Each January first, I beat myself up. Not literally, of course, but it’s still pretty painful. I focus on everything I did not accomplish during the past year. Was I lazy? Not good enough? What was it? Turns out that type of thinking is not very productive. (It took me until the Medicare years to figure that out!) So this year, thanks to a challenge by Julie Hedlund, I thought about the things I did accomplish. One of those accomplishments is what you’re looking at. Yes, I’ve updated my blog…finally. I can’t thank Anna Kronzer of Trio Marketing enough for her help with the website. I still have a lot to learn, and I am sure I will be calling her again (sorry, Anna), but so far, so good!
Another biggie is that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and attended workshops and conferences where I was sure I would never be able to hang with “the big girls and boys.” I may not have been at the level of some of these amazing writers, but I didn’t disintegrate into a cloud of dust. Instead, I found support and friendship as well as motivation and help. I’ve joined new critique groups, and I’ve begun to work on different types of writing. Because of the inspiration I’ve gotten by so many people I’ve met, I’ve submitted more, wrote at least a little every day (ok, almost every day), and on good days, I even think of myself as a writer.
When a writer submits work, that writer gets rejections. That’s just the way it is. A huge hurdle I jumped this past year is not letting rejections totally destroy my confidence. In fact, a few of the rejections buoyed my confidence. But, when you take the plunge and submit, every once in a while a good thing happens. One day I held my breath, reread a story about ten times, and submitted a story to Callie Metler of Clear Fork Publishing. Guess what? She liked it. She picked up our new and improved Don’t Eat the Bluebonnets, which will be out in March of this year. Ellen Rothberg and I tweaked the text, and the very talented Joel Cook updated the illustrations. We are so grateful to Callie for allowing us to breathe new life into this little story. I know I’ve written about this before, but now it’s a reality. How many authors get to revise a published book? The market and children’s tastes have changed over the last ten years, and I am grateful that we are able to bring our story and illustrations up to date. I can’t wait to introduce Sue Ellen to a new crop of little ones.
So for this year, there will be no real resolutions. I will just try to build on my small successes of last year. I will continue to teach, I will continue to write, and I will try really, really hard to look at what I do accomplish, not what I didn’t. I challenge all of you to do the same.