|Our surprise addition to our menagerie. Her favorite place to sit is on me while I type.|
Once all the dust resettled, I did manage to sign up for Julie Hedlund's 12 days of Christmas program--12 days of inspirational exercises for writers.
Day two's exercise included writing our surprises for the last year. On day three, we wrote about our successes, with the added prompt to blog about them--a thought I loved. So, here are my surprises and successes for 2015:
- Had three separate agents express interest in pitches and queries
- Had an agent ask me to write an article for a blog she's involved with
- Realized how much I like the agents I meet and want to be friends with them all
- Understood an entire conversation in basic Spanish
- Received an honorable mention for my Halloweensie story
- Realized I really like writing for older children as well
- Adopted a kitten my husband found in the gutter
- Narrowed down three strong picture book manuscripts
- Wrestled my historical-fiction middle grade novel into a revisable edition
- Wrote a picture book draft every month
- Revised picture book drafts every month
- Jotted down an idea for a new middle grade fantasy novel
Then came day four: Write your disappointments for 2015 (max at five), then make a big inner critic judgement about them, followed by a sound judgement. Whew, here are my five:
- Twitter pitch got favorited, but MS rejected: I can write a pitch but not a story: If I can write an interesting pitch, I can write an interesting story.
- Manuscript requested based on query, but MS ultimately rejected: This story is never going to work: If I can write a query, I can find a way to rewrite my MS.
- Haven't found the right fix for the middle section of my middle grade novel: I just can't write: I have a good beginning and an interesting ending, which means I will find a middle.
- Wasted too much time on social media: I have no discipline: I made valuable connections, which helped me learn more about the craft of writing.
- Had too many days where I wondered why I was still writing when so many better writers are out there: I just don't have what it takes: Who cares, I am writing the stories only I can write.
There you have it. Perhaps if any of you are stuck in a similar place, these exercise might help. Give it a shot and good luck. And a very Happy New Year to all.
P.S. An excellent video to start off your new year: