As I sit to write the last blog post of the year, I ponder over what to write. I think of what the new year means to me - new goals, new achievements, and new discoveries. So, what does the end of the year bring - a review over past accomplishments.
I began my blogging journey in August 2009 as a way to reach out to the writing world and to document my progress as an aspiring writer. Along my journey, I've gained special friends, shared writing thoughts, and moved from aspiring to published. It's been a wonderful journey and I owe you, 'the reader and friend,' for making it so.
I'd like to point out the top five blog posts over the journey of this blog.
1) Interview with Cindy Huefner Cromer - Part One
2) Interview with Terry W. Ervin II
3) Plotter or Pantster
4) How important is your email address?
5) Interview with Cindy Huefner Cromer - Part Two
In my writing journey of 2011, I've moved from published short stories to published novellas. I've took up freelance editing, which has taught me as much as the writing during the year. I also finish the year with two partial novels.
I've learned many things this year. Remember opinions vary amongst writers, so it's okay to disagree with my learning experience. We are each unique, if not, what kind of world would this be?
1) A short story is a different species than the novel. (This opinion may change as I stretch my skills toward novel writing. At this moment, novels are a heck of a lot harder to write than a short story.)
2) Writing is Rewriting (I've always believed this, but when I moved to longer works, I went from believing to knowing. While writing my two novellas, I learned to write fast and hard first. Then do the real work with the rewriting - fill in gaps, build characters, add flesh.)
3) For this writer, plotting is a no, no. (I've studied it and tried it this year. It squashes my chances of completion. I must dig the bones out by writing and then connect the joints. Maybe one day I will move to a plotter, but for know I'll stick with what works.)
4) Never give up. (This should be at the top of the list. One of my stories published this year was born many years ago. It went through a few revisions after multiple rejections, but for the most part it stayed the same story. The point is keep sending your story out, sometimes it just has to find the right home.)
5) Organization is an important part of a writer's life. (I've spent the last two weeks sorting through my mess of ideas and writing jots from years past. 2011 wasn't too bad. I kept good records and placed items in folders and such. But when going through my mess of before this year, I found stuff from 1998. To be honest, I'm not sure where I found the time to write anything that year, but there it was. I wanted to get this done quickly so I did my best not to read over anything, just get it in order and all in one location. Of course, I couldn't help myself from time to time and found some great ideas to work with for the new year. So, do yourself a favor and stay organized.)
This list could go on and on, but we'll stop with the top five lessons learned.
One final bit of advice - read, listen to music, explore paintings - surround yourself with creativity - feed your muse. I am guilty of not digesting enough during this year, but plan to fix this issue in 2012. To be creative you really must study creativity. I leave you this year with a quote from Ray Bradbury.
Best wishes to all. See you next year.
“If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans. I get out of bed quickly, to trap them before they escape.”
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