Note: This is part 1 of 2 of my new year resolutions post. 

Dear Reader,

Whoa! I didn’t think that year was going to end. Seriously, 2016 was…well…it’s gone now. Hello, 2017!

So, it’s been awhile since I did an update on how I was doing with my resolutions (from 2016). Seriously didn’t write anything for the last four months or so.  To remind you here’s what I said I wanted to accomplish in 2016.

And wow! While I didn’t accomplish all my goals, I accomplished enough that I am going to say I was successful with my resolutions. So definitely a successful year in writing.

Here’s what was successful:

2016 Resolution: More submissions.

What worked: I totally submitted more this year than I ever have. Total submissions are about 18 submissions. I say about because not every publication uses Submittable, which I use to track acceptances. Those weren’t on Submittable were email submission shops so this is a close guestimation. I have published four. A couple of editors want me to work on the piece submitted and to resubmit. Considering that the year before it was 2 may be three submissions, I’m doing okay.

Out of those 18 or so submissions, I have published four. A couple of editors want me to work on the piece submitted and resubmit. Considering that the year before it was 2 maybe be three submissions, I’m doing okay.

One major thing that helped was to give myself a goal of three submissions per month which is completely do-able.  I was able to do it most months (except for the months it got really heavy at work. One hundred papers to grade all at once? That’s a lot.).

Another thing that helped, a Submission Blitz. I totally wrote about it here. And I tried to go to as many readings and writing workshops that I could go to so that I could learn new things and so that I could fuel my gumption. Which I did and it was awesome.

2016 Resolution: Work more in non-fiction

What worked: Well everything, I suppose. I started writing an essay about my depression and it was one of the ones published this year. From here I started writing my memoir, which at this point is a hybrid of creative non-fiction and poetry. In fact, I worked more in those two genres than I did in fiction.

This resulted in a ton of new work and in doing one of this year’s resolutions, the 52 essays a week challenge created by my friend Vanessa Martir. She’s badass and she spent her 2016 writing an essay a week. I’m joining in this year along with more than 400 other writers. I’ll write more about this in my next post but here’s what I wrote for this week.

2016 Resolution: Taking care of myself

What worked: This was a hit or miss. I took care of myself when self-care was needed but that’s where it ended. It’s my fault because for this one I didn’t have very specific goals.

What I did learn was to listen to my body more and to obey it. When I needed time, I found it. When I needed quiet, I plugged in my earphones. I also learned to put myself first before the work, something I have huge issues with in the past. I’m a workhorse so forcing myself to stop working is a big deal. So I took more breaks and became comfortable knowing that the work would get done.

What I didn’t accomplish:

  • Write more short stories
  • Continue my Afro-Latina journey
  • Jennie Manning
  • Blogging

Jennie Manning isn’t completed but I continued working on the novel through the year. Blogging wasn’t as often as I would like (boo!) because it was sacrificed to write more so I don’t really feel that bad about it. I didn’t write one short story but I did attend a short story workshop.

So what about 2017? What do I have in store for this year? That you will have to wait until Monday. That’s when I’ll post my next #52essays2017 installment. And this one is a doozy!