2016 Goals: Pushing Out of My Circle

I also started coloring this past year. I especially love the ones with quotes.
I also started coloring this past year. I especially love the ones with quotes.

At the beginning of this year I challenged myself to break out of my circle, meaning I needed to get myself and my books in front of people I didn’t know. I’m happy to report that since then I’ve added the following experiences to my list:

  • 2 3-Day Conferences (Women’s Expo & Comic Con)
  • 2 Radio Interviews
  • 6ย Guest Blog/Interviews (links here) (Edited to include my guest post on SCBWI Michigan!)
  • 1 article in the local paper
  • 9 Book Signing/Sales Events
  • 1 Book Launch Party
  • 1 Writing Conference
  • 1 National Writing Award (I still can’t believe this)

I have to admit, when I said I’d aim for one new thing per month, I didn’t really know if I could do it. After all, last January I only knew a handful of local authors and while my books were in the local bookstore, not much was happening. The Women’s Expo in March introduced me to a dozen wonderful writers, and the events started rolling in.

But there was still one problem: I heard about these wonderful opportunities from other people. It was all reactionary. Sure, many of them were successful and I’m grateful I was included, but I didn’t seek anything out on my own.

Which leads me to my goal for this year:

To PUSH Out of My Circle

Sounds a little like birth if you ask me, but I need to be proactive. To seek out opportunities and make them happen. And I’ve already started.

  • After a friend sadly passed in October, several of us have stepped up to organize this year’s book booth at the Women’s Expo.
  • I was a little pushy and landed myself an interview on a local radio station.
  • And I entered my first writing contest at the end of last summer (and we now know how THAT turned out!).
  • Next month I’m attending the SCBWI Writing Conference in New York โ€” my first major conference. I’m polishing my current wip and may query agents with it in the spring.


(not the acne medicine)

What are your goals for 2016?

About Melanie Hooyenga

Writer. Designer. Jock. Reader. Wife. Puppy-Mama. SCBWI member since 2015.


  1. And you contributed a guest post to the SCBWI-MI blog!

    This is really helpful information for you to share – that you had a specific plan to help your book find readers. If you’d like to write about it in a little more detail for the Mitten blog, I’d love to have you back as a guest poster. Although, I think you’d have a good shot at getting an article about this published in the SCBWI Bulletin too. It would also make a great workshop for one of the SCBWI-MI Shop Talk events.

    Great work, Melanie!

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