Good news! As a writer, 2018 was better for me than 2017. Bad news…getting an agent doesn’t make any of this easier (I knew that going in, just confirming it’s true). I’m still unpublished with no bites on my MS, which is supremely frustrating, to get THIS close and still be SO FAR from where I’d like to be. That said, I did a lot of work this year, I wrote, edited, and revised a lot of words and I’m still learning so much about myself as a writer. So none of this has been a waste of time.
What I accomplished in 2018:
- I completed a massive overhaul revision on Messy with my agent. I can’t tell you how hard it was! But it’s so much better in the end.
- I finished a MS I started in 2017 during NaNoWriMo, a YA sci-fi I’m tentative calling Silas and the Cyborg. Several beta readers have gone through it and provided valuable feedback. This one is very much still in revision stage.
- Starling, my MG epistolary sci-fi, has also been reviewed by a number of readers and I’m still revising this one as well.
- I also read through Time Guardian (for what feels like the thousandth time). This is a MS a queried heavily a few years ago and got nowhere with. It’s amazing, with additional writing experience under my belt, I can see now that a lot of things can be done to improve it. While it’s not high on my list of priorities right now, I made notes to work on later. I’m not willing to give up in this story easily.
What I didn’t accomplish:
- I really wanted to at least outline a new MS. While I have ideas swirling around for the next one, they just haven’t gelled yet.
My 2019 writing goals:
- Finish major revisions on both Starling and Silas and the Cyborg. If I could get one of both ready for submission, that would be ideal.
- I would also like to do a major revision overhaul on Time Guardian. I’ve been collecting ideas and notes to do this. It’s one of my favorite projects, an idea I’ve been developing for years. I don’t plan to give up on it. I haven’t given up on any of my shelved projects, this one is special to me and where I feel like my creative energy would be best directed right now.
- I’d like to draft at least one new MS, and if I’m feeling super ambitious, outline another one…or two even!
- Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy writing and creating!
I just added a new page to my website with writing resource links. I’ve used all of them in the past to help me on my writing journey and I hope they can help you, too. Check it out!
So, it’s more than halfway through January 2018 and I’m only just now getting around to making this blog post about 2017. Call it a reflection of what last year was like, there is so much going on I just don’t have time for the extras…like blogging. Let’s face it, I’m a crappy blogger anyway, but in 2017 especially I just didn’t have time for it.
Not going to lie, the beginning of 2017 was rough for me as a writer. It’s not that I was ever tempted to quit everything, but there were many times I really questioned how much time I spent on writing without getting anywhere. That made it hard to feel motivated. But I pressed on as best I could. In the end I accomplished a lot, which I’m only really realizing now as I’m writing this blog post.
What I accomplished:
- Completed major revisions on The Believer and Messy
- Finished the MS I started in 2016 during NaNoWriMo (#6)
- Started another MS (#7) during NaNoWriMo this year. Got a 20K word start on that. I wished for more, but illness really made it difficult. I’m just happy to have something to work with
- Made notes on possible revision for Time Guardian (the more I think about it, as much as I love this MS, it could use a major overhaul to make it way better…just going to take time)
- Worked a concept for MS #8…that one needs more ideas before I can start it
- I plugged on querying Messy and it finally paid off! I signed with an agent in May!
I’m excited what this year will bring and I’m ready to work hard. What I hope to do:
- Keep working with my agent on my road to future publication…it’s a process. Having an agent guarantees nothing, but it’s nice to have someone on my side. I hope we continue having success with our working relationship
- Complete major edits on MS #6 that I’m tentatively calling Starling. Right now it’s still in first draft stage (in other words…it’s a mess). I hope to get it into better shape this year
- Finish MS #7. I’m really excited about this project
- I’d like to at least get a good start on MS #8
- Revising is a constant. The trick is to focus my energies on projects that have a better chance at a future. I may have to shelve projects in order to focus on others, sadly, so taking time to really evaluate what I have and what is most worth continuing to work on
I’ve written five books, plus a sixth that’s mostly done. Three of those books were queried over the course of four years. After all that work, time, and patience I’m excited to say I’ve been offered and accepted literary representation!
