As the old year ends and the new one nears, I always look back on the past year to reflect on what I’ve accomplished and whether or not I reached the goals I set the previous year. As a writer, I find setting specific goals very important for moving my career forward, whether the objective is writing new books or promoting them.
In many ways 2008 was an amazing year for me! I had four new books published with 2008 copyright dates, and the 2007 copyright title, Run, actually landed in Canada in February, so in reality there were five. Run was a finalist for best Young Adult book of the year for the Saskatchewan Book Awards, which was wonderful! Longhorns and Outlaws, my juvenile historical fiction, was the only Canadian novel chosen for inclusion in the McNally Robinson Books of the Season Catalogue in the Kids Novels category. Bookmanager statistics showed that had a major impact on sales, as the novel was in high demand for a good portion of the Christmas shopping season.
Best of all, the readers most important to me loved the new novels — my family.
When I dig up the goals I set last January, I met the majority of them, although some in slightly different ways than I’d planned. I didn’t get a young reader chapter book written, but I did write 2/3 of a novel, Kidnapped by Outlaws, which is a sequel for Longhorns. Looking at my goal in word count I surpassed it.
I finished the rewrite of my course, Introduction to Internet Writing Markets, and surpassed my goal for registrations by close to 100%. Better yet, I learned a lot myself doing the revisions, so I’m back at the forefront of technology and have even more ideas for teaching and promotion.
My travel writing goals went very well. I did the four trips I’d set for goals: Quebec (Carnival and Ice Hotel), Lake Charles, Louisiana (food tour), Albany, Georgia (never travelled there before), and New York with my family. I also found and entered the photo/writing contests — only time will tell if I take away any prizes though.
In March, I increased from half-time to three-quarter time as an online teacher for Credenda Virtual High School & College. I’ve learned a lot of new teaching strategies, both using technology and instructional, so it’s been time very well spent. I also dedicated two months of time to in-person promotions for Longhorns and Outlaws, starting with the Alberta Book Tour in the end of September. The whole fall experience was incredible!
The library cataloguing course I’d planned to take wasn’t offered when I wanted it, so I moved that goal ahead to 2009 and have already registered for January.
All in all, 2008 was a very good year!