Follow-up and Persevere–You Might Just be Amazed in 2014!

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I just heard Ryan Seacrest this morning say in an interview that he gets asked this all the time. He used to make up an answer that he’d never stick to, and so now he just answers truthfully, that no, he doesn’t make any New Year resolutions.

I annually make the resolution (along with millions of people, I suspect) that this will be the year I drop a few pounds, and sometimes I am somewhat successful and sometimes not at all. Of course, this year will be one of the successful years, right? Over the long run, making this resolution disappointingly never really seems to make a big difference.

Last year I did something different in the new year that made such a difference! After hearing speakers at writing meetings talk about having a professional approach to my writing, I decided to spend a day in January following up with all the publishers I had contacted the previous year about both big and small projects. I made a list, checked websites for specific directions or prohibitions regarding inquiries, and then sent one email after another, trying to sound professional and not pleading (you know, like “pretty please, with sugar on top, please take my tiny, little manuscript out of the big, giant, slush pile and read it soon, pleeee—aaaaase!”).

Those few hours resulted in some amazing things! One publisher wrote back a very nice note giving me closure on something she had had for months, and she invited me to submit something else in the future. That felt great! Probably the biggest thrill of the year came ten minutes after I hit the enter button on yet another follow-up email, when a British publisher wrote back saying that my manuscript had gotten lost in a transition some months prior, but it looked interesting, so “please send the whole manuscript”! Not only has that turned into a contract offer with exciting plans for the future, but when my twin sister heard about my experience, she investigated the publisher’s interests and realized that one of her manuscripts was a possible fit. Her email was also met with a fast request for a full manuscript, and now she has a book contract offer, too!

One of the most exciting aspects of this past year’s writing adventure is becoming a blogger. Without this new publisher’s information and encouragement, I probably wouldn’t have put my ideas into action this past year for this blog. I can’t think of anything that has given me a deeper sense of satisfaction and joy than, to name a recent example, seeing that someone in Kenya searched for “why Jesus’ birth is good news” on the internet, and they found me and my blog post on “Angels: Jesus’ Birth is Good News–Sonja’s Top Five Reasons Why.” How cool is that? Also, almost 250 people have listened to Bible stories on Soundcloud, the audio-sharing website that I use to record and “store” my Bible readings on Genesis, Luke, and the Psalms. People have tuned in from all over the world!

So, thank you, dear readers, for helping 2013 be full of new adventures for my writing career. I hope that you have been blessed in the reading, as I have been in the writing and recording.

Here’s a question for you: What area in your life doesn’t need another new resolution, but instead could use a simple plan to “persevere and follow-up”? Share it in the comments!


About Sonja Anderson

I write novels and short stories for children, and occasionally a book or article for adults, too. I grew up in Ohio, and I have lived in Chicago, Connecticut, Boston, Tokyo, and Seattle. The beautiful Pacific Northwest inspires me every day.
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4 Responses to Follow-up and Persevere–You Might Just be Amazed in 2014!

  1. Debbie Austin says:

    I usually do make several resolutions but miss the mark on most of them. There is something tantalizing about the idea of starting fresh every year, but it’s hard to make changes all at once. I recently read about a writer who made three goals for the year. If she met one of those goals sometime in the year, she replaced that goal with a new one, but she never made more than three at a time. I love where your “persevere and follow-up” plan led you! I’m going to be thinking of my resolutions in a new way this year. Thanks, Sonja!


    • What a great idea to keep three specific goals in the forefront all year, and to actually replace a met goal with another new one! I made a list of writing goals last night, and now I want to go back and select my top three and then write them where I can see them often. Completing the rough draft of the third book in the Sophie Topfeather series has to be my number one writing goal! What are your top goals, Debbie?


      • Debbie Austin says:

        My top 3 writing goals for 2014 are, in simplified terms: 1) write more, 2) submit more, 3) and research new markets. I have written more specific goals under each of those three headings. For write more, my goal is to write a new short story every week of the year. It doesn’t have to be polished but I have to at least write a rough draft.
        I love your number one writing goal! Can’t wait to see how Sophie’s and Timley’s third adventure turns out!


      • One of my goals for today is to look back at last year’s goals and see how I did! That might help me form some specific goals for this year. I can’t wait to read some of your new short stories this year!


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