2019: Looking Back

Inspired by Julie Hedlund’s anti-resolution revolution post, I spent this morning reflecting on my writing accomplishments of 2019. Writing is hard for me. It’s scary and it pokes at my anxious perfectionist tendencies and I fight to sneak it in before my children wake or between weekend chores. But in making this list, in reflecting on how much I managed to do with stolen time, I’m feeling pretty proud. So thanks, Julie, for the inspiration and for helping to start 2020 off right!

  1. I participated in Julie Hedlund’s 12x12 Challenge for the 3rd year in a row. I didn’t write twelve new drafts, but I got pretty darn close.

  2. I was featured on a “How I Got My Agent” post on the 12x12 blog.

  3. I reread favorite craft books like Big Magic and discovered new ones like The Art of Slow Writing.

  4. I fought my introvert tendencies, attended Whispering Pines for the first time, and absolutely loved it.

  5. I did my first school visit (ok, so it was my daughter’s class, but I had so much fun talking with a group of third graders about the writing process).

  6. I also visited my son’s first grade class, because he was not to be outdone by his sister, and his class had A LOT of unsolicited/hilarious/accurate opinions on how to fix my WIP.

  7. I attended NESCBWI annual conference for the second time, met new friends, and caught up with old ones.

  8. I maintained monthly meetups with my local critique group, despite all of our busy lives and various commitments.

  9. I challenged myself during the month of June by writing a daily blackout poem (you can see an example here).

  10. I joined a fabulous picture book debut group, The Soaring 20s.

  11. I completed a revise-and-resubmit which resulted in the sale of my second (but yet-to-be-officially-announced) book!

  12. I saw the absolutely wonderful final art for DIGGING FOR WORDS. You can see little previews on illustrator Paola Escobar’s Instagram.

  13. I started an author newsletter (if you like, you can sign up here).

  14. I submitted a workshop proposal, along with Soaring 20s team members, to a major national conference.

  15. I guest blogged on 24 Carrot Writing.

  16. I hunted down lots of primary source documents to enrich my current WIP.

  17. I saw the cover design and case cover (wait until you see the super-fun reveal, ahhh!) for DIGGING FOR WORDS.

  18. I learned that DIGGING will be simultaneously released in English and Spanish, and as someone who worked in a dual language school for roughly a decade, I am so excited the book will be available to a wider group of children right from the get-go.

  19. I supported a group of local young writers during NaNoWriMo.

  20. I read 134 books in 2019, including 106 picture books.

  21. I took a social media break at the end of the year, and my busy brain feels much better for it. I’m refreshed, renewed, and ready to start 2020!