Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

New Year

on January 1, 2011

It’s time to make those New Year resolutions. When I was a pre-teen, my family had something called “Family Council.” Every Sunday night, we sat down in the living room and had a little Family Pow-Wow that included compliments, grievances, and making a to-do list for the week ahead.  In January, Family Council meant Goal Setting for the Year. I can’t remember that I enjoyed any bit of Family Council.

But, somehow those lessons of family council were ingrained in my brain. I keep a to-do list on a yellow tablet. I set reasonable week goals, month goals, and six months goals. I keep a basket of manilla folders where I file all my upcoming workshop paperwork, ideas, and thoughts. And I keep a manilla folder each year labeled with the current year where I toss in things I want to do or experience in the year. For example, at the top of my folder this year is a trip to the Sante Fe International Artist Market in July. I’d like to go and volunteer for the Market and help one of the artists in her booth. I found out about this too late last year to go, but this year…it’s top of the list for travel experience, and I’m watching Southwest’s Flight Sales!

In the last few years, my New Year resolution has changed to be a word or theme I want to focus on in the year. This year, as I was taking down the Christmas tree, the word that popped into my head is FLOW. I love this word, and I love how FLOW feels in my life. In yoga, we do a lot with FLOW. FLOW is what happens when things are moving smoothly. FLOW is when things are not bogged down by fears or worries.

So, looking at my writing career for FLOW, I can see that I’ve got some areas that FLOW really well. My workshop schedule looks great for the next five months. I’ve got a nice balance of workshops with kids, one-day workshops, and even a conference where I am presenting. I’ve also got a couple of professional development workshops lined up for 2011. I’m planning to attend Oregon SCBWI in May and go to the coast for a few days. And, I’m hoping to take one of the Developmental Editing and Business of Editing Sessions with the Seattle Author/Editing clinic. It’s a skill I’d like to add to my palate, and I think it could prove beneficial to both my writing and working with other writers.

So far, so good…Then, we have the writing. Okay, and here is where the FLOW gets stuck.

I’ve got two projects which I have been submitting for awhile now. Not to mention a handful of picture books. And I’m hitting walls with the main comment saying: “Not right for the market.” I believe in both of these MG and YA manuscripts, and I do think they have an audience. They’re well-written, and both have substantial topics kids would enjoy and educators could use in a classroom.  But I’m tired of hitting the wall. I’m tired of the wall of rejection, and I’m frustrated with the market.  So, what to do?

Well, I also have some other projects bubbling. Two are non-fiction for kids. I have some adult romance ideas which I’ve dabbled in, and I have a memoir project. I’m a writer, and I write. If one direction doesn’t work, I change the “merchandise” a bit. It’s time to change out the merchandise a bit.

So , I think this year, in keeping with my theme of FLOW, I’m going to be doing a little branching out into other areas. It’ll be exciting to see where the FLOW takes me.

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