2011 in Review & 2012 Goals

2011 has been an incredible year. It changed my life in ways big and small. I got a book deal. I became a full-time writer. I was able to pay off all my student loan and credit card debt. I worked hard on revising BORN WICKED, learning so much in the process about my writing strengths and weaknesses, and ended up with a book I am so proud of. I got a gorgeous book cover (which I got to see on the Penguin Books for Young Readers catalogue cover too) and read wonderful early reviews and saw my book trailer and found out I’m going on tour with some amazing authors. I wrote a draft of the sequel.

I traveled more this year than in the last several years put together. I went to SCBWI New York and on three writing retreats (to Branson, Key Largo, and a lovely cabin in Virginia wine country). I traveled to Salt Lake City to help my little sister get settled in for grad school. The Playwright and I went on a two-week dream vacation to California for our fifth anniversary. I did a reading at my college roommate’s beautiful wedding, and met another close friend’s gorgeous new baby girl. I discovered more of the wonderful writers in DC.

The year wasn’t without its difficulties. I lost a beloved grandfather to Alzheimer’s and worried over an uncle’s health. I struggled – am still struggling – with writing my first sequel. I read bad reviews and doubted myself and learned that I am not as capable as I wanted to be of reading negative reviews right now. I doubted myself and panicked A LOT, honestly. This is all new and big and sometimes so much new all at once is scary.

But overall, yes, it has been an incredible year. My word for 2011 was NOURISH. I didn’t achieve a lot of the little goals I set for myself, but I wrote more than ever before, and writing is the foremost thing that nourishes me, so in that I feel pretty successful.

I’ve decided to pick two guiding words for 2012: CELEBRATE and CREATE. CREATE because the writing is most important. It is so easy to get caught up in twitter and blogs and message boards and emails and reviews and all of the other stuff that goes into publishing that isn’t actually writing and can be crazy-making. I want to be better about having designated work time (i.e. writing, with the internet off) and designated not-work time (i.e. not at the computer, doing totally un-publishing-related things). And CELEBRATE because it is so easy to focus on what comes next, to fret and worry about that. I think sometimes I welcome the stress, honestly. I have a hard time celebrating good things without looking for the dark cloud, the anvil about to drop on my head. I am trying to learn that the world doesn’t work that way. This is the year my first book comes out! I want to celebrate the hell out of that, and all the other lovely little milestones.

Because I want to do all the things (really, I love making resolutions), I also have a bunch of little goals. I want to read more. I want to play more board games. I want to walk more and journal more and listen to music more and cook more.

What about you? What are your goals for 2012?

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