Holidays, Writing

Turning to 2013

Celebrating New YearNow that you have survived the end of the world, I’m sure you’ve given some thought to what’s ahead for 2013. I don’t do resolutions, per se, but I do like to set goals for myself each year, so I can measure my progress. This seems to come naturally at the end of the year when I’m getting my planner organized, transferring over birthdays, appointments and more. (Have I mentioned how much I love Levenger’s Circa system?)

2012 marked my real return to writing, after I joined Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12 in 2012 Picture Book Writing Challenge. You can learn about my progress here. About halfway into the year, I learned that I probably wouldn’t be satisfied with the process of writing and revising picture books, submitting them to editors, and waiting six months or more for a yay or nay. It can take established authors 5 years or more to sell manuscripts this way, not to mention the challenges a new writer faces.

While I will still shop the picture book manuscripts I have and write those I feel passionate about, my goal for 2013 is to break into the work for hire market. Essentially, I want to develop a relationship with publishers, primarily in the education market, so I can get assignments. I’ve set my sites on a couple of SCBWI events that will introduce me to educational publishers. I’m also going to focus on submitting articles to paying and nonpaying markets in an effort to build up my writers’ resume and increase my chances. Again, I am sure this process will take a long time, but at least I’ve narrowed my focus.

I’ve also realized that I need a writing workshop to brush up on my writing skills. I took two half-day workshops this summer on creative nonfiction and writing leveled readers, but I definitely crave more. Finding the right workshop has proved tricky, since many children’s writing workshops are focused on fiction. However, I now have a few leads thanks to a discussion group I recently joined focused solely on children’s nonfiction.

On the personal front, I did run my first 10K in 2012, as well as a couple of 5Ks, including one with my Dad. I have more races lined up for 2013, including another 10K. And a few girlfriends and I have set our sights on Disney’s Tinkerbell Half Marathon for January 2014. We’re looking at some training programs and have stepped up our strength training workouts and run schedules. Oh, and we’ve already planned our wardrobe inspired by the picture below.

Have a blessed 2013 everyone!

19 thoughts on “Turning to 2013”

  1. You and I are definitely thinking along the same lines this morning. I love that vintage print you choose. Best wishes with your freelance work this coming year. I hope 2013 brings you lots of non-fiction gratification!

  2. You go girl! I’ll be getting to your ‘stuff’ – in cleaning mode right now – but I hope to have it back to you this weekend! Just in time for an extra push to start off the year! Guten Rutsch!

  3. Great goals. I’m off to Disney World in a few days. I sent a link about this half-marathon to my sister as a challenge. There are so many paths to writing and publication. It’s very exciting. Good luck with all your goals.

  4. I can’t wait to see those pictures, Kirsten! I think your goals are fab and I’ve been wondering about work for hire too, to feel more like a job and being useful, though I don’t have any of the preparation you have. I have no idea what 2013 will bring. Maybe a job at McDonalds 😉 Happy New Year!

  5. Congrats on all you achieved in 2012, and so cool what you’re planning on for 2013! I’m always curious about Work For Hire, and have Laura Salas’s book, but never seem to follow through… perhaps it’s the innate fiction writer in me… But good luck and do keep us posted on how it’s going!!!

  6. Kirsten, your goals sound terrific. I am also not a resolution maker but more of a goal setter. My plan is to keep working through the picture book process, just because I love it, but I’ve recently heard from more than one person that I should focus on food. Honestly, I’m torn, and maybe 2013 will be the year to make that decision. Only time will tell. Happy New Year to you!!!!! I wish you a wonderful and successful and healthy new year!
    A2Z Mommy and What’s In Between

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