Children's author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year. She believes the way New Year's resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity - what DIDN'T get done or achieved in the previous year. Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one. I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution! Here is my list for 2017.
1) Fell in love with writing picture books. Discovered a real sense of purpose.
2) Restarted my Miracle Morning. Sun salutations, meditation, Morning Pages, reading, visualisation and intention/goal-setting to bring energy, depth and focus to my life and work.
3) Decided to put an end to the struggle with Imposter Syndrome and call myself a writer. It's not a hobby - it's who I am, it's what I do. That subtle shift in intention has made a world of difference to my writing.
5) Read LOTS of books. I mean LOTS even for a serial bookmuncher.
6) Got accepted into the Golden Egg Academy Picture Book Programme. Had a wonderful, inspiring and encouraging 1:1 with my editor, Jo Collins, met a lovely group of truly brilliant writers and set up a new online critique group.
7) Attended 3 writing festivals in my first 6 months of writing - Winchester, York and the SCBWI British Isles conference. Had some fantastic 1:1s with agents and editors who said they loved the pacing and voice in my stories and offered some fabulous suggestions for refining my manuscripts. Means the world to me as a new writer.
8) Was selected as one of 11 writers on the Penguin Random House WriteNow mentoring programme to nurture diverse voices in publishing and, in 2018, will be working with a Penguin editor on my first picture book. Amazing to be chosen alongside these truly wonderful writers - their stories are incredible and very much needed. All the more amazing because I very nearly didn't apply - I didn't think I was diverse enough or strong enough. So glad I did!
9) Wrote 7 picture books in 2017 and filled many, many pages of my picture book Moleskine with ideas. Signed up for the 12x12 12 Days of Christmas for Writers and got ready to join Storystorm 2018 to generate 30 picture book ideas in January.
So grateful for the writing-related successes of 2017 and excited to see what 2018 has in store. I can't control the outcomes but I can control my own intention and my commitment. And as this crazy year comes to an end, those two things couldn't be stronger.