12 Days of Christmas with Julie Hedlund imageChildren’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! 

Wow. I can’t believe 2016 is already coming to an end. In a lot of ways, I’m very happy for that. However, in looking back at the last year, I accomplished more than I realized I could at the start of 2016. While the 12 Days of Christmas is about writing, I am expanding it to include illustration, as I consider myself both a writer and an illustrator. Here is my list of professional successes for 2016 (in no particular order):

  • Revised and re-revised 3 picture book manuscripts multiple times (I used to hate revising so this was a huge step for me!)
  • Wrote 11 picture book drafts. I was so close to finishing the 12×12 challenge to write 12 picture books in 12 months! There are still 3 days left in the year…I only just realized this writing this blog post!
  • Participated in ReFoReMo (reading for research month)
  • Created 4 or 5 new portfolio pieces
  • Started work on a new book dummy
  • Attended the NY SCBWI conference for the second time
  • Participated for the first time in the Portfolio Showcase at the NYSCBWI Conference
  • Attended my first NJ SCBWI Conference where I:
    • participated in the juried art show
    • pitched an agent
    • had a portfolio review with an editor
    • participated in my first first page session
    • LEARNED SO MUCH
  • Wrote and submitted my first query
  • Got my first rejection accompanied with some very kind feedback from the editor
  • Participated in 12×12 (which now I realize I have to finish!)
  • Participated in the Craft Book reading discussions in 12×12
  • Met a wonderful critique group through 12×12 and got a ton of helpful feedback on my manuscripts
  • Came up with lots of ideas for picture books
  • Started a Society6 store to sell more of my art
  • Participated in an Illustrator/agent event through the NJ chapter of SCBWI
  • Now with this blog post, got back into blogging! 🙂

Wow. I know that is repetitive but until I typed out this list I didn’t realize how much this really was! I’m off to write that last picture book manuscript.
What were some of your successes this year?