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Reflections and Resolution

Wow! How did 15 days of 2019 already slip by? Well, I had intended to do this post earlier, but here we are.

I watched Kim Chance’s video collaboration with Megan Olivier on YouTube about reflections and resolutions and wanted to do them for myself! So, I hope you enjoy as I look back at 2018 and forward to the rest of 2019.

Reflecting on 2018

1. What was your standout writer moment/memory in 2018?

I’ve been working on my Master’s in Creative Writing for the past year and a half, so on December 2nd, I submitted 85 pages of my current WIP as my thesis. About a week later, I got the email that my work was accepted, no edits required! On December 30th my degree was officially approved and I am DONE with school! That whole waiting process and then the email back was amazing and terrifying at the same time.

2. Name one way you surpassed your own expectations.

Using NaNo as a way to boost my word count before my final thesis was due, I was able to add quite a lot to my WIP. However, half way through, I got feedback from my midterm reader that forced me to start from page 1 and change the POV and I ended up changing my MC as well. Despite that setback, I still won NaNo and got my thesis done on time. Plus I am loving my story even more thanks to those changes.

3. Name something new you’ve experimented with this year (e.g. writing at a different time of day).

I loathe first-person POV. Well, I did anyway. Or maybe I just thought that I did. When I tried it out for the first time after getting feedback, I immediately failed and sank back into third-person after only two sentences (and I didn’t even realize it until I finished the scene!).

4. Is there anything you weren’t proud of this past year that you’d like to improve upon?

So far, my writing journey has been just that….mine. I am not great at putting myself out there, but I started my Instagram account, signed up to lead word sprints, and started this website at the end of 2018. I’m hoping to get even better about getting out into the writing community this year.

5. What’s the biggest struggle you’ve had to overcome this year and what advice would you give to writers in the same position?

Being a full-time teacher, a mother of three kids 6 and under (the youngest one with medical issues that we deal with on a daily basis), just getting my Master’s done was a chore. The thing that got me through it, however, was that it was something that I loved. I would not have been able to make it through each day and each assignment if it had been a topic that I wasn’t devoted too. In fact, it was often the writing that offered some reprieve from the stress in my life.

As far as advice, I think that the greatest piece of advice I can give is that if you are going to load things on to your plate, make sure that they bring you joy. If they don’t, it will be a difficult (and probably miserable) time, and for what? You’ve only got each day as it comes, so make sure you are happy with how you spend them.

6. What’s the most important lesson you learned this year?

I was never the kind of writer who let people read my work. Even now, I am hesitant and choosy about who does read it and when. However, being in a program that forces you to submit and get feedback was a great way to thicken my skin and make sure that I understand the feedback process, both giving and getting. I’ve learned not only how to not take it personally, but also how to weed through feedback for the gems that can actually help make my writing better (because, let’s face it, there are some bad ideas that gets tossed into feedback sometimes).

Resolutions for 2019

7. Do you like to set resolutions for yourself? How do you usually set goals throughout the year?

I typically set resolutions for myself each year, but have struggled with keeping them and making them last longer than a month. Instead, I plan to focus on a single statement and each big decision I make and each month approaches, I’ll evaluate ways to make that statement meaningful. This year, my statement is: Be Brave.

8. What projects are you looking forward to working on in 2019?

I’m finishing up my current YA novel and look forward to the editing process (am I weird for that?) so that I can polish my story up. I am really excited to getting in touch with some beta readers and getting some feedback on the overall story.

9. What’s your biggest writer goal/resolution for 2019?

In the context of my 2019 statement, my goal is to be brave enough to reach out. Reach out to betas. Socialize with the writing community. Submit my work to contests and publications.

10. What steps do you plan to take to achieve your resolutions and goals this year?

I’ve started a Submissions Tracker where I can list out the places and dates of my submissions throughout the year. I’m hoping that when I look back at it each month and at the end of the year, I’ll be proud of the number of times I’ve put myself into the ring for consideration.

Also, I’m building my platform by trying to post more regularly here and on Instagram in order to engage more people, both readers and writers alike. My hope is to build up a network of people that are genuinely interested and invested in my story.

11. Name something new you’d like to try this year (even if it scares you!).

Ideally, I would like to submit my novel to an agent sometime in the fall. Just typing that causes some anxiety because it has been a story I’ve tried and failed to write over the past five years (maybe more) that is finally coming to fruition.

12. How can you make 2019 your best writing year ever?

My first Instagram post says it all…

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