Year In Review

I just read through a post by Brandon Sanderson, which was extremely long, and was basically an overview of what he got done this year.

It gave me a few moments of panic and self-doubt. He’s turning 40 this year and has already been publishing books for 20 years. It’s easy for me to regret that I’m not further along than I am with my writing career. I mean I have been writing since the second grade. I wish I had realized earlier what I could do with that. Or that, at least, I had put a little more focus and discipline into it.

But then who knows what my world would look like if I had. I’d like to assume I would still be in a good place, but who knows what turn my depression may have taken had I not ended up at Advantage Ranch. I might not have gained the mental fortitude to get through the process of writing a book, and so I would have ended up writing my whole life without ever being able to stay with something long enough to make it good.

And, because I like making lists, here’s what I accomplished this year in the Storyteller:

I spent January through June working on the first revision pass of The Storyteller. It taught me a lot about my process and even ended up spitting out an improved rough draft.

I then took a month off. It was good to do, and I struggled a lot with what to write about on my blog when I wasn’t talking about what writing I was doing.

At the beginning of July I made a new plan to read through my story and add notes about everything that needed to be tweaked and changed without actually doing any of the changes yet. I was a little overwhelmed by how much I felt like wasn’t done. I had to do a lot of self encouragement during this time (and it helped that I went to Writer’s Digest in the middle for support from other writers)

The end of July and beginning of August was a lot of travel for Otakon, Writer’s Digest, and then a horse show in Florida. It really wiped me out. I got back on track by using Dungeons & Dragons to flesh out my character and their fighting styles.

At the beginning of September I refocused my plan. The plan only lasted two weeks until I decided part of my process is repeatedly going back to the beginning of my book to clean it up. So I stopped trying to fight it, and embraced it instead.

So I got through my revision of the first half of the book, and made the plan to completely rewrite the second half of the book during NaNoWriMo. I did that and I spent up until today putting what I wrote in order and ironing it out.

The plan from here is to go over the story once more and make sure everything is ironed down before I give it over to my husband on the first of the year for an alpha read. My husband is great at plot and pacing, so that should help to tell me what I’ll need to do next.

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