Weird Projects that relate to Writing

Starting last Friday I finally had some time to myself again. I made a list of all the writing things I accomplished last year, which is below:

2022 In Review โ€“ Writing Life

  • Led Open Door Writing Group 16 times
  • Attended Open Door Writing Group 24 times
  • Led East Texas Writers Guild meetings 23 times
  • Attended writers conferences โ€“ 1 online and 2 in person
  • Attended one writing retreat
  • Submitted the first three chapters of my current novel to a respected writing coach in my genre and spent two sessions discussing my writing style, my writing flaws, my writing strengths, and potential plot holes for this particular novel
  • Worked with two critique groups, covering five months of the year
  • Worked with an accountability partner all year
  • Mentored a new-to-writing fantasy writer for 3 months
  • Created outlines for two full novels
  • Learned to set up newsletters and mailing lists
  • Set up my newsletter and mailing lists
  • Redesigned my website
  • Had professional portraits taken
  • Submitted five stories to magazines and journals
  • Wrote around 125,000 words total
  • Read 6 books on writing and implemented their suggestions
  • Started taking a marketing class
  • Wrote alternately on two different novels
  • Had 3 poems, 3 personal essays, and 1 short story published in anthologies

Whew! That’s a lot, especially considering how many health woes I had, moving three kids to different rooms (sometimes in a different house, painting, moving into my writing studio, a kid graduating high school and starting college, and all the family stuff.

I also updated all my reading lists from the last few years. I thought Amazon was automatically updating them for me when I purchased a book or read one as an e-book or listened on Audible, but it hadn’t been. So I went back through my paper lists, Library Elf and Circulation Desk emails, old blog and FB posts, etc and added books back in. I’m sure it’s still not all I read, but it’s much closer to reality now. Looking back, I realized that most years I read about a book a week, some years more than that, and a couple years way, way less than that. I re-read some old blog posts and realized that one of those years I was PTA President and had two part-time jobs, so that made sense and the other time I was just crafting all year long and I hadn’t discovered audio books yet. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was very informative to delve back into those lists of the books I loved or hated and see how they influenced the things I wrote those years. It was interesting to see the ebbs and flows of my interests, some years reading great swaths of neuroscience and other years mainly mysteries, but always, always a ton of fantasy and science fiction.

Now that I’ve processed all of that in my journal, I’m back on track with writing my own novels. I’ve got a schedule worked out for the rest of the month on what I’m writing for one and worldbuilding for another one. In the past, I’ve tried to plan out by quarters, but I’ve discovered that I get discouraged when one quarter bleeds over into a second one and that’s where I tend to fall down the rabbit hole. So I made a big general plan on what I hope to accomplish for the year, but I’m only doing detailed planning a month at a time and plan to regroup at the end of the month to rework the schedule for the next month. ๐Ÿ™‚

Working on two different projects helps my brain have something to bounce back and forth between when I get stuck on one, so this month, I hope to finish the Caro’s Quest re-write and flesh out new characters for a YA novel I’m working on in a friends universe.

What are y’all working on this year? Leave me a comment about it and I’ll start cheering you on! ๐Ÿ™‚

Back to Writing Again

This will be short. My dad has gone home, my kids are back at school, my husband is at work, and I have three and a half hours all to myself for writing. I’m reworking Caro’s Quest Chapter Nine after a couple weeks away to let me feel not so terrible about the utter disaster that the ladies at the Pineywoods Critique Group thought it was. To be honest, it was probably not great. First draft and all that. Back to work!