"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen


2015 - Looking Back

I know - I haven't blogged much this year. But it doesn't mean I haven't been pressing forward. And it's good to acknowledge progress, right? So - here I am, doing just that.

At the beginning of 2015, I set some goals - and picked a one word theme. And, as I generally do around this time of year, I am going to look at them and see how I did.

What were they, you ask? Well, here you go - straight from my first post of this year:
  • Complete at least twelve picture book rough drafts
  • Do substantial revisions on at least six picture book manuscripts
  • Do at least one specific, relatively substantial, thing to improve my children's writing craft each month (e.g. take a class, read a craft book, participate in a picture book-related challenge, get a substantial critique, etc.).
  •  Work on a picture book manuscript for five minutes or more at least five days a week the vast majority of weeks.
 And how did I do?
  • I did NOT complete twelve rough drafts. I would say I managed five or six - but my focus changed a bit later, so I am fine with that.
  • I definitely worked on revisions more this year - though I probably only did five substantial ones
  • January was ReviMo, February was creating and submitting a PB pitch to a blog for feedback, March was ReFoReMo, April RhyPiBoMo, May working through a good portion of a craft book, June I think I skipped, July and August were Kidlit Summer School, September I skipped, October was a one-day children's writer's conference, November was PiBoIdMo, and December I skipped (unless something substantial comes up in the next 48 hours or so :::r:::). So - nine out of twelve months. Not bad :)
  • I went through my little calendar just now (I put a "w" every time I wrote a PB, and a R when I revised) and I did one or the other five times a week 35 out of 52 weeks, with the VAST majority of the rest either four or five days. I am pleased, for the most part.
And - my one word last year was "Closer" - and I feel like it was "a success." It helped keep me focused on making progress in a lot of areas.

So - there it is :)

Watch for another post in the next few days on my word and goals for 2016.

How was YOUR 2015?

My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1


  1. Well done, JO!
    I'd say you did very well on your goals last year.


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