Writers Abroad Blog
ANNUAL REVIEW
Posted by D C Hubbard

ANNUAL REVIEW

As we all race around, trying to finish projects at work or home as well as prepare for the festivities of the most important (at least for most of usÖ) holidays of the year, there is not much time or space for sitting back and relaxing. As of today, the final pre-Christmas week is upon us and panic sets in. Itís at this point that I begin looking forward to the days between the holidays, when the pressure of Christmas expectations has been lifted and I can kick back, read a bit, watch some good films and maybe even have enough leisure to reflect on the accomplishments Ė or lack of same Ė during the year just coming to a close.

††††††††††††††† As writers, many of us are able to work at our own pace, not necessarily held to account by large corporations and their deadlines. Unless of course, you happen to be one of the lucky few among us who have climbed bestseller lists and do have to produce those manuscripts to a schedule. If so, congratulations on your success. You donít need to read any more of this!

However, for one such as I, an apprentice writer eager to learn and develop my skills, taking the time to perform my own personal annual review, as happens in real, live day-jobs, is a worthwhile undertaking. How many stories did I write, revise or edit this past year? How many made it into print? Did I submit pieces to any contests or lit magazines? Which of the goals that I bravely set down for myself in January of this year actually came to fruition or are at least works-in-progress? Of course, this assumes I actually did some planning in the previous January.

††††††††††††††† As luck would have it, a new January is just two weeks away, offering us a new opportunity to set goals, if we havenít been doing this previously. It can only help if I, as a semi-professional wordsmith, set down on paper some targets at which to aim. This doesnít have to be a solemn contract with myself Ė unless I want it to be. But a modicum of pressure can help concentrate the mind. Maybe itís less intimidating to think of this goal-setting as a to-do list that will keep me busy and out of trouble all year. Another way of thinking of it is as a roadmap. Traveling is always easier if I know the direction I need to go and what I expect to find at the end of the journey.

†† ††††††††††††† Merry Christmas to all and may the New Year bring many opportunities for you to show off your word prowess!

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