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2013 Writing Reflections
Lucy Silag
Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 10:41 AM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359


Take a minute to think about how you've grown as a writer this year. Share what's changed, what's evolved, what's succeeded, or what you've left behind.

 

And what are you hoping for as a writer in 2014?

 

Lucy

Book Country Community and Engagement Manager


VB
Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 7:24 PM
Joined: 12/3/2013
Posts: 1


I've struggled with passive voice and making my writing more active. I'm getting the hang of it - finally! My editor has pushed and prodded but she's a miracle worker and we've gotten there. It's amazing to look back and notice the difference. I guess I needed a shove toward that light bulb moment. Also head hopping is a thing of the past, left only in the dusty manuscripts I cut my teeth on. Whew. Here's to an active 2014!

--edited by VB on 12/3/2013, 7:25 PM--


Dennis Fleming
Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 7:47 PM
Joined: 1/22/2013
Posts: 17


At the beginning of the year, I was working on episodes of my series, The Sex Life of Andy Ashling. I published ten episodes and began to wonder why I was writing the series. After a lunch with a friend of mine who happens to be a psychiatrist, I hit on the reason. I decided to go into a psychiatric exploration of the issue and others in a series of psychiatric appointments, two per week for six months (my friend's advice). This will require a bit of money with which to pay a psychiatrist. I put a book proposal together and was ready to submit to my agent and publishers when I came across the idea to crowdsource the project and let contributors participate in the adventure with me. Here's the link. I'm not soliciting here, just wondering what other writers might think of it. It's called Searching for Me: Rediscovering the Self. It's been a busy year.
Jerrie Catera
Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 2:24 PM
Joined: 11/29/2013
Posts: 1


Hi All, and Best Wishes for the Holidays!  This past year I have learned that I do the same things as a reader that frustrate me as a writer: not picking up a book because I don't like the cover, reading in a narrow genre rather than widely, and being a pretty picky reader!  We all realize how difficult writing is, how lonely and frustrating.  But when it hurts more not to write than it does to put up with all the barriers - you're a writer.  So this year I'm going to try to learn double what I did last year.  I'm setting a goal of selling a thousand copies.  If I can help anyone with their goals, I will try.
Mimi Speike
Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 3:09 PM
Joined: 11/17/2011
Posts: 1014


This year, I hope to publish, as a novella, part one of Sly! My vision includes creating my cover, promotional art, posters, mailers, etc., spot illustration, chapter headers and the like, and one full-page plate at the beginning of the book. I had intended to have one full page illustration per chapter, but my original first chapter is now seven, and the other three will doubtlessly break apart as well. I don't have the energy for that amount of art. I have my book to finish, and several sequels planned out and partially written. I wrote the bulk of book two before I decided there was an earlier story to be told. 

.

I have broken up my backstory (to a degree), bit the bullet and made deletions (to a degree), added new, more active material (my opinion, I hope others agree), and have begun to consider how to resolve my too-many-villains situation. I don't need to sort them out for this stretch of the story, but I have to establish a supportable direction which will impact later installments. The fact that I've made so much progress gives me reason to believe that my cares and woes will melt away once I do my research on the Elizabethan underworld.

.

I am strategizing about an active marketing campaign. My idea is to attract attention with my art, I will create and peddle paper dolls of my cat, anywhere and everywhere, Etsy, ebay, craft shows, street corners, whatever. How many times have I read about authors, famous ones too, selling books out of the back of their car? Websites are swell, but I intend to do a far more active flog. 

.

You may be wondering, why is she creating paper dolls for a book that is not at all for children? To get noticed, that's why. Once I drive folks to my web site, the book is on its own. And, I have written a children's companion story, dealing with an incident from Sly's equally loopy childhood. That will have to be a fully illustrated book. I'm intimidated just thinking about it. I tell myself, one step at a time. Don't freak out yet. Look how far you've come.

.

If you want to see an example of my illustration, take a look at my recent Member Spotlight. That piece was a study for a book that's long lost in the course of my many moves. That style will be translated into full color, to display the full flamboyance of a swashbuckling feline in his colorful period finery. 

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At least I'm moving again, not sitting on my butt, stewing. That's a breakthrough in itself.

 

 

--edited by Mimi Speike on 12/4/2013, 4:36 PM--


Lucy Silag
Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 10:48 AM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359


I love all these responses so far! Keep 'em coming!

 

And Mimi--I wholeheartedly feel you on "at least I'm not stewing." Feels good to just go forward!

 

Lucy


Lucy Silag
Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 10:49 AM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359


PS: Welcome, Jerrie! Just sent you a connection request. Happy to have you here on the site. Please let me know if I can help show you around!

 

Lucy


Perry
Posted: Friday, December 6, 2013 1:18 PM
Joined: 9/17/2013
Posts: 104


 

In 2013 I learned to write to deadline for the fiction and creative non-fiction that I contribute to two local journals/newspapers.

 

I also learned to better self edit, so that my last short story drafts have had very few suggestions from the editor assigned by my publisher. Once I have the words down the way I want them, the editor understands the message, and doesn’t suggest things that might muck things up.

 

In 2013 my best work was a nine hundred word address that I delivered without notes at my elder son’s and his bride’s wedding reception. It was a lot of fun, and I had many positive comments on the speech.

 

The first copies of my second book of short stories arrived by fed ex today. A number of readers of my first book asked when I would release another, so here it is. What I want to learn in 2014 is to have a better marketing program. I’m told I have a good product, and I need to expand my readership.

 

In 2014 I hope to learn how to write a novel. All my sales to date have been short pieces, or collections of short stories. I’m 53,000 words in on a long story which could become a novel, if I can learn how to do it.

 

 


imawake
Posted: Thursday, January 16, 2014 7:51 PM
Joined: 10/15/2013
Posts: 62


This past year I wrote, edited, and self-published a humorous memoir and have received good reviews on it so far. I wrote a novel some years ago and never got it published so it's still sitting there doing nothing. I felt like if an agent didn't take it, then it wasn't good enough and no one else should see it. (In that case, it was true). This time, I decided to self-publish and at least I truly finished a project all the way through and put it out there. I feel good about that. It feels so satisfying to complete a project and release it and be able to move on. And this year I also got brave enough to do NaNoWriMo for the first time, something I'd wanted to do for years. And I won. The fact that I could write 50,000 words in a month proved to me I've been a lazy writer who let myself slide, and now I know what I'm actually capable of. So for 2014, I hope to finish the novel I started during NaNo and hopefully polish it enough that I can get an agent for it. That would make me feel credible as a writer. Oh, and for the first time I joined a writing community - Book Country! And I'm so glad I did. I love it here.
Lucy Silag
Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014 11:53 AM
Joined: 6/7/2013
Posts: 1359


Ima and Perry--we're so happy to have you join us this year, and both of your posts on this thread are really lovely. Congratulations to you both on so much success in 2013 . . . and beyond!!

 

I wonder if each of you will take a moment to link to your published projects on this discussion board. I'd love to take a look, and I know other members of the community will as well.

 

Lucy Silag

Book Country Community and Engagement Manager

--edited by Lucy Silag on 1/17/2014, 11:54 AM--


 

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