Happy New Year!
It is January and many people are starting over by making bold resolutions and grand promises. Optimism is in the air. But starting over can also be a little scary. It's daunting to stare at a blank slate when you don't have a piece of chalk. Rather than starting from scratch, I prefer to move forward into the New Year with a little momentum. That is why I like to look back at what I did last year.
For me, that includes finishing a mid-grade manuscript, publishing two articles on writing, and beginning my search for an agent. It's not a big list. I’m not that prolific. But it feels good knowing that I did achieve something last year even if my rejections outnumbered acceptances, and now I have something to build on. I don’t have to stare at a blank screen wondering, “What do I do now?” I already know.
Topping my to-do list is writing a dynamite query for the mid-grade novel, continuing my search for an agent, and restructuring the two articles so that I can sell to another market. I feel as if I have a jump start on the New Year.
So, take a moment and make a list of the projects you worked on last year. Now note what you need to do to move each of those projects forward. Do you need to do more research to round out that nonfiction piece, or is it time to write that one-sentence pitch for a story that is ready to submit? Perhaps you need to make the biggest leap of all and send in that first submission. Well, now is the time to get to it.
The holidays are over and it is time to get back to work. It might be a New Year, but you don’t have to start anew. Build on what you have already accomplished to make 2011 a big success.