This is Project Mayhem's last post of the year, and yes, there really are only 11 days left in 2013. Looking forward and anticipating the year ahead is always a tonne of fun, but it's important and useful to think back on the year that was, too.
Writing-wise, you can start with the big, general questions: how many complete drafts did you write? Did your revisions go the way you wanted? And if you made writing goals at the start of 2013, did you meet them? Writing is an art, and like all arts—like anything in life, really—you want to be constantly improving. Setting goals is a good foundation in building steps toward improving, and it's only one third of the equation; checking whether you met those goals is the last third. (The hardest third is actually writing enough to meet the goals!)
While you're all nostalgic for the year that has gone by and feeling fuzzy and warm with holiday spirit, this is also an opportunity to reflect on the personal growth in regards to your writing, the interior aspect of it as opposed to simply the words on the page. I find it fascinating to look over the stories I've written in the past year and remember my mindset at the time of writing. It's a bit of insight into my own character, the way I thought then and the way I think now. Writing is highly reflective of oneself, and sometimes it's good to reflect on the reflection and consider what it says about yourself.
Reading-wise, this is a good time to check that list you've been updatiing of all the books you read this year. And even if you don't keep track, a general look-back over the books you read can help you spot any trends in your reading, and decide whether you want to consciously make adjustments in your reading. For example, if you write fantasy, but find your past reading rather lacking in the fantasy department, then you can actively seek out fantasy titles to read in the new year. Embrace the To-Be-Read pile!
You can also identify trends in the books you've read. For example, it's pretty evident that sci-fi is dominated by male authors (check out this illuminating and thoughtful Tor.com discussion). So if you've been struck by a Shiny New Idea that has decided to categorize itself as sci-fi (like my latest MG SNI is!), then perhaps you decide to check the gender balance in your reading list, in the interest of ever-diversifying your reading and thus your writing.
One last word: remember to use your winter break to read as much as you can! As a student, I get how difficult it can be to find time to read. Writers are readers first.
Do you reflect on your reading & writing, and do you set new goals for the new year?
Wishing you happy holidays from us here at Project Mayhem!