My goals were quite general:
- I've read so much YA fiction in the past two years, I'd like to mix it up more often. I'd like to read more non-fiction and adult market novels. My most recent library haul included a memoir, popular non-fiction history book, a writing craft book, and a fiction book that was popular with the book clubs a few years back.
- I am finalizing revisions to send my current writing projects to agents who requested material from a contest late in 2012. I'd like to start revising the draft I wrote during Nanowrimo in November and see where that leads.
- Other than that, I plan to keep blogging, and connecting with other writers and readers online, on twitter, and through RWA and SCBWI. I am tentatively planning on attending RWA Nationals in Atlanta in July!
So where did that lead?
- In 2013, I read 67 books, 40% of which were adult market (non-YA) books that included historical, non-fiction and romance. Success!
- I did send out my finalized manuscript to requesting agents. In early February, I signed with literary agent Sarah LaPolla! Big 'ole success!
- The other part of that goal was to revise my Nano 2012 project. I did start to revise, though I realized the story had a number of plot issues. I set it aside for the remainder of the year and worked on two different new projects instead.
- I kept up my blog, though the output was a little slower than the previous year. I completed the Blogging From A to Z Challenge with the theme Influential Women Authors. I also wrote a guest post for the diversity in YA series for my favorite YA book blog Forever Young Adult! Over the summer, I connected with other writers via What's Up Wednesday/Ready. Set. Write! which was a huge motivation in completing a draft of a new project. Success!
- I let my SCBWI membership lapse because locally, they didn't offer much for me. I spent my efforts on RWA and attended the national conference in Atlanta. I met writers I only knew from online, published authors, and I got to know my chapter a little better, with 20 of us attending. Plus the Chicago North chapter. I've made a dent in the pile of free books (and gave some away). I took great workshop notes which I've revisited several times.Success!
- I also attended Midwest Writers Workshop (the very next week--insanity) where I met my agent Sarah, along with another client of hers, the fantastic Summer Heacock (@fizzygirl).
Summer, Sarah, Stephanie.
- I started a YA and New Adult critique group within my RWA chapter. Four of us meet once a month and discuss critiques in more depth. Face to face. I also did a google chat with writer Valerie Cole (she held my hand for my first video chat) which was so much fun. So even if you don't have an in-person group to work with, use technology to your advantage!
For 2014, here's to getting a little more specific:
- Finish revisions on Contemporary YA #1. Submit to agent > sub to publishers
- Complete subsequent drafts of 2013 NaNoWriMo Contemporary YA #2
- Possibly revise a Historical YA novel
- Develop a new novel idea and/or participate in NaNoWriMo 2014
- Expand freelance writing to pop culture websites (something I did previously but the site folded)
- Develop/maintain new blog content: TV reviews, blog challenges. Potentially focus some posts on writing advice or the query process
- Write a guest post
- Feature guest post
- Host a book launch or cover reveal
- Contribute to a group blog (if anyone has leads, please let me know!)
- Read through slush/coach/assist with a pitch contest on a writing blog
- Attend a workshop (planning for: Chicago North Spring Fling, April 2014)
- Develop a workshop/skills/experience for a future presentation
- Take on a leadership role within RWA (currently Historian, assisting w/ auction gift basket, judge for annual contest)
- Read 2-4 new writing craft books
- Sign up for 2-4 RWA monthly courses through YARWA/Pro/main site of RWA
- Golden Heart finalist?? (Hey, it could happen!)
- Goodreads challenge set at 50 books
- Read at least 2 classics
What are you most proud of from 2013? What's in store for you in 2014?