Craft, Feedback, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Goals, Novel, Query, Rejection, Short story, Writing

A Year’s Worth of Writing

Have you reviewed your writing progress in 2010? In this and another post or two in the next two weeks, Ill take a look back at the highlights of mine. When I looked back at all the posts for this year, I was surprised at how many twists and turns I took.

At the beginning of the year, I thought I had a finished novel in query status, so I turned my attention to short stories. I wrote a post, Writing vs. Crafting, in which I vowed to not only read more short stories, but to write and submit for publication some of my own. Nothing to report on my stories, but I did read more of those written by others, including fabulous debut collections from Robin Black and Tracy Winn.

Next, I jumped out of the box and started my year of living dangerously. (Even though I lost sight of that along the way, it may explain the way my writing year will end. Stay tuned.) But back then, I dared myself again by trying a writing challenge: a micro flash story. And I wrote it from a prompt, which is something I hadn’t done for decades. It was so much fun I invited my readers to take the challenge too. 

And then, I fell apart. Rejection spawned dejection and in barged the Blue Muse. From the bottom there’s no way but up, so I went into warrior mode and wrote a new query letter and opening paragraph for my novel; entered two contests; and dissected a Flannery O’Connor story for a discussion group.

The decision to edit my novel again reminded me of a good beating and then, continuing with new experiences, my novel spoke aloud. I discovered frigid fiction, but soon I became blinded by the words. To my rescue came the fabulous Kayla Olson who volunteered to read and critique for me.

Again I needed to be reminded to wait for the words. Before long I had reason to panic over platform, but as the end of the first quarter of 2010 came to a close, I was riding the train of eternal optimism.

Your turn: Have you charted your writing progress this year? How did you fair?

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Dream, Fiction, Life, Reflections, Writing

Time for a new dream

In case it somehow slipped by you, I would like to announce that we have begun a new year. As people are wont to do at times like this, you may have made a formal list of resolutions. Those of you less organized may have an only an idea or two of what you would like to accomplish this year. In my writing, I will finish some things I started last year and then move on to new.

tapfeet I know a woman who turned fifty-seven a few months ago. One day, she confided that she was going to start lessons at a local school of the arts. She had dreamed of learning to tap dance since she was a child and decided the time was now or never. She seemed embarrassed to tell me of her plan, but I assured her I thought it was wonderful. I am smiling now, just remembering the excitement in her eyes.

penpoint I want some new excitement in my life. I will be querying agents to represent my completed novel, and also working on a new one. But I think I need to challenge myself more this year. Push my personal boundaries. Exchange “try” for “do” in more areas of my life. As a writer, one thing I want to learn is to craft stories. I have written stories. I have not crafted stories. This year I’m determined to get a story published. Tapping out well-crafted stories will be my dancing dream.

What dreams will you make come true this year?