Trying Something New…
What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it?
This next year, 2011, I really want to try speaking more German.
Honestly: it’s embarrassing how bad my German is after living here 1.5 years. I never leave the house because I am an Stereotypical Introverted Writer. Sure, I can get by in simple situations… And I can understand a lot of what goes on around me.
But I can’t watch a movie (unless it’s a movie I already know). I can’t watch German news. I can’t converse about my writing even!
So yeah, this is kinda like a resolution. It’s something I’m always too shy to do, but that I don’t want to be to shy to do!
In 2011, I will try to speak German more often.
What did I try in 2010?
I bet you can guess…
I wanted to try querying my novel. I actually have it written in my day planner!
My thought was I would start querying in hopes of getting an agent… My expectations on this front were rather low, though. I had even planned to attend conferences in 2011 so I could pitch to agents directly and thereby improve my chances. My actual goal was to just start querying, and maybe sometime in 2011, I’d get lucky!
Who could’ve guessed I’d sign with my dream agency, NCLit? Not only that, but who could’ve guessed someone would buy The Spirit-Hunters!? I’ll tell you, I was not expecting such good fortune. Even the Frenchman keeps telling me, “I’m surprised… Not because your book sucks or anything, but because I just, well… It’s not supposed to happen that fast.”
SO YAY FOR 2010!!!
You tell me: What did you try in 2010? Did it work out or not? And what do you want to try in 2011?
Note: This prompt came from Reverb 10, an annual challenge to evaluate your year and plan for the next!
December 20, 2010 @ 1:26 pm
You totally knocked 2010 out of the ballpark, so I have no doubt you’ll be conversing fluent German well enough to hop on over to Geneva and start translating for the UN this time next year.
I tend to not be a solid goal-maker, although I probably should, so I’ll steal yours for 2010.
December 20, 2010 @ 1:43 pm
You definitely had an amazing year!
I made a list of goals a few months ago and I think for 2011 I have two major ones: 1) learn to quit worrying about things outside my control, and of course, 2) get an agent. Not sure either of those are in the realm of ‘extremely likely’ but I believe they are definitely possible 😉
I think for me, 2010 was basically ‘read a load of books about not worrying and being more optimistic,’ which was all good, but I want 2011 to be not about thinking/reading all this stuff, but just putting it into practice and seeing *results*. That would be my best year yet.
Have a great 2011!
December 20, 2010 @ 1:55 pm
Meredith: You can SO start querying — you already have! So now you’ll be TRYING to get an agent. 😀 Trying out partials and fulls, right? AND MAYBE, TRYING OUT HAVING AN AGENT!!
Cheyenne: Fantastic! I should definitely try “learning to quit worrying about things outside of my control” too! WE CAN DO IT, RIGHT!? 😀
December 20, 2010 @ 2:04 pm
Two things for 2010: 1. I wanted to learn to knit. I took a class, and, though I wasn’t exactly a star pupil, I can now make scarves and ponchos and dishcloths. 2. I wanted to try writing a book from multiple perspectives. That one is still in the works–it’ll be up to Jo to see if I accomplished that goal!
Have a great holiday and congrats on such a stellar year!
December 20, 2010 @ 2:08 pm
Ooooh, knitting! I’ve never tried to knit… I did crochet once and was totally wretched, but I had a lot of fun trying!
That may have to be added to my list too!
And good luck with multiple POV — you’re braver (or perhaps just more skilled?) than I!
December 20, 2010 @ 5:16 pm
Susan, I just started reading your blog and wanted to thank you for all of your helpful advice. I really appreciate it. You have a great way of being supportive, encouraging and honest. I would also like to start querying sometime this year.
Here’s to writing down goals and seeing them through!
Good luck with your German.
December 20, 2010 @ 5:23 pm
Aw, Emily. That’s the sweetest comment — I just got misty eyed. ::sniffle::
And yes! HERE’S TO TRYING TO REACH OUR GOALS IN 2011!! Good luck with your querying! Keep me updated!
December 20, 2010 @ 6:57 pm
All I wanted to say, really, is that I love your handwriting, Susan. But I guess I’ll add to the resoluations: for 2011, become a book reviewer for Quill & Quire. And have a manuscript good enough to start querying.
Good luck with the German, too – I’m brushing up on (simplied) Mandarin and French. 🙂
December 20, 2010 @ 7:02 pm
Hahaha, Yahong. I’m glad you like my handwriting!! 😀
Good luck becoming a reviewer and brushing up on your languages!
