Another year has come and gone. We’ve revolved once again through twelve months and four seasons. We've passed through the darkest days of winter and begun our ascent toward the longer, lighter days of summer. I already feel the days growing longer and that just makes me so glad.
The new year brings new beginnings. It’s a time for resolving to take on new challenges and setting the goals that go will them.
But it can also bring on serious overwhelm. And who wants to start a new year feeling that?
All this resolution-making can be depressing if we approach it from a place of lack, or failure; if we reflect only what we should have done (and didn’t) or what we intended to change last year (but couldn’t manage for whatever reason).
To punctuate this year’s reVolution, I took a page out of Katie Davis’ book, literally. I looked back on the year just gone to identify my achievements, before setting my resolutions for the year ahead.
I invite you to do the same. Because one accomplishment per month is a lot to celebrate when all is said and done, even if they were unexpected!
Rather than dwell on what wasn’t, highlight instead what was. I am sure you will see, as I did, that many boxes were ticked, even if they were unplanned.
Perhaps life intervened to take you off your original course. Maybe there were unforeseen necessary steps that had to be taken on the way to what still can be.
Don’t worry, it’s all good!
Because you’re now a bit wiser for it.
Because these achievements become the foundation stones upon which you may now climb toward your goals in 2014.
So let’s do it together --
What did you accomplish in 2013? How will that carry you through the 2014 revolution?
Download Katie's New Year gift pack today as she'll be taking it down by the end of January 2014. Let me know what you learned in the comments below! Here's mine:
Epiphany brought with it the epiphany that I was wasting my time trying to market my app, and my expertise, through a company brand. So impersonal! So I decided to launch my own website under my name. And here it is!
Beware Madame la Guillotine, the interactive eBook, launched in Apple’s iBook store after many months of preparation that included learning a new software application: iBooks Author.
I made my first conference speaking appearance at Tools of Change in Publishing at the Bologna Children's Book Fair as part of a panel of authors and illustrators,on the topic of “publishing digitally.” I followed that with an article published in the TOC online magazine, Transforming Publishing.
I recognized, once and for all, that my writer’s voice tends more toward an older audience after my agent, Erzsi Deàk, rejected yet another picture book MS. She said. “Sarah, I see you as a natural middle grade author. Don't send me any more picture books.” It was difficult to hear, especially as I'd resolved to sell my first picture book MS in 2013. But she was right. So you see, there is growth in rejection ;).
I wrote my very first ever business plan, people! And if I can do that, anyone can. Even you.
My pet volunteer project, The Young Authors’ Fiction Festival, which I co-coordinated with the American Library in Paris, concluded another year without a hitch and with many happy children, parents, and teachers present. I was thrilled at their collective successes.
I launched my brand new website. This one!
After speaking at SCBWI-LA with Julie Hedlund on crafting and submitting StoryBook Apps, I tucked in for two weeks of R&R with my loving and adorable family. It was there I found the inspiration for my first chapter book.
I started teaching again after all these years – Woot! Woot! In large part thanks to this website. I'm now working regularly, teaching writing and literacy at the Roaming Schoolhouse, International School of Paris, and American Library in Paris. I also made several author visits in 2013 to The Harpeth Hall School and University School of Nashville, both in Tennessee, and St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Virginia.
I finished my first full-fledged chapter book manuscript, I Call Him Griffin. It still needs more work, but hey it’s good enough to be promising. At least my agent thinks so. Contact me here if you'd like to share critiques!
I traveled to the US to
- participate in the Dust or Magic Institute;
- meet with the various members of the future Team TTT&T (more on that in 2014);
- make a sweep of school visits. Fun!
Team TTT&T is unofficially assembled, our future development partner is secured, talks with our first client begin (more news coming soon!), and I take two whole weeks off -- two weeks people -- to enjoy the holidays and my family. I haven't done that in a very, very long time.
And here are my words for 2014: