Right now I’m participating in the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge for Writers. Each day there’s a small reflection.
Yesterday I shared the Day 2 reflection on Instagram.
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Day 2 of the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge for writer's by @juliefhedlund is about what surprised you in the past year. 😳 I had a lot of surprises this year. I was given opportunities that I wasn't expecting. The blog tour for my new book turned out really well as did my project to review books monthly on my blog. And after some hard work, I got good feedback on my novel. 😍 Let's hope 2019 has just as many wonderful surprises. . #12daysofchristmasforwriters #12daysofchristmas #amwriting #writerslife #2018
Today is Day 3 when we share our writing successes for the year. All of them. In public. GULP.
Although it makes me feel like a Braggy McBraggypants, I decided to bite the bullet and submit to my blog. Not because I want others to pat me on the back, but because acknowledging my successes is important for me personally.
Writing can be an emotional roller coaster, and most (all?) writers struggle to keep up their confidence and resolve in the face of constant rejection. Having the courage to openly acknowledge our accomplishments helps us see ourselves as successful and capable – things we need to keep going in this pursuit.
A lot of my successes this year happened because I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone. So **deep breath** let’s do it again and list it all out in public. In no particular order:
- Published my second kid’s book!
- Did my first author visits and readings. (I have anxiety about public speaking, so this was big for me.)
- Wrote FOUR Work For Hire picture books which is double my previous yearly total. I have two more due in 2019.
- Got to be a visiting scholar! I spent 4 days teaching college classes, giving an invited talk, and joining in on lab meetings. My first career was in academia, so I had a blast!
- Blogged book reviews (almost) every month!
- Tripled my newsletter subscription. (Which sounds impressive until you see the numbers. Lol.)
- Got 52 rejections! (That includes agents, editors, mentorship programs, awards, etc.) Here’s why getting a lot of rejections is a good thing for writers.
- Submitted to award and mentorship programs for the first time.
- In Pitchwars, I got two requests and a champagne rejection for my middle grade novel.
- Did a major overhaul of my author website.
- Did a blog tour for my new book.
- Completely revised my middle grade novel. (Like, burned it down and rebuilt from ashes. It was intense.)
- Wrote 13 new picture book drafts as part of 12×12.
- Finished Renee LaTullipe’s Lyrical Language Lab course which was excellent.
- Attended one online conference, one workshop, and one regional conference.
- Plotted out a new novel and did research for it. (Haven’t had time to write yet because of my book launch and work for hire books.)
- Kept up with THREE critique groups. Phew.
- Supported KidlitNation so they could host free monthly webinars and award scholarships so POC could attend a regional SCBWI conference.
- Did a webinar on KidlitNation.
- Blogged consistently! (Big accomplishment for me, lol.)
- Had my middle grade novel beta read for the first time and got good feedback. I’m rounding up more Beta readers for after the holidays.
- Was invited to be part of a writing coach’s new coaching group for women. She’s been coaching one-on-one for a while but we’re her beta session for doing it as a group, so I get to do it for free. Yay! And she reached out to me because I’m “a committed writer who is actively working on her craft”. Which was a nice compliment. 🙂
- Read 275 books this year! Usually, I hit higher numbers (500 in 2017) but after many years of focusing on picture books I made a conscious effort to read more MG this year since I write that as well. I’m currently at 73 books that are MG or longer and around 200 picture books. So the overall number is down, but I’m really happy with it.
- I won Storystorm in 2018!
- Ran an online accountability and support group and participated in another.