December 20, 2010 @ 8:08 pm
Speaking more German sounds like a great goal. The more you put yourself out there, the better you’ll get.
My goals for 2010- to pray more, clean my house more, and query a few projects that I’m wrapping up.
December 20, 2010 @ 8:30 pm
Good luck, Melissa! You’ve just got to try, you know? 🙂 Better to try and fail than not try at all! (Plus, I’m sure you won’t fail!)
December 20, 2010 @ 9:31 pm
Ooh…my goal for 2011…finish BSSS. Then query it. Which will hopefully result in an agent, but we’ll see. 🙂
December 20, 2010 @ 11:24 pm
Ummm. I lived in the NL for 5 years, and my dutch still sucks. But, honestly, that’s because I didn’t make myself use it more. I speak Dutch only well enough to know that I don’t speak it very well at all. it’s embarrassing and I feel silly to be so embarrassed about it. I fell into English a lot because the Dutch speak it so well, and because of my pride. I wish now I’d just let that go a little and allowed myself to make mistakes. It is through the mistakes that we learn. So, this is a noble goal, and from far away I encourage you to do it. i am sure it will be worth it. :0)
December 21, 2010 @ 12:22 am
Susan – Congrats on getting your dream agent and selling your manuscript to a publisher so quickly. Yay!!!
December 21, 2010 @ 2:43 am
Hello Susan, I also just started reading your blog and have found it to be very helpful. I’m also eagerly awaiting the release of The Spirit-Hunters, since it sounds exactly like my cup of tea.
I’m an undergrad studying German, so I’ll go along with your goal and say I’ll try to speak and use more German this year… because if I don’t, I don’t know if I’ll pass my 1102 and 1103 class! My other goal is to actually complete a novel. I’m still working on honing my fiction (I mostly write poetry, so I’m still figuring out how this fiction thing works in some cases), so hopefully I’ll have something to show for it before the end of 2011.
December 21, 2010 @ 6:41 am
I loved 2010!
I wrote my second book, which is a gazillion times better than the first.
I made dozens of more connections in the literary world.
I boosted my blog.
I had so much fun it’s ridiculous.
I can’t wait for 20ll, though I fear it will be less productive. :/ My main goal(s)? Editing, then agent. How beautiful that sounds… ;D
(And thanks A TON for your help! ;D)
December 21, 2010 @ 9:11 am
Holly: Um, YES. This will happen. I’m sure of it. AGENTS: HEADS UP!
Katharine: I think if people actually spoke English here, I’d probably speak even less German than I do! Although my neighbor is Dutch and he speaks AMAZING English… Not even much of an accent — so strange but so cool! I’m amazed.
RaShelle: Thanks!! 🙂 I can’t lie: I’m suuuuper excited!
Joie: I’m so glad you find it helpful. Wir sollten zusammen Deutsch praktizieren! And good luck with your classes! Ich hatte keine Deutsche Klassen so ich denke deine Deutsch ist besser als meine! ALSO: Good luck finishing your book! YOU CAN DO IT!
Madeleine: Hey, buddy! I had no idea you tried (and accomplished) so much in 2010. Fantastique! You’re SURE to achieve your goals in 2011 — I’m positive. Besides, with MOI at your side, how can you fail? 😉 J/K
December 22, 2010 @ 6:10 am
Susan – when I was in Germany for study abroad I was really grateful that the Germans could mostly tell I was American whenever I opened my mouth so if I used the wrong word or gender (or if I had to resort to hand gestures, which happened all the time) they were like “Aww… look at the cute little American, trying to speak German.” The point being that you should definitely just be brave and feel free to make mistakes. Also that’s so awesome that you went above and beyond in achieving your 2010 goal.
In January of 2010 I made a resolution to only watch as much TV as I had previously worked out an equivalent time for. Aside from taking off for the month of the winter Olympics and not counting TV shows on DVD it’s been a lot easier than I expected, especially now hat it’s been 12 months and when I’m at school and too busy to watch anything anyway. For 2011 I want to blog more and vlog a little too (I have a Flip now.)
December 22, 2010 @ 12:40 pm
That’s so true! Germans are really friendly about my mistakes — and they always know what I’m saying! I can get by with my German no problem, but I’d really like to be able to watch movies/TV and understand more…
Wow, what a resolution! If I watched much TV, then I think I’d have to add that one to my list! Maybe I should make it: I must work out as much as I read… No — that’d never work! I read a few hours a day, and there’s no way my body has that much endurance!