Saturday, December 31, 2011

Writing goals for 2012

The last year has been an amazing year for me as a writer, and I'm looking forward to an even better 2012. I'm one of those people who sets goals, writes them down, and revisits the list sometime. Early in 2010 I found a list that I had made five years earlier, and it had some pretty big goals -- get a masters degrees, teach college, and publish a book. There were a few other things on there, but the only thing I had not accomplished was to publish a book, so I realized I had to get moving. Off and on, I'd been working on a memoir of my homesteading adventures, which friends kept telling me I needed to write, and I decided to really commit myself to it in 2010. And I did. I had written about 11,000 words by September.

I was speaking at the Mother Earth News Fair in Pennsylvania at the end of September, and that's when I met my publisher. It was a dream come true, but it was not "like winning the lottery," which was what one of my children said. I had worked hard as a writer for more than 20 years to get to that day, and I still had to actually write the book. Rather than a memoir, they wanted a how-to book, which I was happy to write because I love what I do on our homestead. I could talk about this stuff all day, so it was easy to write a book where I could share my hard-won knowledge, which I'd acquired over the past nine years.

Most of 2011 was spent writing and revising and then seeing Homegrown and Handmade hit bookstores. And now I'm working on Ecofrugal, which will be published in the fall of 2012. And I'm in the early stages of proposing another book.

I have two writing goals for 2012. One is to start writing for magazines again. I used to do a lot of magazine writing, and I miss it. Plus, writing books does not make one rich. (Most of us don't get million dollar advances.) So, the additional income will be nice.

My second writing goal for 2012 is to find a publisher for my homesteading memoir. Yeah, I know memoirs are tough to sell unless you're rich and famous (or slept with someone rich and famous, or your spouse slept with someone rich and famous), but I'm ready for the challenge. There are quite a few homesteading memoirs out there that have sold quite well, such as The Dirty Life and The Bucolic Plague. Both of those books, however, were written by people with no children. Having children in our homesteading adventure adds a whole lot of interesting wrinkles to the story.

To help me reach these goals, I've purchased the 2012 Writer's Market, and I'm thinking about how I need to schedule my life to make more time for writing. I've also subscribed to several magazines that I want to write for, so I can see what kind of articles they run and how they handle the topics.

I'd love to hear about your goals, and what are you doing to reach them!


  1. Every year, I choose one WORD that encompasses my "goals" for the year... a word that I can use to bounce all my ideas off of so to speak. This year, my word is Nurture. I have a lot of emotional recovering to do from last year... and I have a lot of things I let go to the wayside in my emotional mess of a year last year... so this year, I'm nurturing my possibilities. :)

  2. I just love your book. I have tried your recipes and now I'm going to try making soap.
    Last year we tapped our maples. We had good success but was wondering if you had a good source for making syrup?

  3. We have Backyard Sugarin' and Making Maple Syrup. Between the two, they seem to cover most of what we needed to know.

  4. I am so delighted to see that the word "ecofrugal" is making its way into general use. When I first set up my "Ecofrugal Living" blog two years ago, the term had practically no hits on Google. Now there's your book, and a book called Ecofrugal Baby available at, and an "Eco-Frugal Life Guide" in e-book form from Coupon Sherpa, and an "Ecofrugal Project" blog in France (which made me realize just how rusty my French is). I'm hoping that once the new book comes out, the word "ecofrugal" will be on everybody's lips. (Could green be the new black?)