Janet Sumner Johnson
About Author Visits Blog Books Events Contact PB&J Society

New Year’s Resolutions

My Year in Review

Jan

04, 2016 |

Filed in:

Writing

Happy New Year!

With all the Christmas rush, I have been absentee the last couple of weeks, but I didn’t want to miss again. Because this is the time of year where I hold myself accountable for the goals I set at the beginning of last year. And if I don’t hold myself accountable, who will?

So here we go. My goals from last year and my assessment:

1. Write 5 days a week.
I started out well with this, then wow. A big fail on this goal. BUT, if you consider all the non-book-writing things I wrote, perhaps I didn’t do so terribly. That said, I hope to do better this coming year. But I realize that for me, this type of goal will always be a fail, because I hate being tied down. I do much better when I assign myself a project to accomplish, as you’ll see in the next goal . . .

One page of my crazy edits

One page of my crazy edits

2. Finish revising my 2 WIPS (Works in Progress).
WOOT! TOTAL WIN! Granted, I now have more revising to do on WIP #2, BUT I finished 2 other rounds of revisions on it (2 other MAJOR rounds of revision), and this next round won’t be so terrible. WIP #1 is now on submission. *curls up in fetal position*

3. Finish a first draft of a new book.
Okay. Total fail. I just started yesterday. But in my defense, I didn’t expect the majorness of the revisions for WIP #2. Plus I wrote a bonus story for PB&J SOCIETY (hoping you will all love it!), and a bunch of other PB&J-related things. The next book just didn’t happen. However, it is STARTED, so finishing the first draft at the very least is this year’s goal.

4. Write at least two picture books.
Sigh. Nope. I did take a PB class, but I was so busy, I mostly skimmed through it. Turns out that when you have a book contract (which I didn’t have when I made these goals), you suddenly become much busier. While I would like to do this again, I realize debut year will be full of too many other things.

5. Attend at least one writing conference.
And Hooray!! Another accomplished goal! I will definitely be keeping this goal. I am attending LDStorymakers again as an attendee (my husband will be presenting!), and I will be presenting at the MD/DE/WV SCBWI conference in April. So check and check! It really is good to plan a goal that you have already facilitated the accomplishment of.

And there you have it. Not a great showing, to be sure. However, life sometimes mixes things up for you. It is somewhat surreal to realize that last year at this time, I had no idea what was in store for me. I had no idea I was on the verge of signing my first book contract . . . which changed the course of my whole year.

So while I didn’t accomplish all the specific goals I set for myself, I DID accomplish some pretty major things. And I am a firm believer in being flexible. Yes, I could have killed myself to accomplish every one of these goals above, but I feel pretty proud of all I accomplished this past year.

Now it’s your turn. Please tell me what you accomplished this past year so I can celebrate with you! 🙂

Speak up:

6 comments

| TAGS:

, , , , ,

Happy New Year!

Jan

05, 2015 |

Filed in:

Uncategorized

So I popped off for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and then the
boat left the dock without me, and I missed all of December. Family and Writing
(Well, revising, but same whatever).

My writing space

Anyway, it’s the new year, and we’ve had the discussion of Resolutions vs. Goals, so today I’m listing a few GOALS (nothing so wishy-washy as a
resolution for me, thank you very much!).

1.     
Write
5 days a week
. I don’t write on Sundays, and I need some leeway for the
other 6 (I’m all about not feeling cramped). However, to keep myself from the
path of insanity, I’m adding this: I get a smiley face for as little as ONE
page (written or revised). For the record, I usually do more, but this keeps my
mind free from feeling weighed down by the burden of it. It lets me enjoy. Oh yeah! And I’m giving myself 1
month of vacation, too. It’s only fair. Yeah I’m weird. But I’m totally owning
this.

2.     
Finish
revising my 2 WIPS (Works in Progress)
. After spending all of November
and December revising, I am confident this is doable. (Assuming I really stick
to goal #1). 😉

3.     
Finish
a first draft of a new book
. I have the book in mind, and it’s actually
started. I can do this. I can!

4.     
Write
at least two picture books
. I wanted to just say one. But I want to
push myself a bit. Plus, after my September class, I’m really excited to do
this. It might be a summer thing, but I have at least one idea ready to be developed.
And just maybe I’ll take that class again to help me along. J

5.     
Attend
at least one writing conference
. Okay, I’m taking the easy way out
here, because I’m all signed up for LDStorymakers in May. But we all need at
least one gimmee, right?

