Yes, with 2011 drawing to a close, it's time to go back to my resolutions and see what, if any, I've achieved. It's also time to write new ones for 2012, but we'll do that a little later in the week.
So, here is the letter I wrote myself at the beginning of January. Let's see how I did on those resolutions...
2010 was a great year with many successes and I learned so much about the publishing world.So I’m feeling far better prepared in 2011 to drive my writing career to the next level.Since writing my goals down was so useful last year, I’ve decided to do it again.
I will enter Assignment 9 in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest again.It made the semis last year, and I think the latest revision has fixed the problems my previous drafts had.Or at least, I hope so…But I’m not going to leave it at that and hope to win.I’m going to punch up my query letter and start submitting again.Hopefully someone will bite. Well, I did enter ABNA, but only made it through the first round. I queried it a little, but with nothing but rejections, I trunked the book. I'm a better wrier now, and although I love this book, I don't think it'll ever sell.
Prayer and Prey, my Western/Romance novel was read by a couple of agents in 2010, and both came back to me with similar feedback.So a revision needs to be done, adding 20K to the manuscript’s length, primarily in Alice’s POV.I hope to get this done before June so I can re-submit it to the agent who said she’d take another look, and start submitting it to others. This one has also been trunked. I will go back and fix it one day, but right now, my heart and mind are full of other projects, and revisiting this one doesn't hold much interest.
With my NaNo novel (tentatively called Chasing the Taillights) still in a very raw, first draft state, I need to dive into major revisions and get the chapters up for my critique group to review.My aim is to have this book polished and ready to submit to the Delcorte Press First YA Novel contests that closes in December 2011. I ended up finishing the revisions a lot faster than I anticipated and entered the book in the Text Prize instead, but I didn't win. I've been querying off and on and have had a number of requests for partials and fulls, but so far no offers. I suspect this book may be a little too quiet for the current YA market, but I'm not 100% ready to give up on it yet. So until I have a new project to sell, this is the one I will keep sending out as the mood takes me.
I also want to continue writing and publishing short fiction although with so many novel projects on the go, I don’t think I’ll be submitting at the rate I was in 2010.I will continue to write and publish in as many genres and styles as I possibly can, always seeking ways to extend and expand my capabilities as a writer.I’m still working on that Sci-Fi thing, since that’s the one genre I haven’t managed to conquer yet. This one I've really fallen down on. I've written next to no short fiction in 2011 because I've been so focused on novels. But I did manage to publish a sci-fi story, so achieved at least one part of that goal.
I will remain active in my critique groups and plan to get back into a regular routine with my reviewing again.As soon as I get back from vacation, I’ll schedule regular reviewing time, to go along with my regular writing time.I plan to be very productive in 2011, in every facet of my life. This I've done. I've even started my own critique group on WDC after the demise of Let's Publish. We have a bunch of members now, all very talented, and I love it. I've also met some wonderful writers through this blog, and am privileged to be able to call on them as beta readers too.
I plan to continue blogging regularly, and hope that I can keep the blog engaging and interesting for the people who stop by regularly.Hopefully I will be able to run more contests on the blog too. I have continued to blog every second day (more or less) and have gathered quite a number of new followers, so I have to assume I'm entertaining people. A little at least...
As far as my day job goes, I think 2011 may be a year of change.I have a new boss and there seem to be a number of interesting avenues I may be able to pursue.I’ve been reviewing on National Radio for a few weeks, and hope this may lead to other reviewing spots on TV and radio. Nothing new here, apart from the fact the job has never been more challenging.
On a personal level, I’d like to lose some weight (don’t we all).I’d like to say 10kg, but that’s probably a little crazy.I’d weigh the same as I did in high school then…But it’s a goal, anyway.I hope to be able to up my gym-going from three days a week to four, and I’m going to be very careful about portion sizes in what I eat, and not eating up my kids’ leftovers because its wasteful not to.Also, no chocolate biscuits after dinner! FAIL! Don't think I've lost any weight (my scales are out of batteries and I don't want to replace them), but I have been going to the gym four times a week most weeks... That counts for something, right?
So, that’s a bunch of things to aim for!We’ll do a half year review in June and see how we’re tracking on this, shall we?Then again at the end of 2011.
I am a writer, cinema manager, film reviewer and mother to two boys. As you can imagine, with all that going on, I don't sleep much.
My first book, AN UNSTILL LIFE is available now from Musa Publishing and all good e-book sellers.
Rep'd by Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary.