It seems this post didn’t publish when it was supposed to. Weird.
Well, here’s my 2017 recap. Three weeks late.
I can’t even believe it’s almost the New Year! And really, that means I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas! And it’s almost my daughter’s birthday! She’ll be four!
The end of the year always feels so crazy around here – we’ve got two birthdays and two holidays within 2 weeks!
Anyway, I binge-listen to podcasts while I work my part-time evening job. I’ve heard over and over from the leadership and personal development casts that reflection is an essential part of living an intentional life. So, this is my official writing reflection of 2017. I’ll try to do this more throughout the year next year, but this is a good place to start.
I began this writing journey in earnest in March of this year. I bought my domain name. I joined a writing group. I set a goal of getting published sometime. I set up a variety of social media accounts. I went to a writer’s conference this summer.
So, how did I do?
The writer’s group, Author’s Tale, has been the best decision, I think. My writing skills have improved noticeably and I feel like I’m writing better and better first drafts, at least of short stories. I’m catching more as I edit my novel, and overall, I believe I’m a stronger writer.
I still have a goal of getting published, but I think I want to hold out for either an agent or try to submit to DAW, who still takes unsolicited manuscripts. I’m not sure I want to go with a small publisher. This is still pretty far in the future, though, so I’m not too worried.
Social media has been hit or miss. I got them all set up and had ambitious plans for these accounts, but really? I haven’t been doing that well.
My youtube account has been a ghost town because I’m not sure what I want to do with it. I’m considering maybe doing some reading of my own work there, but honestly, I just don’t know what to do with it. My original plans were to have complementary videos and blogs and that was SO MUCH work, I struggled to keep up with it. If I’m going to continue with youtube, I have GOT to figure out something else to do with it. Maybe record me reading some of my own poetry? I don’t know. Still struggling.
I’ve been VERY consistent on my blog, which I’m happy about. I’ve been reading, writing, and reviewing. People REALLY like my review set up and I’ve had several people approach me to do reviews, which has been pretty cool. The downside is that I got myself in over my head in December and dropped a few balls, but I’m just plugging away trying to get out from under this pile.
My facebook page is also pretty silent, but again, I’m not totally sure what to do with it. I had plans originally, but maybe I need to tone down what I thought. I don’t have the desire or capacity to tweet as often as I “should” to keep myself out there, but it is what it is. I’ve lost steam on Instagram, too. I don’t like that I can’t post from my laptop, so it always has to be from my phone. Not my favorite.
Overall, I think I just need to be okay with what I can do for now. Try to interact with other people and develop relationships. Someday I’d love to be a big enough deal to be able to hire a social media person and then generating content will be off my plate. That’s kind of a far out dream, though. One step at a time.
The writer’s conference was amazing and I learned tons. I’ve since joined a blogger’s network, where I get free books to review AND making connections with an agency so that perhaps in the future, I can submit something to that agent and I have a slightly better chance than I would have without it. I’ve also been exposed to some great books and authors, which has been amazing.
I also joined Blogging for Books, where I get free books to read. Between these two, and the librarian where my husband works, I have a steady stream of books to read. It’s also a wide variety, which I’m a big fan of.
I had also joined a blogger’s network, but that blew up. I’ve stayed in contact with two people I met through that and even though the relationship building is slow, I’m happy with them.
This year has certainly looked different than I imagined it would, but in some ways, it’s far better.
As hard as it is trying to pursue a writing career as the primary caregiver for toddlers, it’s rewarding. It’s also good for all of us. There are times where I sit down and work and they just have to deal and entertain themselves. There are times where I’m on my phone too much and my four year old gets on my case. I feel that this year has been a super success, though. My writing is stronger. I feel more focused. I have definite goals I’m working toward. I have other people who are on the same journey and we encourage and support each other.
I couldn’t have built a better year for writing if I was in charge of planning and dreaming it up. As long as I continue to work the step in front of me or presented to me, I’m finding that the next step reveals itself. Being consistent and working on discipline has worked out very well for me and I’ll keep doing that.
2017 has been a good year for me. And I’m looking forward to what 2018 has to offer.