And I think I’ll stop there because all of that will keep me
plenty busy. So how about you? What are your goals (writing or not)?

Speak up:

4 comments

| TAGS:

, , , ,

Belated Year-end Review

Jan

21, 2013 |

Filed in:

Uncategorized

So, confession. I did not make any resolutions this year. Nary a one.

I had good intentions, but we were on vacation, then life was coming fast, and next thing I know, here I am, 3 weeks into the new year with nothing done.

But if you recall last year’s discussions about resolutions vs. goals, well, let’s just say that I always have goals I’m working on. And I actually did accomplish quite a bit this past year.

So today I’m giving you my top 5 goals accomplished in 2012:

1. I ran a half marathon. To be honest, it still boggles my mind that I ran for 2 hours and 15 minutes straight. That’s a long time. And I don’t know if I can ever make myself do such a thing again. But I did it ONCE! And man was I proud of myself. (You won’t mind a little bit of pride to seep through here, will you?)

2. I started the Hacky Sack Club with the fabulous Amy Sonnichsen. This was not a goal I set, but rather something that grew from connecting with a kindred spirit. I am particularly proud of this one because I tend to be extremely reserved. Did you just die of shock? Yes, despite all the crazy videos I’ve posted in the past year, I am a VERY reserved person. Not shy, per se, but I do tend to keep my talents and deepest passions inside. Breaking out of that just a little, and sharing myself a little more with others has been surprisingly satisfying. So THANK YOU for indulging me with it all. And P.S. It’s still open to members! 😉

3. I moved half-way across country without dying or killing anyone. Overexposure to the question “Are we there yet?” almost did me in, but fortunately we discovered the cure in time: “Here, play with my iPod.”

 4. I finished writing a book. A book I’ve been in love with since the idea first struck me. We shall see what happens with it from here, but let’s just say that IT’S AWESOME! I know, humility and all that. Sorry. But if I don’t love it, how can I hope others will?

5. I signed with an agent. *Heehee* I still giggle when I say that. And I still sometimes go back and read the e-mails to make sure it’s real. In truth, I don’t feel like this is something I really accomplished, but rather something I’ve been working toward for a long time that finally came to pass. But since this IS a writing blog, I thought it should count.

So how about you? What did you accomplish in 2012?

Speak up:

12 comments

| TAGS:

, , , ,

This vs. That: Resolutions vs. No Resolutions

Jan

30, 2012 |

Filed in:

Uncategorized

Of all the polls I’ve done, this one surprised me the most. In truth, I thought this would be a ‘no contest’ event, but boy was I wrong. However, I found it fascinating to hear about all of your opinions on resolutions and goal-setting. Good stuff!

But lets get to the interesting stuff:

Total votes: 17

Resolutions: 8 votes; 47%
No Resolutions: 9 votes; 53%

I really thought that while people might ignore resolutions or #fail at them (it just sounds cool to add the pound sign), most people would be pro-resolutions. So yes, I voted in favor of them.

However, I forgot to consider that most of my readers are writers. I should have realized that semantics would play into this. Unlike most people in the world, we writers make the distinction between goals and resolutions.

Nit-picky bunch, aren’t we?

That said, I have a feeling that if I did Goals vs. Resolutions, Goals would win hands down. They seem to be preferred based on all your comments.

Okay. Now on to the next debate:

Apples
vs.
Oranges

Speak up:

22 comments

| TAGS:

, , , ,

This vs. That: The Grinch vs. Ebenezer Scrooge

Jan

05, 2012 |

Filed in:

Uncategorized

First a quick note on the Chocolate-less Chocolate Chip Cookies. I read through all your votes and I was going to add them all up . . . but the double votes, and vote changes, and blah, blah, blah, and my head started pounding. Which is why I up and decided to use my dictatorship authority to choose.

SO . . . the new name for Chocolate-less Chocolate Chip Cookies is now:

Abomination Cookies

Because that’s just funny. But I give a close second to Choc-less Chip Cookies, because how clever is that? I love me a good word-play! (Now I guess you all know that funny trumps clever over here . . .)

Anyway, on to the vote I think this was a record low for the number of votes on one of these, but I completely blame myself as I fell off the map for most of December. Or I could assume that the responsibility of the decision was just too much so no one voted.

Yeah . . .

