by Bryan Patrick Avery
I don’t know about you but, for me, 2022 has flown by. I had seven books come out this year including two middle grade mysteries, a middle grade collective biography, and four new chapter books in my Mr. Grizley’s Class series. For this year, I am extremely grateful.
Still, 2023 looms in the not-so-distant future (40 days away, to be precise). Next year promises to be just as busy for me as this year. I have two picture books on the way, followed by another four chapters, and an anthology. So, as I take time out this wake to count my blessing and be thankful, I’m also looking ahead to next year. I try to finish the year with a simple ritual to get ready for the year ahead. This month, I’d like to share my process with you.
First, I plan. That’s Step 1. Like I said, I have seven books on the way in 2023, including EARL LEARNS A LESSON and MAX'S MAGIC CHANGE. That means promotion, school visits, signing, giveaways, and the like. My plan is simple. I already have a template for book promotion that includes things like updating my website, doing a cover reveal, and starting to pester readers for early reviews. My end of the year plan, then, consists of putting the Book Birthdays on my calendar, and pulling items off my book release template and putting them on the calendar as well. This helps me see what I have ready and what I need to do additional prep work for. For example, one of the items on my book release template is creating my school visit presentation. This already exists for my Mr. Grizley’s Class series. I don’t have one yet for my two new picture books. I’ll add an action item to my to do list to create the presentation so that I market school visits for the books.
Once I finish with my plan for next year, the ritual starts to be a little more fun. Step 2 is where I create some goals for the year. These aren’t the usual, write 500 words a day goals. These goals are my stretch goals. I start by thinking about a quote I first heard when I just out of college: “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” The sky is the limit here. I try to come up with two or three stretch goals. I’ll revisit these goals throughout the year, breaking them down into smaller chunks. I might not achieve these goals but, as the saying goes, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll be among the stars.
Step 3 of my ritual is the most fun: Celebrate! Writing is hard (I know, I’m preaching to the choir). Give yourself a pat on the back for all the things you’ve accomplished. Those who know me well, know I celebrate everything from finishing a draft to a book birthday. Writing might be hard, but it should be fun, too. Otherwise, why do it?
So that’s it. My end of year ritual to get ready for what’s coming next. Give it a try. In the meantime, congratulations on your accomplishments this year and best of luck in the year ahead.
That’s all for this month. Happy writing and have a magical month.
Bryan Patrick Avery is an award-winning poet and author of more than a dozen books for children. His middle grade collective biography, BLACK MEN IN SCIENCE, illustrated by Nikita Leanne, was released in 2022. Bryan is also the author of the middle-grade story, “The Magic Day Mystery”, which appears in SUPER PUZZLETASTIC MYSTERIES, THE FREEMAN FIELD PHOTOGRAPH, illustrated by Jerome White, and the early chapter book series, MR. GRIZLEY’S CLASS, illustrated by Arief Putra. Bryan lives in northern California with his family.
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome Aussie debut author and former student Amanda Lieber who will be focusing on Aussie kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature our new blogger coming soon.
4th Mondays features new blogger, the fabulous Brentom Jackson, who has a beautiful approach to blogging.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break