Finding Something Friday on The Day of (Writing) Reckoning

I reckon it’s about time for me to take those dreams and make something happen in 2011. But before I can get started on the new year’s To Do list, I like to take a look back and see what I did right. And okay, what I did wrong, too. It’s all about reckoning…the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Yikes. Let’s start with the good. That always cheers me up…

In the Business sector, I ordered new business cards. Wheee! In fact, I ordered them twice. So, it’s a good thing that I really like my new business cards. And I worked hard in marketing, doing that whole social networking thing. Mostly, I figured out Twitter. I’m going to count that as good, too.

Under the Education goals, I wanted to get back to reading, specifically catching up with the hottest YA out there. I read 52 books (if you count the 6 picture books and 4 early chapter books)! Still, I know all about The Hunger Games trilogy and believe me, that’s a very good thing.

Organization-wise, I kept my submissions and finances up-to-date every month. The Beneficent Mr. Hall, otherwise known as the Tax Man, was mightily impressed with my good bookkeeping.

As for my Writing, I achieved a 50% rate of acceptance in the Non-fiction department. That’s good, right?

But I only sold (or placed in a contest) about 30% of the fiction I wrote. The moral of that story (to use a writer pun) is that non-fiction is easier to sell than fiction. Or I write better essays than short stories. Um, I’m going to go with the former premise.

Anyway, from a Writing viewpoint, nothing really bad popped out. Unless you count that stinky story I wrote waaaay back in January. Which I’m not.

But I had an Education goal to read at least one of my writing books per month. Honestly, I have a bookshelf full. In January, I read the The 2010 Children’s Writers and Illustrators Market. In February, I skimmed a few Writer’s Digests from 2007. So, that was pretty bad.

And in my Business goals, I determined that I should update my website quarterly. And I should. But I didn’t get around to any updating till December. Pfffft. That was bad, too.

Moving on to Organization…I don’t even want to tell you how many times I remembered to back up my files on the little flash drive thingie. (Okay, I remembered once. I’m like that little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead. When I’m bad, I’m horrid. But I did email my manuscript to myself everytime I made major revisions, so I have an inbox of almost 52 emails marked: Pen Pal, Final. Or Pen Pal, Final, FINAL. Or Pen Pal, FINAL. Part IV.)

And now, you’re probably wondering about the ugly side of 2010. I had a few goals relating to the effects of the writing life and the need for lifestyle changes in exercise and diet in order to reverse or at least ameliorate said effects.

Hmmmm. I reckon I’ll just keep those notes to myself.

(P.S. Did you achieve your goals for 2010? Before making your 2011 goals, why not take a few minutes to review the past year? Pat yourself on the back for what you accomplished, and consider whether that goal you didn’t accomplish is really that important to achieving your writing dreams. Then make a new To Do list and get started on your 2011 dream. And may your year be all good!)

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10 thoughts on “Finding Something Friday on The Day of (Writing) Reckoning

  1. Great post, Cathy. I didn't really have any set goals except to write. And read. Read a lot. It helped to join the FB group, the Centurions of 2010, a group of readers devoted to reading 100 books in 2010. A handful were picture books and books on CD; my number came up to 140 (if I finished Bruiser by Neil Shusterman today).I hope they have the Centurions for '11. It inspired me to read a bit more than I normally would have.

  2. Vicky, I love that you post what you're reading (or read)…and your number is way impressive! Reading and Writing are great goals. They sure worked well for you!(I'd wish you luck, but I know your hard work will pay off big in 2011. You don't need luck when you have mad skills-:-)

  3. I have some dreams, goals, ambitions, hope-to do's, etc. I think you know the Numero Uno spot…and the Numero Dos would have to be finding a way to get a bull dozer into my house, up the stair case and into my office! 😀

  4. Good idea to look bad at last year's and see what you accomplished. Now I just have to see if I listed then in my blog posts or last year's holiday letter!I love the goal of reading more writing craft books. I, too, have a shelf full of them and want to actually READ them! I think I'll aim for getting at least 4 read this year (one per qtr). My biggest goal will be to finally get an agent.Hope to see you at SpringMingle girl!

  5. Wow! I'm dizzy just reading all that you did in 2010. Compared to 2009, I made HUGE steps forward, but then again, I did very little in 2009! My goals, simplified, are to read and write as much as possible – and to enjoy every step of the way. I love that reading good books is a "must" for a writer! My favorite book this year: "The Book Thief", hands down. Sure you don't want to read it? 🙂

  6. Becky, you made me laugh out loud! I don't know if you'll get Numero Two accomplished, but I KNOW Numero One is nearly finished-and I can't wait to read it!Gail, I have "getting an agent" on my list, too. I've got Jeff Herman's book on my To Read List. And honestly, I'm going to read it!And Deb, I am in awe at how much you grew last year-and I only knew what you were up to the last half of the year! (P.S. I DO want to read "Book Thief." Didn't I add that to my list after I read your great review? Or did I forget? See? That's why I need lists! 🙂

  7. I hear you about the writing books! I've got a shelf full of them, plus my husband got me Robert McKee's STORY – I've heard so many good things about it for years now. Hmm, maybe I'll read it by next Christmas?! Ugh. My goal was to read a writing book a month, too. Um, not so much. Sigh.Also, if you read nothing else, read THE BOOK THIEF!!!! 🙂

  8. Madeline, we should make a pact…how about we read 4 writing books? That's one per quarter. I'll blog about mine and you blog about yours and then it'll be like we read 8 books.Eight sounds pretty darn impressive to me. :-)(And yes, I'll read The Book Thief!)

  9. The Book Thief is a magnificent book! (It's been at least two years since I read it but it still feels like I just finished it.)Resolutions? Stay calm and write on!Happy New Year, Cathy!

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