Twenty-sixteen was my best year yet when it came to writing (not so much the number of words, but the number of finished projects, publications, and contest wins). I’ve decided my minimum is 300 words (Stephen King’s is 2000, but unfortunately, I’m unable to write for a living yet). If I want to go over that, that’s wonderful, but the overage won’t count towards the next day. I have to keep myself accountable.
I have several New Year’s Resolutions:
- Get more organized. This will waste less of my precious time. I have spent part of the last day of the year clearing out my favorites, deleting e-mails, organizing my USB drive, transcribing my notes that are scattered from pillar to post, polishing the drafts in my blog account so I can either “plush or slush” them (this I’ve done over the last week, explaining my prolific posting).
- Do more, and by that, I mean trying different things (especially physical ones, liking biking, climbing, etc).
- Plan meals so that I never have to wake up needing to cook. (I hate cooking in the morning; I’d rather have fish for breakfast…and I have.)
- Write something using dictionary.com’s “word of the day”. This will help me remember it far more than simply memorizing it.
- Don’t start writing any more books until I’ve finished (and edited) the ones I’ve written. (This will take all year.)
- Keep coupons in the car or purse. I am just too forgetful.
- Don’t respond to outlandish status updates on Facebook or you will be expected to post one. I’m sorry, but these really piss me off. Just like the ones that say “If you love Jesus, you’ll share this”, and others of its ilk.
- Include, in my daily to-do list, all the activities I want to do with my daughter. This includes not just reading stories at bedtime, but other books during the daytime.
- Make at least one video of my daughter a week. I’ve slacked on this as it’s harder to edit videos (or take good ones) than it is a photograph.
- Wear less black and gray (yes, it’s slimming).
- Do different things with my hair (it’s one of our greatest accessories). I dug out my old crimper (I’m an eighties girl) and got many compliments on my new look; got a snood for Christmas and if you don’t know what that is, look it up.
- Work on Christmas gifts all year long (which would include trying a new recipe weekly).
And that’s just the beginning, but it’s a start.
One of my proudest moments this year was winning first place (in the same contest I placed in second twice last year) for my story, “The Punch Drunk Potluck”, about what happens when a saucy girl brings pot brownies to a Mormon Church party and spikes the punch. Let’s just say everyone’s spirits were lifted. (I will post the link when the online newspaper editor has it up.)
I was also published in Bella Grace magazine, for which I wrote a narrative poem about the magic of childhood. The magazine seemed tailored just for me, with its almost “Pollyannish” take on life (Pollyanna being one of my favorite movies).
I also got published in the anthology below. This site, http://writingcareer.com/, has been a great help to me in finding places to submit.
I wrote for the student newspaper this fall semester, am writing still for a parenting blog (https://getconnectdad.com/?s=sarah+richards&lang=en), and help write and design the newsletter for a local veteran’s organization.
As far as my personal writing goals, I got on a blogging schedule, where I only have to create new content once a week (the Writer’s Digest Wednesday Prompt); for the months of April and November, I successfully produced a poem a day. My Monday and Friday posts come from what I’ve tweeted out, which I artfully compile. I’ve started a Facebook page with writing tips and truths (https://www.facebook.com/sarahleastories/), also of which will someday end up on this blog (waste absolutely nothing you write). All of these things have helped me become a better, and more confident and prolific writer (and it all counts towards my daily 300).
Though I’ve enjoyed this year immensely, I am never sorry to see it go, because every year just gets better and better: I learn more, I become more.