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My successes in 2020

Updated: Mar 28, 2021

I love picture books.

I loved them when I was a kid.

I loved them when I was in school; even high school.

I loved them when I worked in a public library.

I loved them when I read them to my daughter when she was little.

I still love them now she is all grown up.

I love them as an English teacher. As a Drama Teacher.

And now...

I love writing my picture book stories.

I believe myself that a good writer doesn't really need to be told anything except to keep at it. Chinua Acheba

At the end of 2020, I finally made the decision to work towards becoming a published Picture Book author.

I enrolled in the Australian Writer's Centre Write a Picture Book course. In 2021, I have enrolled in the NSW Writer's Centre five month feedback sessions on my picture book drafts. In January, I will join the 12 X 12 Challenge: 12 picture books in 12 months.

While waiting for 12X12 to begin, I joined the 12 Days of Christmas Facebook challenge; to prepare me for the year ahead. The challenged started on 26 December.

Our exercise for day three was to write down all our 2020 successes. To fill a blank page and to proudly share them. This article is dedicated to my successes.

My 2020 successes below are based on my writing life, with some personal ones added at the end.

  1. I wrote everyday. I made a solid commitment to my writing and I showed up daily.

  2. I read everyday. I read picture books, children's fiction, poems, short stories and novels.

  3. I read a book on the craft of writing everyday.

  4. I entered writing competitions

  5. A short story I wrote was published online.

  6. One of my poems was published online

  7. An extract of my memoir was published on line. It was voted the best read for July.

  8. I won the Queensland Writer's Centre monthly writing competition for July.

  9. I started my Writer's Website and I have written an article every week on my blog.

  10. One of my blog articles was picked up on a writing podcast.

  11. I have started to connect with other writers and industry professionals on my social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest

  12. I have achieved a High Distinction for every semester for my Master of Letters in Creative Writing.

  13. I have my dissertation creative artefact idea all planned. I have collected research and have a plot ready to go - three months before Uni goes back in March 2021.

  14. I have found a great editor to work on my short stories.

  15. I have completed courses with the Australian Writer's Centre, Queensland Writer's Centre and the NSW Writer's Centre.

  16. I listen to podcasts on writing daily.

  17. I started a writing group for women writers - we survived COVID and now meet virtually.

  18. I got a new teaching job and will be teaching Literature. The job is full-time and continuing. I have job security. Which means I can write creatively with no stress.

  19. I lost 13 kilograms ... and I only put on 5 kilograms during COVID.

  20. I have committed to running for 30 minutes three to four times a day. I have started to shave off seconds on my time per kilometre.

I am proud of my achievements and I know that they are paving the way for me in becoming a published writer.

I am looking forward to my successes in 2021.

Happy writing, and reading, Valerie Giselle

Image courtesy of Yarruta @

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