Writing Ruminations 2018

An online acquaintance of mine, J. M. Jablowski, started a writing tag for the end of the year. Since this time of year is usually marked by reflection (also overeating–and for me, board games), I thought this would be a good chance to look back at how far I’ve come–and look forward to where I want my writing to go in 2019. Let’s jump right into her questions!

What was your biggest writing accomplishment in 2018?

I feel like 2018 was a return to myself in many ways. Not only did I begin reading for pleasure for the first time since grad school sucked all the joy out of the pastime, but I also returned to writing after a defunct WIP (and several pregnancies, ha!) had stalled me out for several years. In January, I had nothing of this draft but one world-building idea—and that was my husband’s idea, not mine! I had an assignment to listen to all of Brandon Sanderson’s online lectures and a “due date” of an outline by June.

But then I had another world-building idea (based on a metaphor I decided to make literal), and it lit me up with excitement. I stopped listening to the lectures and just got to work (with plans to return to the lectures later). I finished my outline about a month early. I wrote a few chapters, then switched protagonists. Writing was picking up pace—so much so that NaNoWriMo got me almost to the end of my first draft! Originally my goal was to finish the entire draft by 2018—but then I got Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, ahem, and that goal was derailed. So my new goal is to finish the WIP during my annual Facebook fast in January.

What was the best time of year for your writing in 2018?

NaNoWriMo was by far the best time of the year. Despite sickness, Standard Time woes, and holidays, the self-imposed deadline of 50,000 words by the end of November was a huge gift to me. I learned so much about my process—and my story took some unexpected turns!

What did you learn about yourself in 2018?

I learned that reading and writing are not “extra” for me, but actually extremely important to my well-being. I learned that keeping a blog, writing my mini-essays, is a balm to my soul. I learned from NaNo that I work best with a deadline that takes some work to accomplish.

What is something that you really want to share with your audience? (This can be marketing or just something you are really excited about.)

You guys… I’m in love with this book’s world-building. And that’s saying a lot, because I’ve had little to no patience for it in the past. Cap abhors the idea of me giving too much away (which is good, because my tendency is oversharing) but for now I’ll just say that it is giving me the coolest fight scenes. And I’ve also traditionally been bad at fight scenes! Who knew that working on one weakness could improve both?

What new book did you read this year that was your favorite?

Oh my goodness. CANNOT PICK. I’m planning a “Top 10 Books of 2018” post after my Facebook fast in January. Suffice it to say for now that I loved reading in general this year.

What book are you most looking forward to reading next year?

Many are on my list, but no book excites me more than reading Karen Swallow Prior’s On Reading Well. Just one blurb from an interview she gave about the book got my heart beating faster!

What is something you want to learn more about your craft in 2019?

Self-editing a rough draft. I used to write with a beta reader at every chapter, so I knew from her reactions what worked and what I wanted to change. Now I’ve written almost an entire draft with nearly no feedback. So how do I decide what needs to stay or go before I get to the beta reader stage?

What writing goals do you have for 2019?

I want to finish my first draft by the end of January.

I want to have this thing beta-reader ready by June!

#WritingRuminations2018 (1)

This tag was started by J.M. Jablowski. You can check out her site at https://jemmajablowski.wordpress.com/ .
I was tagged by J. M. herself. Feel free to participate with these same questions or even tag some folks: just copy and paste this tag!


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