I have many things to be grateful for, and most of them happened this past year.
It was a wild ride, I can tell you that, quite scary and humbling at times, often instructional, and always exciting. I’ve grown out of my old skin and started actively pursuing my dream, and it’s given me much more than I ever hoped for. Looking back, I almost can’t imagine how small my life would have been if I wouldn’t have dared to jump, and wouldn’t have committed to my goals.
Now that the year is coming to an end, I’m putting on my best pair of glasses and taking a look back at what I’ve accomplished and learned. I also make action plans for the coming year, so I know exactly what I need to do to go even further. (I love plans, a good and clear action plan always beats the shit out of any new year’s resolution. Besides, it’s really neat to wake up from the holiday binge-and-hangover and find a checklist and step-by-step instructions, not just some hazy wish.)
This time, I have all of you great people to share things with, and it makes me all fuzzy and warm and full of happy feelings and let’s just get to the lists before I get too sentimental.
This past year I have
- set up my own blog and made it independent—got an awesome hosting provider, bought my own domain and theme framework, and tweaked and polished it ’til I was as proud as a fresh-baked cookie
- joined Twitter and immediately loved it
- participated in the A to Z challenge in April, and met a great many wonderful people, some of which are still around and amazingly supportive
- thank you so much J.W. Alden, Adam Gaylord, Jay Noel, Guilie Castillo Oriard, Jaye Robin Brown, Kern Windwraith, Cindy Dwyer, Tracy Brown, and a couple of lurkers
- also many thanks to Renee Miller, Courtney Cavness, Jeno Marz, Peter Cawdron, Mike Keyton, Janice Hardy, Leslie Hedrick, Aubrey Honeycutt, Patrick Ross, and many others
- pulled my shit together, gathered the tons of materials and several false starts that I had, and completed my first novel
- started a massive revision of that novel, like a 2.0 upgrade—where I’m making it bionic and bringing it to LIFE! Mwahaha!
- read a whopping total of 24 books (hey, I also worked 1,856 hours for my day-job this year, so don’t judge), out of which 11 were writing books
- had the privilege of meeting many of the writers I admired in person (well, online in person) and was very pleasantly surprised by how outgoing and helpful they were
- and of course, I met so many other writers in various stages of their careers and from different genres, and I deeply enjoy being part of the online writers’ community
- thanks also to everyone who’s new to my blog and decided to stick around for a bit — I’m looking forward to write for you!
I’ve learned some pretty important things this year too
- how to be more outgoing and communicative online (I’m not a very chatty person in real life, but I’ll gladly talk to you through bits and bytes anytime)
- blogging is a writing genre, and it demands an own set of skills and an own voice
- the main thing that stands in the way of productivity is poor time management
- having an outline for a complex story is a good idea
- it takes massive balls to break out of the due insecurities of an “aspiring” writer (and oh how much I hate that word) and start writing boldly and strongly, like you mean business
- having a good outline is a freakin’ great idea!
- there is no One True Way of writing fiction, which makes it both harder and more exciting
- there are so many helpful, open-minded and creative people out there, who are doing things their way successfully every day and sharing their knowledge freely, it’s virtually impossible to feel alone, lost or hopeless
- there’s no reward for how fast you write, only for how well you write
- you can accomplish anything if you’re passionate and organized
And this was just the beginning! Next year I will
- finish my revision, and hand the novel out to a handful of betas
- query agents, and find an agent to make a kick-ass team with
- start writing the sequel and finish the first draft
- read a lot more books (of course)
- push my blog a big step further; I’ve already made an editorial calendar and gathered lots of interesting post ideas, and will
- blog several times a week
- participate in blogging challenges
- flex my writing muscles and post flash fiction on the blog
- introduce a reader discussion series where your thoughts will take center stage
- host & do occasional guest posts and interviews, and…
Let’s see where things go from there. 🙂
I’m normally not taking breaks during the year, because I don’t really tire of blogging or engaging in social media. But Christmas and New Year’s Eve are different. First, because my hubby and I are driving 1,050 miles back home to see our families, and second because we’ll be spending most of the time up in the mountains skiing and growing snotcicles.
So this is my last post for this year, and I’ll be back on the 21st of January 2013. Meanwhile I’ll still be around on Twitter & Facebook (thank you, smartphone!) so you can always chat me up or drop me an email if you like.
Thank you all so very much for your incredible support, your thought-provoking comments and engaging conversations, for your openness and your spirit, and just for being who you are and doing what you do!
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!