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My Writing Revolution

December 29, 2014

Someone has helped me take an important turn in my writing goals. Looking back on 2014 and my writing dreams, I see that there are some ‘hopes’ that didn’t happen, but some ‘hopes’ that did. Failure or success? Success, of course. I recognize the familiar principle this person is offering me, because as a school business manager, I learned a few things over the years:Writing Space 2

  • Use budgets as guides, not straight-jackets.
  • Consider policies as operating parameters, subject to amendment when necessary.
  • Regard your goals with direction in mind, not just destination.

Looking at my writing in this light, I’ve decided the year has been a success. The two most critical components of success are movement and direction. Arrival is the by-product.

Julie Hedlund is leading a small group of writers in a ’12 Days of Christmas’ challenge to help us firm up our writing direction for 2015. Today she reminds us that New Year resolutions often fail because they are based on what we didn’t do rather than what we did do in the prior year. She has prompted us to write down (and post) our writing successes for 2014. Here are mine:

  • I joined and participated in the 12 x 12 Picture Book Challenge, completing only 4 drafts in the year, and submitting to only four agents. Four, in my math, is always better than zero.
  • I maintained a focus on non-fiction in 2014, which I believe helped fine-tune my writing dreams.
  • I succeeded in 14 picture-book element examinations in 14 days in Feburary with Christi Wright Wild. (Hoping to do that again, I learned so much!)
  • I attended a wonderful non-fiction conference in October, NF 4 NF, learning from new NF heroes Pam Miller, Peggy Thomas, Kristen Fulton, Kristi Holl, Steve Swinburne, Lucas Miller, and editor Kelly Loughman at Holiday House, as well as befriending new NF writers.
  • I completed PiBoIdMo 2014 in November with a total of 46 non-fiction and fiction picture book ideas, attempting two per day.
  • I learned from new on-line writer support groups, such as the charter Neffers (see NF 4 NF above), KidLit 411, ReviMo, and WOW nonficpic.
  • I set up an alternate reading and writing space with a unique shelf-piece I found in Texas that serves as idea headquarters. (see photo)
  • I discovered and began listening to a new Picturebooking podcast by Nick Patton.
  • I set up an illustration station with an old drafting table loaned to me long ago by my brother-in-law, which also serves as a great picture-book dummy layout space.
  • I waded into new writing waters with illustration—and devised new characters Peck, Cap, and Ringo. (more coming later)
  • I participated in wonderful webinars and hangouts with numerous writers/authors/illustrators.
  • Won two pending workshops: the Lyrical Language Lab with Renee’ LaTulippe (to be taken in January); and Non-Fiction Archaeology with Kristen Fulton (to be taken in March).

So…this is the basis for my goals for 2015, what I’ve learned and completed this last year. It all appears to be successful movement and successful directions. Now these awesome expereinces will be now the groundwork for 2015 and my continuing, unfailing writer dreams.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30, 2014 9:00 am

    Congratulations on all your successes! I discovered the PictureBooking podcast too – it’s a lot of fun. Wishing you just as much success in 2015!

  2. December 30, 2014 9:54 pm

    Four, in my math, is more than zero also! You had a fantastic and fun year, Damon. I can’t wait to watch what happens in your 2015. Happy New Year!!!

  3. January 7, 2015 6:25 pm

    4 indeed. I think four is great! That was my total, too. (I wrote a 5th but hate it so don’t count it). I, too, have found my non-fiction writing voice- that’s what landed me an agent.

    I think 2015 is going to be great for you!

  4. January 7, 2015 6:26 pm

    Shucks. As my comment started to post, I realized it’s using my old website. This is my new one: http://www.michellecusolito.com/

  5. February 9, 2015 8:07 am

    Awesome year Damon… And one to come. You have a lot you are working on. Keep on keepin’ on. You are an inspiration to me!

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