Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year Goals

2013 starts tomorrow and it's easy to look back at 2012 measure success or failure based on resolutions made last year.

For me I didn't achieve the big goal, Have a book published, but thanks to some goal setting I accomplished a lot in 2012. At the end of the year I feel like I have a quite a bit to show for my year in writing.

1. Manuscripts. Thanks to the 12x12 in '12 I've completed 12 picture book drafts this year. Some are winners and some aren't but I have to say I'm proud all of them and proud of how I've grown as a writer because of this challenge. If you are looking for a way to challenge yourself and take the next step in your writing consider signing up.

2. Daily writing practice. OK when you're writing and you want to be published and you get stuck in a project sometimes it can be hard to remember your daily writing practice. This year I had a busy year at work but I remembered a time when I wrote daily and in returning to my daily writing practice I was able to rediscover the joy of writing.

3. New WIPs. I've been writing and revising the same project for the last three years. I know, I'm slow. I finished a big revision with major changes earlier this year. I'm not sure the future of this work but I finally allowed myself to work on a couple new ideas. Working on these new ideas has been fun and by slowly working on them I feel like I have a good start on both of them. I'm not sure if the future of the WIP I'd been working on for a so long but it feels good to make progress on some new ideas.

So, while I didn't achieve the big goal of publishing a book I feel like I've defiantly laid some good writing groundwork. I've learned that smaller goals and challenges are a wonderful way to make goals happen. Write daily, small goals, little milestones.

For 2013 I hope to continue along this writing journey. I hope to continue to lay the groundwork towards publication with things like monthly picture book drafts, daily writing practice, and continued work on my WIPs.

What are your goals for 2013?

Wishing you all the best in the new year.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

RTW- How many books do I read in a year?

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered.

This Week's Topic is: About how many books do you read in a year? Do you want to read more? Or, less?

Years ago I started keeping track of the number of books I read in a year, mostly because other people wanted to know how many books I read in a year. What I really wanted was an answer to this questions. 

The answer is 52 books a year. That's a book a week. Of course there are books that take less than a week and books that take longer. Some years I've read more, last year I read 60 books and I thought that I could do that again but this year it looks like I'm on schedule to read 50. 

Although I miss the days of keeping a list of these books all in the back of my journal I really love Goodreads as a way to keep track of what I'm reading and connect with friends about what I'm reading. 

How many books do you read in a year? Do you like sites like Goodreads to keep track of what you are reading?

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

RTW- Revising, or am I doing this right?

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered.

This Week's Topic is: For many, December is a post-NaNoWriMo revision haze! How do you approach editing/revising? Any tips or tricks or resources you can share?

I didn't win NaNoWriMo this year but I got a good start and I wrote more than I might have written if I hadn't been doing NaNo so thanks to all of you who encouraged me to participate.

My revision process goes a little like this.

1. Finish a readable draft. Send draft to readers. If readers are writer types let readers know what I'm looking for.

2. Re-read draft while readers are re-reading. Write out questions for readers and critique partners.

3. Get feedback from as many readers as possible. Let face it, lots of people might volunteer to read your stuff but not everyone will finish and give feedback. Even if someone only makes it to chapter 4 I want to know that. I usually give a window of time like this- hey I'm going to start working on the next draft so if you have feedback give it now.

4. I like to use this book in my process. Great workbook for creating complex characters.
Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook: Hands-On Help for Making Your Novel Stand Out and Succeed

5. Digest feedback. I try to pay attention to things that come up from more than one person and really try to think about that and address those things. The reading/feedback/digesting feedback time is my time away from that project. I usually work on other things during that time.

6. Start new round of revisions.

Repeat as needed.