of the year, event of the year, book of the year, movie of the year – it’s that
time again. Though my tax-woman will soon want my income/expense statements,
only I need a literary balance sheet.
A few years ago I began writing goals at the beginning of each month, printed them, and
taped them to my printer. That
scrap of paper staring at me motivated me to do what I said I
other day I revisited that file and saw that my last entry was September
2011, when I wrote down goals for the coming year. Measuring years from
September is a habit this student/teacher apparently hasn’t broken yet.
2012 nears its end, here’s my balance sheet. It illustrates the ups and downs,
twists and turns, detours and dead ends of this writer’s life.
GOALS FOR 2012, from 2011
#1 – My editor wanted a revision of a picture book biography.
I did two (or was it three?) rewrites and then she rejected the project, asking for a
new approach to the subject. My disappointment led me to ignore the
whole thing until…. a couple of days ago. I want to tackle this one in 2013.
#2 – A big biographical project (over three years old now.)
I worked on this intermittently, revising old chapters and writing a couple of
new ones. Almost ready to submit.
#3 & 4 Resurrect an old novel and a YA biography.
#5 Proposal for a book about rock and roll
Progress: Abandoned when I learned there was no
budget for photos and lyrics permissions.
#6: Biography of a neglected female subject
none, but I’m still interested
THE BOTTOM LINE: not as bad
as it first appears
I only worked on two of those six projects, but ….
#7 My sojourn in London brought forth a new biographical subject which I
researched there, wrote at home, and submitted.
Fingers metaphorically crossed.
#8 I completed the photo research for a new edition of The Wind at Work last year (more than enough for the book.) When my
editor made the final choices *all* I had to do was get high res scans and
permissions. What I thought would be a few days’ work turned into weeks.
#9 Raise your hand if your research on one book led to another one. I thought
so. Work on project #2 (above) led to #9, a picture book biography.
First draft completed, research ongoing.
on four projects.
to revisit one more.
possibles for next year
got ten days left in 2012 to come up with goals for 2013. One of those will be
the revival of my monthly list of goals.
looking at what I did and didn’t do this year, I see some of what it takes to
keep at this writing gig.
openness to new opportunities
discipline to finish projects when inspiration might be waning
flexibility to reconsider everything
willingness to let go when the spirit – or the publisher – doesn’t feel moved
NEW YEAR ONE AND ALL!