Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

Remember childhood?  That was the time of lingering afternoons, when a few hours were forever.  Enough time to conquer the playground, the world, and still fit in an afternoon snack.  Those were the days…

Now time flies and I don't like it one bit.  Can you believe it's 2013?  *shudders*

Well, before I officially welcome the New Year, I guess I'd like to look at my personal 2012.  I'll try to stick to writerly things, though of course I'll throw in some extra!

I finished the first draft of a WIP.  Hoorah!  My first middle grade book, which was a drastic change from my other work.  But it was so much fun to write, that I might just have to stick to kid's lit all the time.

Returned to WIP #2, which I had deemed a "drawer book."  I cringed at the sight of it, and then rewrote the first chapter for kicks and giggles.  Got some positive feedback, so now I'm seriously considering revamping the whole thing.  Should I?

Returned to WIP #3.  Started seriously revising that.  Chop chop chop!

Started my blog!  Oh my goodness, I've learned so much from reading other writers' blogs.  The internet is an amazing tool.

Headed down to the great state of Texas to see some awesome friends, who also happen to be my #1 beta readers.  I owe them for breaking me out of my writing-oriented shyness, so thanks guyssssssss!

Finished revising WIP #3.  There were some major revisions in terms of plot, character, overall writing style, etc.  However, I came to the conclusion that this book will always be a "drawer book."  I needed to write it, revise it, everything (it was great practice!), but I don't think I'll ever attempt to get it out into the world.  And frankly, I'm okay with that.  It needed to happen, but now it's done.  Hoorah!

Finally time to revise WIP #1.  But goodness, was that a first draft!  Revise revise revise, chop chop chop, cut a character, add another, scratch that, GAH.

Joined a writers' circle that meets weekly.  Though the meetings are often unproductive (we spend a lot of time catching up on each other's lives), the group provided me with some excellent friends and beta readers.

Finished those revisions on WIP #1.  Wiped off the sweat, sent it out to beta readers.

But what's this?  PitchMas and Pitch Wars?  Unfortunately, I can't wait for the beta readers, so it's off to the contests.  With PitchMas I got some requests (yay!), and with Pitch Wars I'm fortunate enough to be an alternate!  Hoorah!

So, what has 2012 taught me in terms of writing?  A lot.  But here are the three big lessons:

1.  Let your work marinate - I made the mistake of jumping into revisions right after I finished my first drafts, so I didn't have fresh eyes.  I couldn't see the problems that were blatantly obvious when I looked at the work seven months later (and in some cases, a few years).  Writing takes patience, so just wait.

2.  Never give up - I had all but lost hope on WIP #2, but after looking at it again, I'm really excited to rework it!

3.  Confidence! - I guess this isn't really a lesson, but 2012 gave me much needed confidence in my work.  I found a great writer's circle, got lots of positive feedback, and made ripples in PitchMas and Pitch Wars.

My goal for 2013?  Keep writing.

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