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As 2020 comes to an end, I find myself reflecting on what I had posted last year for my 2019 end-of-year writing update and 2020 writing goals.
In that post, I had written:
I think it’s beneficial to have some kind of an idea of goals for the upcoming year, but things happen, plans can change, and ideas may lead in a new direction. I don’t know what the future will hold, but I have found it to be more beneficial for me to create monthly (and even daily) goals with a few long-term goals still in mind.
Well, this year was full of plans changing and things happening! It certainly did not go the direction any of us had originally planned.
I had no idea at the end of 2019 that my family would be dealing with COVID, numerous cancellations, an inland hurricane that unexpectedly tore through our area on my birthday leaving us without power for eight days and without internet for three weeks, and multiple other events that had happened throughout 2020.
I’m sure you can relate to how unexpected things have been this year!
Besides numerous cancellations that affected my family personally, I was disappointed about the cancellations of pickle festivals, the local farmers’ market, and other in-person events for my writing adventure. Those cancellations made it more challenging to sell my books and journals this year.
Through it all, though, I am grateful for all the blessings our family has had even when things didn’t go as originally planned.
My 2020 Writing Adventure Accomplishments
This year became my “year of learning about writing” since I had the opportunity to attend multiple writing webinars, a nonfiction conference, an SCBWI spring conference, and the Northwestern Christian Writers Conference because they were all virtual. In fact, I filled an entire binder with all the notes I typed from these various virtual learning opportunities!
As a result of a one on one virtual meeting with an editor through the Northwestern Christian Writers Conference, two writings of mine (so far, at least) were accepted for publication in a children’s magazine (scheduled for 2021).
I created and published four journals. I was hoping to use the field trip journal quite a bit this year since I was organizing monthly field trips for a homeschool group I had started a couple of years ago. But that didn’t happen. Interestingly, our last field trip as a group was in February at a local airport.
I also published a hardcover version of Pickles, Pickles, I Like Pickles and created and published a picture book with my 12-year-old daughter called Aah! Blown Away, Crash! An Alphabet Misadventure. As a result of that publication, my daughter and I had a few interview opportunities. I really enjoyed working on that project together.
I created one course for SchoolhouseTeachers.com, two courses that I published on Udemy, a class that I taught at a local community college in October (since the class was cancelled in May and July), and a webinar that I presented at the KidLit Indie Publishing Summit.
I continued as a monthly contributor for Hands on As We grow and other writings of mine were published in various places online and in print. I also wrote a couple of picture book manuscripts, which I have submitted to a few places.
I was hoping to reach out to state parks and airports to try to sell my Adventure Writing Prompt journal, but I didn’t. I figured they would not sell well with all of the restrictions and cancellations for travel this past year. I was able to sell my Reading Journals to an educational resource supplier, though.
I’ve continued volunteering as a Regional Social Chair for SCBWI IA/MN, and I am still leading monthly writer meetings (albeit virtually instead of in-person). I also had the opportunity to attend a few virtual picture book meetings, which I hope to continue in 2021.
Finally, I joined Twitter and edited a book for a publishing company located in Iowa.
My 2021 Writing Adventure Goals
I am not sure what 2021 will bring especially with my family expecting some big changes in the upcoming year. But I do intend to continue my writing adventure.
Here are some things I am planning to do in 2021:
- present a webinar hosted by SCBWI IA/MN at the end of January (more info here)
- continue writing monthly posts for Hands On As We Grow
- create and present a webinar hosted by Journey to Kidlit
- teach at the local community college
- create and publish at least one more course on Udemy
- edit some more books (I have 5 tentatively scheduled for 2021)
- decide what to do with a manuscript I have written (submit or publish)
- research and explore the possibility of writing a book (or a series of books) based on an idea I have (and then start writing it)
- look into work-for-hire opportunities and decide if it is something I want to pursue
Last year, I had also written something else that still resonates with me.
As Proverbs 16:9 says, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” I am excited to see where this writing adventure will lead next.
Yes, I have some plans but I don’t know exactly what will happen in the upcoming year. My writing adventure continues to be a part-time endeavor that I hope to continue working on when I can.
What About You?
I have rambled on long enough. Did you accomplish any of your 2020 goals? What are some goals you are hoping to reach in 2021?