included, and I can expect my official notification sometime next week. This particular achievement is actually the indirect result of a resolution I made in 2017 to submit pieces to publications on a (somewhat) regular basis.
4. Last night, January 30, I co-chaired the first of the James River Writers 2019 Writing Shows, Balancing Writing and Life: Inspiration and Practical Strategies.
5. I also took time this month to read my manuscript through as a one whole piece for the first time, addressing issues as I found them (I am sure there are more to find, and another–probably multiple other–read-throughs are in my future). In addition, last week I submitted a short story to a literary magazine, and am in the process of reading through a writer friend’s middle grade novel manuscript.
All in all, I’d say it’s been a strong start. Now: to keep the momentum going. Maybe I should set some goals…
- Finish revising my manuscript
- Write a query and synopsis for my manuscript (I am sure writing the manuscript itself will prove a less arduous endeavor!)
- Send my manuscript to an agent, preferably before the end of April
- Continue to co-chair the 2019 Writing Show
- Continue writing for The Village News
- Take at least one writing class or workshop in 2019
- Submit to publications as opportunities arise
- Continue to maintain this blog
- Continue my involvement as Board Member and Collegiate Contest Chair for Virginia Outdoor Writers Association.