Fellow writers: If you want something, keeping trying. Believe me, I know it’s so discouraging at times and so tempting to just give up and think you aren’t good enough.
DON’T GIVE UP!
Keep working, trying, and learning. Be patient. Persist. Be willing to make changes and do something different. I believe in you!
Here’s how my 2016 went, as far as my writing goals were concerned:
- I did a major revision on The Believer, changing it from YA to MG. I needed to cut about 20k words. I got it down by 11k, and I’m in the process of another revision to improve the voice and reduce the word count even more.
- I did a minor revision on Time Guardian, but I’m still getting the same feedback on the opening pages…that they just aren’t doing the job. I’m still not sure how to fix that, so it’s on the shelf for now.
- I did query Messy, got a few bites, but not takers yet.
- I actually participated in NaNoWriMo this year for the first time. My goal was to get a good start on a new MG sci-fi I’ve been thinking of, not to get 50k words. I achieved what I set out to do and wrote about 15k words in November. A nice start!
What I’d like to do this year:
- I need to query SOMETHING (pretty much anything) more. Most of my stuff probably needs work before doing that, but I have lots of options so that shouldn’t be a problem. So…complete revisions of The Believer, and do some work on Time Guardian and Messy and I’ll have lots to work with.
- Finish my current WIP that I started in November.
- I give up on being a regular blogger. 😛
Happy 2017, cheers!
For the most part I did well accomplishing my goals for 2015:
- I finished extensive revisions on both Time Guardian and Messy (formally called A Hoard Life). I did some querying with Time Guardian, and while the concept interested agents, the pages didn’t manage to draw anyone in to want to read more. I think another revision is in order, I’m not ready to give up on it yet. I only just stared querying Messy and have had some success getting requests, but I need to get it out more.
- I massively revised The Mystic Road, but it still needs more work before it’s ready to take any further.
- I also did really well with my exercise program, I only missed workouts when I was ill or on vacation, etc.
- My only fail this year was right around November I lost all motivation to work on revising, querying, or writing at all. I’m fine with taking a break, I probably really needed it so I’m not upset about it, but I want my enthusiasm back for the New Year.
- Plus…I’m the worst blogger ever!
My goals for 2016:
- Work on revisions for Time Guardian, especially making an effort to improve the first chapter and clean up some other story issues, then query more.
- Continue querying Messy. Revise as necessary.
- More revisions on The Mystic Road, consider querying when ready.
- Work on a complete rewrite of The Believer. This was originally a YA fantasy that I think will work better as a MG fantasy. I already have notes on the planned changes, but it will be a huge project. I need to cut around 20,000 words and make some major plot changes in a few areas.
- Writing a new MS isn’t necessarily a priority again, but it would be nice to work on something new. If I can fit that into my plan it would be great.
- Continue keeping a writing journal, I really like doing that and it keeps me on track (that’s how I knew I was losing motivation because I stopped making entries. Step one in getting my writing mojo back is to write in my journal, it keeps me accountable).
- Continue the exercise, which is great for both body and mind.
- Learn guitar and ukulele. I started leaning guitar last year and I got a ukulele for Christmas, so I’d like to take the time to practice with them at least a few times a week. I don’t want or need to become an expert or anything, I’d just like to be able to play some songs for fun.
- Finally, last year I wrote a whopping four blog entries. That’s just downright PATHETIC! I don’t want to be a fantastic blogger with a zillion readers and all that jazz. Most of what I write here is for my benefit instead of others, but I’d like to try and write at least one entry a month like I’ve done in years past.
I’ve moved my book list to Goodreads, to make it easier to update and keep track of. The link to my “read shelf” is on the book list page. I also deleted my Quilting Bee pages since the club is pretty much defunct now…which is very sad…still, it was a lot of fun while it lasted! For now, this not-often-updated blog is mainly dedicated to my reading and writing.