As the New Year rings in or stumbles in, or however it comes in for you, I’m frantically trying to catch up from being sick for almost three weeks before Christmas. Although that was a miserable time in many ways, I found that having to stop and rest for that long forced me to see things afresh.
Two words have been impressed upon me during this time: Focus and Generosity
I’ve been quite scattered in my writing life (we won’t talk about the many other aspects of my life which make it a challenge to stay focused: mothering, housekeeping and the like). But I’ve been increasingly feeling a strong pull toward the picture book community and the desire to get at least one of my books on its way to traditional publication–this year?? I’m in a new critique group here in Ft. Collins where we focus mostly on picture books, and some of my favorite critique partners online are picture book writers as well. My plan is to focus on my picture books even though I have a Middle Grade book and one Young Adult book written (and one MG and one YA, each partially written). I can’t do it all! I have 6-8 picture books that have been revised…some of them dozens of times, so I feel like I’m past the honeymoon stage of thinking, “Oh! this is easy.” Ha! It’s not easy at all, but it’s fun and I love the generosity of the picture book community…so here I go!
Which brings me to my second word for 2016: Generosity. I don’t necessarily mean materialistically but more of a generosity of spirit. The spirit of giving back, and opening up…of letting go of the things I feel like clenching my fist around…and blessing others, encouraging others…cheering others on and letting go of jealousy…
These are my New Year’s resolutions, in a sense. And I’ve also started freelancing (editing, ghostwriting, blogging) to help save up for our boys’ impending college years.
So, will I be more focused? We’ll see. But I feel like I have more concrete goals to hang my hat on this year.
2015 has been a year of shifting and learning for me. It’s the year I thought I’d never write again…and the year I won a big writing award and received my first contract for publication for Treasure at Lure Lake.
I can’t wait to see what 2016 holds! I at least know I’ll be holding the fruit of 2015 in my hands in April!!! I’ll be officially revealing my book cover for Lure Lake next week with a giveaway for a Kindle Fire, so stay tuned!
Happy New Year to you!
And Happy Writing!
About the Author
Shari Schwarz is a mom of four boys–three preteen/teenagers and one preschooler. (Yes, they are alike in many ways!) and the author of the upcoming, TREASURE AT LURE LAKE, out April 12, 2016 by Cedar Fort Publishing.
Shari is a simple person (her husband would totally disagree!) and a homebody, but she does love long chats with friends over a latte, dreaming of going to the beach, and writing adventure stories for children. If she’s not writing, she’s reading, whether it be a manuscript for the literary agent she interns for or working on an editing project. In the quiet spaces of life, she might find time for her other loves: gardening, weight-lifting, hiking, and a bit of photography. Shari has had a lifelong faith in God and tries to leave it ALL in his hands.
Shari has degrees in Cross-Cultural Studies and Elementary Education with an emphasis in Literacy. She worked as an elementary school librarian before her little guy came on the scene. Now she stays home with him and writes.
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Check out Her website at http://www.sharischwarz.com!