Looking Back, Looking Ahead

I didn’t exactly jump on the Resolution Bandwagon this year. I dipped my toe in but that’s about it. Now it’s the last day of January and I can’t let the next eleven months slip away without a vision or a plan. But before I can look ahead, I need to briefly look back and acknowledge what I accomplished in 2012:

1. By far, my biggest accomplishment was finishing and submitting my novel. Regardless of the outcome I can now say “I’ve written a novel.” That is huge.

2. I started rewriting my second novel.

3. Started writing an online Book Club column on a local community news website.


4. Read 52 books.

5. Posted book reflections on all 52 books read in 2012.

6. Expanded my platform to include Twitter. (@KimHaasWrites)

7. Filled numerous notebooks with morning pages and writing practice.

8. Set up a submission tracker spreadsheet.

9. Revised several short stories.

10. Made new connections via blogs.

11. Incorporated more photos into my blog posts.

12. Tried to honor the ebb and flow of my creative process. 

So, not a bad year. Now, what do I want in 2013?

1. Publish my novel-in-stories which means find an agent or self-publish.

2. Finish rewrite of new novel.

3. Polish and submit short stories.

4. Blog more consistently.

5. Create/share/sell more art & collage.

6. Attend a writer’s conference or retreat.

7. Work through Priscilla Long’s book, “The Writer’s Portable Mentor.”

8. Create and follow DIY MFA program. 

9. Finish flash fiction collection, “Ripe.”

As I look at my list I see some problems with vagueness. What does “more” mean? For my blog it means add one craft or process post a week in addition to Quotable Tuesday and Five on Friday. It means to post every other Wednesday for my book club column. I need to create a timeline (self-imposed deadlines) for submissions, agent queries and my rewrite. I saw an old list that had me finishing the rewrite this past October and a revision by today. Always looking for that balance between stretching but doable and completely unrealistic.

So, that’s my look back and look ahead. How about you? What did you accomplish in 2012 and what are your aspirations for 2013? is there a way we can support and encourage each other? I’d love to start a submission challenge group. Anybody interested? Let me know in the comments.