Looking Back at 2014

For the last two years (2012 and 2013), I’ve done a post at the end of the year to celebrate what I’ve actually accomplished. I think I always get weary in December and wonder: “Did I get anything done?” While I knew the answer was “Yes.” I did have to prove it to myself.

Last year, I started a Book of Stars to record the little things that happened that were good. I taped in the nice things editors said, the the nice things other writers said. Writing can be a discouraging job. When I opened up my book to look back over 2014, it lifted my spirits.

Book of Stars

Published Works

* Educational book coming out in early 2015. This book pushed me to research and write fast and took over my life for a few months.

* Opened up Teachers Pay Teachers store

* Opened up my Books Page

* Wrote “Top 10 Books for Word Choice” and put it up as a freebie for signing up for my newsletter

* Mentor Text “E-Books” on sale at TpT and on my books page

* Wrote Educator’s Guide for Laura Purdie Salas’ Riddle-Ku Book

Articles

* “A Postcard and a Dream” appeared in Hollins magazine

* “Fran Cannon Slayton: Balance in the Writing Life” appeared in Mid-Atlantic SCBWI Highlighter

* “Teacher’s Pet: How to Get Your Book in the Hands of Teachers” appeared in Mid-Atlantic SCBWI Highlighter

* “Writing Picture Books with Kim Norman” appeared in Mid-Atlantic SCBWI Highlighter

* Freelance work for Interactive Achievement

Guest Posts

* “Overwhelmed? Overworked? Overcommitted? How to Keep Focus in 2014” DIYMFA 1/9/14

* Kidsarewriters coach

Challenges

* 12×12 participant with new manuscripts and a ton of revised ones

* PiBoIdMo—came up with 35 ideas

Classes Taken

(Note: If you love a writer, all of these classes would make excellent gifts)

* Making Picture Book Magic with Susanna Leonard Hill

* Lyrical Language Lab with Renee LaTulippe

* Julie Hedlund’s How to Make Money as a Writer

* Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen’s Plotting Picture Books from A to Z

Workshops Attended

* Candice Ransom’s retreat in Luray on revision

* WOW Retreat

* Picture Book Workshop with Lola Schaefer and Rebecca Kai Doltich

* SCBWI Mid-Atlantic Conference

Workshops Organized through SCBWI and Glenvar Library

* Fran Cannon Slayton

* Kim Norman

Workshops Taught

* Mentor Texts for Writers Webinar for WOW

* Mentor Texts for Writers workshop for NoVA writers

* Mentor texts for the classroom at local division level professional development and VSRA

Business

* Got an agent! I’m now working with Jodell Sadler of Sadler Children’s Literary

Teaching

* Taught a writing camp for high school girls at Hollins in summer 2015

* Received Teacher of the Year at my school

Library

* Started and finished my library media endorsement at UVA and UVA Wise

Whew! Looking back at the makes me tired. But it is also testament to how much you can accomplish by setting aside a little bit of time for your writing each day. I still teach full-time and have two young kids. Most of the writing was done between 5-6 am daily.

As I think about what I want to accomplish in 2015, I look at the big picture and big goals. But I also want to focus on: What is the next step I can take to further my career. It might be as simple as revising one chapter. Each small step adds up to bigger ones.

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Comments

  1. Marcie, this is such an impressive list. And I LOVE the book of stars idea. I might have to steal that for 2015. You seldom remember the good feedback you get but always remember the negative. 🙂 Here’s to a great 2015!!

  2. Fabulous post, impressive list! And I *LOVE* your Book of Stars! Like Julie, I may be emulating you in making one for 2015. Thank you, and cheers to you as 2015 begins!

  3. Oh, this is such an amazing list! And you got an agent! Way to go 🙂

  4. Kathy Halsey says:

    Marcie, I love the way you organized your successes. You have done sooooo much and given back so much to the writing community, too. I am impressed by this list and thrilled that we are connected. Way to move into 2015!

  5. Love the list Marcie. I’ll be making a Book of Stars for 2015 plus using your categories to keep track of my own goals. Thank you for the inspiration!

  6. Love the list, Marcie…and I love your organization and focus! You generously share so much for other writers…so glad 2014 was a stellar year for you…here’s to a joyous and successful 2015. )