The Year-end Writing Assessment | Looking Back at 2015 and Toward 2016

2015reviewhero-w855h425Each year around this time I take a look at my previous year’s accomplishments and the next year’s goals. But this year I also asked myself some tough questions about my writing:

  1. What’s been working?
  2. What hasn’t been working?
  3. What other opportunities are there?
  4. What’s getting in the way of my writing?
  5. What could I do to be more successful?

The good news is that much is working well. I’ve been writing many more children’s books for hire, for instance. A university press has expressed interest in taking a look at my master’s thesis in history for publication. The online fiction class I taught last winter worked out very well for everyone. I’ve been teaching memoir at a large New Jersey adult school and loving it.

A few things have not worked out. Like my commitment to this blog during 2015 (which I aim to rectify in 2016!). A particular critique group. A book proposal. An application for a summer writers residency.

But along with setbacks come opportunities. My master’s thesis presents several possibilities for publication, for example. Breaking up my book proposal’s chapters into standalone pieces is another possibility.

What gets in my way? Me. My need to keep a roof over my head.

Fueled by this assessment, I came up with a number of actions for 2016. Here are just a few:

  1. Apply for writer residencies
  2. Offer more online classes
  3. Create a bi-monthly newsletter for memoir enthusiasts

Thanks to Erika Dreifus’ The Practicing Writer newsletter, I’ve learned about Annette Gendler’s Artists & Writers Workbook for 2016. This workbook leads you through a series of exercises to pinpoint your opportunities for success based on an assessment of 2015.

Whether you choose to ask yourself broad or specific questions, looking back to move forward is a great idea. What’s been working for you? What stands in your way? What are your plans for 2016? Feel free to share through comments to this post.

If any of you is interested in receiving a memoir newsletter (prompts, publication opportunities, book reviews, interviews), please contact me at barbarakrasner(at)att(dot)net. Same goes for anyone interested in an online fiction or memoir class.

All the best for a happy, healthy, and fruitful 2016!

About Barbara Krasner

History writer and award-winning author Barbara Krasner writes Jewish-themed poetry, articles, nonfiction books, and novels for children and adults.
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2 Responses to The Year-end Writing Assessment | Looking Back at 2015 and Toward 2016

  1. Those are great questions, Barbara. What gets in my way is self-doubt and procrastination. I also have trouble balancing projects. I get distracted by short-term projects which are easier than facing the Big One–even when it is the project that means the most to me. Happy 2016!

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