Writing Goals for 5780

It’s almost Rosh Hashanah, which means a new Jewish year is ahead. It’s a good time for me to do some “accounting” for my professional life, looking back at this past year and also planning for the next one.

person holding pen and planner

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

This past year, I’ve made over four dozen submissions (most of which were rejections). I got some personal rejections along with some of the form letters, several of which were encouraging. A few of the submissions are still pending–there’s nothing for me to do but pray and keep writing at this point.  Continue reading

As the Year Turns… Looking back at 5774

It’s a week until Rosh Hashanah, which for Jews means this is the last week of the year.

What a year.

The world has suffered through a lot this year. Looking ahead, I see so much to pray for in the coming year: peace for the world, individual nations, and in our personal lives; rescue for captives; and what in Hebrew we call “Menuchas HaNefesh,” the ability to remain tranquil even when in stormy seas. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

But looking back professionally, I’m profoundly grateful for a very productive year.

Top 5 Things I’m Grateful For This Past Year As a Writer:

1) I’ve published more in the last year than in the prior 38 years of my life combined. Continue reading

Two places to find me in time for Tu B’Shevat!

Hey, everyone.

wild apple photo from wikipedia

Don’t forget to eat fruits from trees on Wednesday night/Thursday in honor of Tu B’Shevat!

It’s my not-so-little secret that I’m kinda obsessed with Tu B’Shevat, the minor Jewish holiday known as the “Rosh Hashana of the trees” in the Talmud and colloquially as “The Birthday of the Trees.” With that in mind, it should come as no surprise you can find me in print twice the week of this holiday.

Where to find me this week:

The first place you can find something written by yours truly is in Binah Magazine. You’ll find my personal essay near the back, where I’ll contemplate the philosophic implications of gardening.

The second place you’ll find me is in Hamodia‘s Binyan Youth Magazine. One of the stories I’ve written that I’ve received the most positive feedback was one written nearly a year ago (just a week or so before Purim 5773) about a boy with Asperger’s mainstreamed in a “typical” yeshiva high school. I’ve brought the back the character a few times and you’ll meet him up again in this week’s story. I took the theme of trees and fruit in a more metaphorical sense here.

What does the theme “Fruit of the Tree” bring to your mind? Songs, books, poems, experiences? Please share below!

Considering my last year of literary pursuit

Since there are just two weeks left of the Jewish year of 5773, I’ve been looking back at the last year and evaluating my life on every level: spiritual, physical, and even professional. And one goal still stands out at unfulfilled:

I STILL HAVEN’T PUBLISHED BOOK #2.

This issue depressed me a couple weeks ago, as I sat in front of my journal on Rosh Chodesh Elul (exactly one month before Rosh Hashanah), scribbling about the past year. I’d submitted a few picture books and two novels to multiple publishers and had zilch to show for it.

But then I counted how many times I appeared in print in the last year for pay: over two dozen times (bli ayin hara).

And then, I counted how many words I’d written. Essentially, it was the length of a novel. Wow.

I realized at that point how many more readers — potentially thousands more people — read my work in magazines this year than in my entire previous professional life.

That’s when I felt blessed.

Okay, I still have a major unfulfilled goal. It will be top of my professional goals again for this 5774. But if success is measured in progress, I made a lot of progress last year. And I could only do it with G-d’s help, which makes the year feel very sweet indeed.

How are you feeling about your last year, professionally? What is your top goal for 5774?