Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009--A Writer's Year in Review

I've taken the opportunity to look back at the year in writing each December.  Previous posts are here:  2008, 2007, 2006

When I look back several years to when my writing journey began, I see several themes emerge.  Writing takes hard work, persistence, and a hopeful attitude.  

Even from my very first draft of my very first novel, I was willing to put in the time to make it the best I could.  And I had a strong belief that I could succeed.  Back then, success meant finishing a novel.  Once that happened, then success meant writing another novel.  Then learning the realities of publishing and finding an agent.

At each stage, I was able to realize 'success', and raise the bar to the next level, all the while, being just naive and just hopeful enough to believe I could reach the goal.

And I have.

2009 was the year that I believed I could be a professional writer.  It was the year of the agent.  (Waves to Nephele!)  It was the year of the submission process (and the year of learning patience).  It was the year of setting and meeting writing challenges and deadlines.

Writing accomplishments for 2009:

Completed "The Between"
Began and Completed "Future Tense"
Edited "The House of Many Doors"
Edited "MindBlind"
Edited "Heal Thyself"

Poems written and/or substantially revised: 12

Short Stories
Written and/or substantially revised:  7

My goals for 2009 were:
1. to return to my 1,000 words/day or 5,000 words/week pace  I think I accomplished this with a vengeance, completing a first draft of "Future Tense" in 10 weeks.

2. to allow myself the freedom to work on a crappy first draft  Again, accomplished, though I understand my process well enough to know I will never work at a 'nano' pace and that my first draft process does include back reading and editing.

3. to find a 'just right' in person writing group  I have found a once per month writing group that emerged from a workshop I took last year.  While it is mostly short story writers, it is a good group of folks and I get a lot out of it.

My goals for 2010:
  1.  Be ready with a marketing plan for when my first novel sells.  (While I would love to set publication of my first novel as a goal, I also understand that it is not under my control, so instead, I will set the part I can accomplish.)

  2. Appropriately use social networking tools to build connections with writers and readers, while not getting sucked into a black hole of time wasting on the net.  I already have a website.  I've been consistently  blogging for several years.  This year I added FB and twitter to the list, but can fritter away too many hours. Must be aware of this in 2010.

  3. Return to my 'roots' of writing poetry.  This is something I neglected in '09.  I also would like to teach poetry more workshops in the schools this year.  And I am so looking forward to Dodge '10!

Hard work.
Hopeful attitude.

These are the attributes I continue to take with me on my writing journey.

All the best in '10 to all my writer friends.

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