Also, I thought it would be a good way to close out this blog.
I’ve been talking about moving over to WordPress and I’m finally doing it. It’s bittersweet, to say the least—I really love this blog, but am excited to get away from the constraints of LiveJournal and get better exposure—and after many hours of frustration last night, I finally settled on a theme for my new one. (Hint—it’s totally simple and generic. I don’t know the first thing about designing layouts and banners, and the ~three hours of wanting to throw my brand new laptop out the window last night only served to support that).
So yeah. Before I go off on a tangent, I’ll start on what this year was like for me. Then at the end I’ll point you to my new blog, which isn’t fully finished yet, but where I’ll be doing a post on my resolutions for this upcoming year.
I didn’t make any writing goals last year, like many of my new Twitter buddies (especially Skye Fairwin—she’s a wordbeast!) did. Instead, I entered the year as I did every other since discovering my love for writing in junior high: making a few shallow resolutions about my health and my outlook on life, and halfheartedly suggesting to myself that I write more over the next 365 days. I say “suggesting” rather than “promising” because I don’t think I ever really believed I’d do much, and “more” was never concretely defined. Vague resolutions have never worked for me and never will.
Yet somehow, despite my lack of resolutions or some kind of guidelines for the year, this was my most productive year yet. To keep this post short, I’ll gloss over the year in bullet points, in chronological order.
This year, I…
- Finally made the move from the local newspaper I was working at part-time to a full-time role as a Copy Editor. I started by doing 3 days per week at the paper and 2 at the new job, then started working 5 days per week hourly, then was promoted to a salaried employee—all within six months! If there was any one resolution I was serious about back in January (when I landed the new gig part-time), it was that I was going to finally transition into full-time work… and I did it!
- Started writing numerous blog posts per week at my new job, all of which I have saved on my work computer. I can see a dramatic improvement in my writing from that very first post to my most recent ones, which makes me all kinds of giddy.
- Joined in on my first #WriteClub, which is where the magic started to happen. After reading an article on Samantha Shannon in August in which she was touted as the next J.K. Rowling at only 21, I was so down on myself as a writer (and eventually inspired to make changes!) that I broke out my unfinished fantasy manuscript. I was determined, but probably would have fallen off again if it hadn’t been for this awesome Twitter initiative. It was under that one simple hashtag that I met Taylor Eaton, a fellow writer. Through Taylor’s tweets about the #WriteChain Challenge I met Skye—and those two ladies have been more inspiring to me than any bestselling novelist yet. Soon, I found myself participating in #WriteClub and other sprints almost every week, pounding out as much as 5k in a short nighttime writing session. And, as always, the act of writing regularly reminded me of why I love to write so much… but for the first time ever, I was motivated to continue.
- Around September, started blogging more regularly on this LiveJournal. I went from updating once every few months to almost daily, sometimes twice per day, updating on my latest personal writing achievement or new word count record. It was initially inspired by reading months worth of posts on Sarah J. Maas’s blog, which I highly recommend reading from the beginning if you’re an aspiring published author; her posts really reflect the passion, fear, pain, and joy that come with writing and the road to publication, and can be extremely helpful to those who are looking for insight into the process.
- Began a Write Chain. I only lasted a week—anyone who knows me will know how difficult I still find it to write daily—but it was rewarding nonetheless to understand just how much work writing really is. It also brought me closer to Skye, who runs the Write Chain Challenge, and Taylor, who was participating and with whom I was exchanging lengthy emails at this point. When I realized forging an unbroken Write Chain might be a bit of a jump from my old habits (or lack thereof), I started up my own weekly tallies on this blog, in which I counted the number of words I wrote during the week and divvied them up into Fiction, Blogging, and Misc.
- At this point, I was having so much fun sprinting with everyone that an idea started to form. What if I, and a few of my regular sprinting friends, started a blog? So I reached out to Skye and Taylor in late September, and that’s when The Sprint Shack was formed. The blog was launched on October 4th and honestly, I couldn’t have picked two more amazing people to found it with. I was nervous at first, and the whole project was a bit haphazard due to the rush to launch in time for October pre-NaNoWriMo events (and, once again, my craptastic WordPress skills), but it’s been so incredibly rewarding and fun to co-manage the Shack. It’s kept me accountable, inspired, motivated, and connected. And those are four things that I’ve always found vital to a writer’s process!
- Then… NaNoWriMo. I’ve already posted so many times on NaNo, so I won’t make this post even longer by repeating myself. But long story short, I reached 50k on a brand new project. Something I’ve been unable to do since 2008.
- And, finally, I wrote a short story this December! It’s a literary zombie piece called The Spread, and while I know “literary zombie” may seem like an oxymoron, I swear it’s not just gratuitous blood and gore. It’s about ~3,300 words long and one of my first New Year’s Resolutions is to submit it to every relevant literary publication I can find. I WILL see this piece published! I was really excited to write it and it holds a special place in my heart, being an idea I’ve been kicking around for upwards of 10 years. And I guess after the craze of NaNoWriMo, I could only take so much of a break during December without writing something.
With that, I’m going to close out this blog. It’s been an amazing, crazy year in many respects… although a year that really changed a lot for me. I’m excited to start anew this year and carry over my enthusiasm into 2014, and starting my new blog seems to be a great way to do that.
Thank you all so much for reading and for sticking around this long, if you have. If not, no worries… I know this has been an essay. ;)
You can find my new blog here. It’s been real, LiveJournal!