Friday, December 31, 2010

wrapping it up--2010

Christmas Fireworks
One year ago today, I wrote a post outlining my writing goals for 2010.  I...could not even have imagined, 365 days ago, the thrilling successes I would experience--finding my dream agent, selling my YA debut, working with a brilliant editor, finishing a draft of another YA manuscript, meeting so many amazing writers (and having them come here, to my blog, to say hi and offer their support! WOW!)...and so much more.

I do think it's funny how cyclical writing is, though.  Case in point, my first goal last year:
I'd like to remain thoughtful, objective, gracious, and rational about anything that happens with this book.
This book?  At the time, it was known as The Dharma Bum Business, and shortly after I wrote that, Sarah Davies offered representation, and we started working hard to make the book the best it could be before putting it out on sub to editors.   The letter arrived--pages of questions, suggestions, cautions--pushing me to take my book to the next step.  I kept those words from my goal in mind (I'm not going to say I always succeeded, but I tried!), and they helped me as I revised the book now known as Kiss the Morning Star.

Thoughtful, objective, gracious, and rational.  Well, a year later, and I'm still pushing this book--still working to make it the best it can be, this time working with the feedback of my editor, Melanie Kroupa.  A year ago, I was close to putting this book away, "trunking" it.  I had gone through many revisions, many rounds of querying agents, and I thought I had pretty much done everything I could for it.

I have a long and unfinished post saved to my drafts folder about the process of this book becoming what it is, and someday, when the process is actually over, I may post it, but the moral of the story is...time and again, I have believed that the book is as good as I can make it, and time and again, I have been proven wrong.  And every time, the bar is higher, and the process is harder.  And I say those words like a mantra--thoughtful, objective, gracious, and rational.  And now, as I project this manuscript into a future where it will have a shiny cover and real pages and--OMG!--readers, who will be more than willing to give their feedback, I will cling to those words for support.

So I think that needs to be a permanent goal.

My other goals from last year were all accomplished:

Next goal is about the next book, and that is to finish editing it and send it out there spinning into the world as well.
 Done!  And though I still love this ms., it is sitting to the side for now until it fits better into the plan (it's a fantasy story.)

Third writing goal is to decide on the next project.... I'd like to get one more novel rough drafted by the end of this year.
 Done! My Cassandra WIP needs another go-around of serious revision, but I finished a draft, showed it to Sarah, and I hope I will be able to wrestle it into a shape worthy of submitting during 2011!

And last is for me to keep working on the one story, you know the one.
 Done! Not much done, but this book is making baby steps in and among the other projects, and it still excites me.  In addition, I wrote half of my very first attempt at middle grade with my summer-camp ghost story WIP, In the Hanging Shack.  So overall, my 2010 was a year of writing.  Tomorrow I'll share my goals for 2011, since this post has rambled on long enough, but I think a few more of them will focus on the personal life outside of the writing life.

Happy New Year, everyone!


Jill Hathaway said...

Gratz on reaching your goals! I'm with you on the more personal goals this year. It's going to be the year o' weight loss. FUN!

amy said...

that stuff about thinking a piece is as good as it can possibly be, and then being forced to push it further... definitely rang true for me.