My critique group met last Friday, our first meeting of the year. After our actual work–critiquing three picture book manuscripts–we revisited the writing resolutions we made last January, what we hoped to accomplish as writers in 2008.
Most of us (and we’re a fairly large group) achieved one or more of our goals. Here are some of them:
- Participate in National Novel Writing Month
- Be more diligent about submitting work
- Create and adhere to a daily writing schedule
- Set up an author consortium through SCBWI
- Learn how to put together a web site
- Query editors and agents for particular novels (several of us had resolved to do this)
- Write at least four times a week
- Concentrate on poetry for young readers
- Finish first drafts for two novels
- Read more
- Spend 15 hours a week writing, or on writing related tasks
- Resurrect a picture book from years ago and submit it
And this is one of my favorites: “To clarify and commit. Commit to what, you might ask? Well, that’s what I want to clarify.”
From the list of goals, it’s easy to see we’re a diverse group. Several of us have children still at home; others are grandparents. Some have full-time jobs, some are in graduate school. A few of us are retired from other careers. Most of us are now, or have been, dedicated volunteers for our Rocky Mountain Chapter of SCBWI. One thing we all share in common: our serious commitment to writing.
At the end of the meeting, we listed barriers to our writing on flash paper and set it aflame! In case you’re not familiar with it, as I wasn’t, it’s a special kind of paper that flares brightly for a second, then simply vaporizes. No ashes or residue. Through this symbolic act, we hoped to put all of our writing demons to rest.
Now we’re all writing our 2009 resolutions, each hoping to draw on our inner reserves of strength to reach our new goals. Individually, we can turn out pages and submit work, but there’s no one among us, even the multiply-published, who doesn’t need the support of our group.