As this month winds down, it's time for me to close the door on 2012. It was a really hard year for me with quite a bit of changes to be made in my personal life as well as a lovely surprise in my professional one. But I don't tend to dwell on the negative very much or for very long. My mind continually races forward, welcoming new challenges, and I think 2013 will be a great year for many milestones overcome on my road to publication. My vacation is from Dec 22nd until Jan 1st and I have a plan for the new year:
1. Streamline my writing study. I know it looks organized but there are a couple of boxes hidden away full of odds and ends I need to go through. If it doesn't have immediate value to this next year's writing then I'm either going to pack it away as a resource tool or give it away to someone who can benefit from it now.
2. Print a hard copy of all my completed and WIP manuscripts and store them in a folder under categories. Since I write picture books, chapter books, middle grade, young adult, essays, poetry, etc. I need to make sure I know what type of writing I am doing so I can target the right agent or publisher.
3. Review my 2011 & 2012 list of PiBoIdMo ideas. There are 85 story seeds to sort through. Some will never germinate, some will become seedlings in other stories, and some will blossom into full fledge manuscripts on their own so I need to have a good idea of which will become which.
4. Streamline my bookcase of writer resources. I have 100+ books covering all craft aspects of writing as well as the general topics of interest I like to write about. There are so many great writers out there that I can learn from but I really need to look at all the variations covering the same material and simplify my resource pool where I can.
5. Narrow my list of agents and publishing houses I intend to focus on in 2013. I plan on submitting and entering competitions all year long so I will take my vacation week to help fine tune the target audiences for my work.
6. Work on basic query letters for the stories ready for submission. Make sure those letters have all the elements agents and publishers are looking for. I'm even excited to finally be able to list at least one published credit to my name...a small one but still a start in the right direction.
7. Try to finalize the guest blogger list for my new writer's series, WRITERLY WISDOM, beginning in January, 2013. I only have 18 guest blogger spots left to fill so if anyone knows of an author or established writer (2 or more years full time writing experience) who might be interested in doing a guest blog, then just send them my way!
8. I've blocked out specific times to work on Lacey's Bridge, The Warriors Three, Lunadar, and many of my picture books. My best friend is going out of town and I've asked my family to give me these two weeks to focus on my writing without distractions.
There you have it. I've got an action plan for the new year and the ability to create my own personal writer's retreat at home. What about you? Have you mapped out a course for tackling the new year? Have you prepared for the uphill climb to publication? Does anyone have any areas I might have left out in preparing for the new year? Come on 2013, I'm ready for you! Now all I have to do is to actually sit down and get started...