That’s it. 😉

Aaaand on to the results:

Total votes: 15 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas: 7 votes; 47%
A Christmas Carol: 8 votes; 53%

I love both of these, but ultimately I went with the Grinch because of the simplicity of it all. Being the simple person that I am . . . this story never fails to hit me deep down. Make me wonder how I’d react if all my stuff were stolen (uh . . . spoiler alert? But seriously, who hasn’t read this thing or heard it in some form?). And on Christmas day no less! This book makes me want to be a better person.

Now, on to the next debate:

Resolutions

vs. 

No Resolutions

(So, I couldn’t come up with a good picture for these, so just bear with me here. Boring to look at, but the debate is still just as real. Right?!)

Speak up:

19 comments

| TAGS:

, , , , ,

Deep Thoughts by Janet Johnson

Jan

05, 2011 |

Filed in:

Uncategorized

I know most of us are pondering our New Year’s Resolutions and setting goals right around now. I’ll get to that, perhaps on a future post.

But for today’s Welcome-Back-from-the-Holidays post I just have a simple question: 

Why is it that when Batman is caught by the bad guys, they never unmask him?

I would love to hear your theories, because I watch these episodes with my boys all the time, and this simply perplexes me.

And I’m quite certain there’s a writing lesson in there somewhere. Perhaps something about logic in our plot lines? What do you think?

Speak up:

18 comments

| TAGS:

, ,

Resolutions and a Little Silliness

Jan

01, 2010 |

Filed in:

Uncategorized

I did a quick search to see if I could find my resolutions from last year. Nope, not recorded in the journal. So I guess that means I kept them all. BUT, here are some pretend ones so we can all feel good about that assessment:

  1. Start a blog. Check.
  2. Start the next draft of Prince Bob. Check.
  3. Have a baby. Check.
  4. Get back to pre-baby weight. Check.
  5. Be more patient. Che . . . well, this is kind of an “always” resolution, so we’ll go ahead and say Check.

Of course, I COULD go on (wink, wink, nod, nod), but you get the point. I definitely accomplished things this past year. And may I just say, that resolutions are SO much easier when you write them down after the fact.

But not to let sleeping dogs lie, or whatever idiomatic expression would fit better there, I am going to actually record some resolutions for this coming year. And a year from now, I can reassess and see if I don’t prefer last year’s method of writing them down after I accomplished them.

Okay, here we go:

  1. Lose weight. Cliche I know, but alas, there we are. And yes, I know what you’re thinking: that’s a vague goal, but I have a plan. No, really. I just don’t want to reveal all my secrets. Bwa, ha ha. (maybe I should add a resolution to work on my evil laugh.)
  2. Read with London every day. I can hear your gasp. “But all good mothers do that anyway without having to set a goal! And what about your other children?” Yes, yes, we do that, but I mean the “he-reads-to-me” kind of reading. He has my temperment (i.e. throw-a-fit-when-you-can’t-do-it-perfect-the-first-time-behavior), but he’ll get there. Dad, your curse is in full force. Oh, and sorry.
  3. Finish draft 2 and 3 of my book. How long did the first draft take you, you ask? Details, details. Never you concern yourself with that.
  4. Start a blog. Oh . . . wait! That one’s already taken. But on the bright side, I’ll just check it off now. Check.
  5. Visit at least 1 cool thing in the area per month. Totally attainable. The trick will be making it something different every month. But note, that’s not actually part of the goal. 🙂 Every good resolution list has to have at least one loophole. Right?

I think 5 is good for now. Though I have others, I’m choosing not to list them here . . . that whole mystique thing. 🙂 So are there any uber-unique resolutions out there? I’d love to hear them. And in fact, maybe I will add a sixth, uber-unique one, just for kicks and giggles. Let’s see, it would have to be something I wouldn’t normally do . . . something legal, of course . . . something that might challenge me . . . and that may be just a little silly. I could sew something wearable that’s NOT a costume. But that’s not very silly. I could read a non-fiction book. Definitely something I wouldn’t normally do, but there again, not very silly. Ah, wait, I have it:6. I resolve to hold a contest with an actual prize on my blog. Pointless, you say? Maybe. But I wouldn’t normally do it. It’s legal (except in states where prohibited, of course). It will be a challenge, because I still have to come up with what the contest will be. And last but not least, it’s a little silly. And funny, I’m actually excited by the prospect! Random contest, here we come!

Speak up:

3 comments

| TAGS:

, ,