Children's author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year. She believes the way New Year's resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity - what DIDN'T get done or achieved in the previous year. Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one. I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution! Here is my list for 2018:
Decided to commit to being a children’s book writer & illustrator
Set up my website & blog for Northern Bird Designs to showcase my illustration & creative content portfolio
Signed up to Storyteller Academy to get a better understanding of the fundamentals for writing children’s books
Retook Make Art That Sells Illustrating Children’s Books course
Discovered the joy of making art every day
Began a routine of experimenting weekly with new creative activities
Researched the children’s book market with lots of lovely bookshop visits
Invested in adding to my library of children’s books for me, not with the excuse of “they’re for my son”
Signed up to an email list about the latest writing jobs, looking out for something that I can do from home & to stay informed on current industry trends
When I was sharing my successes with the 12Days Facebook group I felt so shy, thinking these were teeny tiny steps in comparison to what others were sharing with their second or third book being published, landing an agent, and other amazing accomplishments. Those critical voices in my head (I call them mind monkeys) often try to knock my confidence with the game of comparison. I just have to remember that I’m at the very start of my story & others are a few chapters ahead. Hopefully these steps are heading in the right direction!
That brings us now to the present. What are my thoughts for 2019? It’s all about taking action and exploring this year. If 2018 was my year of being brave and learning, this year is the grab the bull by the horns and get my work out there year. A portfolio is a constant work in progress but feeling confident in my style (or more precisely, feeling comfortable with having multiple styles) and my process I’m creating pieces to send out to fabric companies, picture book agencies and entering as many competitions as possible for both experience and to get my name out there.
I’m making time in my daily routine for writing as well as illustrating. I feel that the two go hand in hand rather nicely, and I’m working through the Storyteller Academy courses to work on picture book dummies that will not live in my desk drawer but will fly off into the world. Perhaps that transforming, multi-wheeled bus I wrote about at primary school will see the light of day once more!
Thank you for your support this last year, it means so much to have friends alongside me on this creative journey. I’m using my writing resolution to get my newsletter in gear and sending one out every other week. If you wish to hear about my latest adventures in illustration and writing, my tips on running a creative business and my musings on the latest trends in the creative realm then please sign up here.