2017 Year-End Assessment & 2018 Goals

goal-settingIt’s my usual activity around this time of year to take stock of what I accomplished during the year and formulate goals for the coming year.

Taking stock of the previous year

I ask myself the following questions:

  • What’s worked
  • What hasn’t worked
  • What do I wish I had done more of
  • What do I wish I had done less of
  • What gets in the way of my creative writing

What’s Working

  • Working one-on-one with mentor poet Matthew Lippman
    • I generate one new poem a week, read a broad array of poets, and Matthew’s helped me organize two chapbooks, both of which have found publication pretty easily
  • Writing short, whether that’s essays for adults or articles for young readers
  • Teaching at area colleges and universities
  • Reviewing Holocaustkidlit titles for AJL and JBC
  • Taking online courses to sharpen my writing practice and generate new work

What’s Not Working

  • Attending face-to-face workshops—While wonderful for craft and networking, they’re just too expensive for my meager budget

What I Wish I Had Done More of

  • Write more poetry
  • Send out more work more frequently
  • Find a supportive academic community
  • Offer more online workshops through The Whole Megillah
  • Pay attention to my intuition about people and projects

What I Wish I Had Done Less of

  • Putting my students ahead of my personal health

What Gets in the Way of My Creative Working

  • The need to keep a roof over my head

The Big 2017 Accomplishments

  • Launched Holocaustkidlit.com
  • Applied for and was accepted into a PhD program in Holocaust & Genocide Studies
  • Started to teach History (The Holocaust) at a four-year university
  • Ended a toxic 45-year friendship
  • Placed two poetry chapbooks with publishers
  • Discovered my voice as a “poet of tragedy” (thank you, CPY!)
  • Participated in inaugural Tent Jewish Children’s Literature program
  • Published my first academic article (about one of Newark’s Jewish cemeteries)

2018 goals

  • Last year, I named 2017 as the Year of the Book. I’m keeping that theme for 2018, because certain teaching opportunities hinge on book publication.
  • Place my two novels in verse
  • Draft a new novel in verse
  • Complete revisions on my YA Holocaust novella and send it out into the world
  • Pursue a higher level of poetry and prose publication
  • Generate 52 new poems (aside from the novels in verse) and 6 new essays
  • Be nominated for a Pushcart Award
  • Pursue Carolee Bennett’s idea of poetry adventures. Just one for a start.
  • Begin the PhD program and find a way to pay for it

How did your 2017 work for you and what are your 2018 goals?

Let us hear from you. After the end of each quarter, I’ll give you all a status of how I’m doing with 2018 as another Year of the Book.


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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