Here’s what I accomplished on the writing front last year…
As I mentioned on Wednesday, I knew the year was going to be full of good but intense Life stuff (like buying my first house), so I let myself off the hook for writing in 2012. That said, I’m pretty pleased with what I did manage.
I started the year by signing up for a class on blogging for writers by Kristen Lamb. I’d been wanting to up my game and learn how to present myself as a professional writer, especially since the founding of Turtleduck Press. The class did that, all right. It also connected me with an awesome community of writers. And I’ve now been blogging for almost a year.
That means I:
- set myself a goal and deadlines, and met them consistently all year long
- successfully avoided beating myself up (equally important!) on the few occasions when I missed my self-imposed goals
- learned how to blog – to turn out good (I hope) material in my own voice and with an appropriate length, structure, and tone for the form
- wrote 1000–2000 words on the blog just about every week this year
- continued building a platform and networking
(Side note: I like starting the year with a structured challenge. In years past I’ve done Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and Holly Lisle’s How To Revise Your Novel course. This year I’ve got a different sort of challenge. Stay tuned for more about that on Wednesday…)
I have not written much fiction in the past year. I’m not sure how much of that is due to the aforementioned Life stuff and how much is the blog diverting my creative energy. I do know that during much of the year, I wouldn’t have had time or energy to work on fiction, so the blog helped me stay sane by giving me a creative outlet. This year, I’ll be looking more closely at the balance of fiction writing vs. blogging, and making changes as necessary.
That said, I did write some fiction:
- “The Spirit Mask”, a fantasy short story
- “The Dangers of Creation; or, A Machine to Rival Man”, a Gothic/steampunk short story
- “The Wasteland”, a post-apocalyptic/steampunk novelette (available in the anthology Seasons Eternal)
- and a couple of chapters on the novel I started late in 2011 (for NaNoWriMo)
That’s not a lot. But progress isn’t all about numbers:
- I figured out how to write a cohesive, well-structured long short story / short novelette.
- I now have another story up for sale (the first being “The Long Night” in the anthology Winter’s Night).
- Almost everything I wrote this year, I edited and put up for public consumption. That’s a first for me. So what if it’s all short stories? The skills are transferable to novels.
- In 2011 I wrote “Lonesome Hearts”, “Celestial Voices”, and “The Long Night” (along with most of the novel I mentioned above). I really feel like my short story skills turned a corner that year, and I think the three short stories I wrote this year are still at that higher level.
In 2013, I’m going back to working on novels. I imagine that some of what I learned this year will prove useful….
Your turn. How do you feel about what you accomplished in 2012 (writing-related or otherwise)?