My Year in Review….. What I learned about my writing self.

Goodbye 2013. Hello 2014. I’m looking forward to next year. I have four books coming out in 2014. Four. Four full length novels, two of them under the name Ginger Jamison. It’s going to be an exciting year.

This year was exciting. I saw the publication of my first book, Dangerous Curves Ahead. I got offered a contract with Harlequin. I wrote my first novella. I got some really good thoughtful reviews.

I also wrote. A lot. 2013 is probably the year I wrote the most.But I’m not necessarily saying that that was a good thing for me. Three of the four books that are coming out next year I wrote this year. Plus the novella. And I had edits, torturous edits. Though my writing, in my opinion, got sharper and I managed to write upwards of 7000 words a day. There was a time when it wasn’t fun. When it felt like work. Like it felt like I had taken on way too much. And maybe I did. I burned myself out.

I only read five books this year. Five! That’s nothing for me. There was a time in my life when I was reading a new book every other day. But I didn’t read because I didn’t have time to. I had to write. HAD to. My laptop was a permanent accessory. It was chained to my arm. I had no life. I missed happy hours and day trips. I bailed on dinners and wrote for hours and hours on vacation. I was a shitty friend. I was an absent daughter and sister. But I had to put out good books.

Some people would scoff and say “But your published. Poor you, that’s a problem that we all would like to have.” I would tell those people to suck it. A whole other set of stress, problems and responsibilities comes along with that contract. Plus I work. Full time. In a job you can’t half ass. I’m not complaining. I wouldn’t go change anything that happened last year. I’ve had a great experience with both publishers. I’m just telling you my story and  that I learned a lot about myself in the process.

1. When under extreme stress and a deadline I can write half a novel in four days.

2. I have a really hard time writing endings. It might be because I love being in that world so much that I don’t want to leave it. Or it could be because I just suck at writing them.

3. I really, really, really hate being edited. I hate the whole freaking process. I don’t care what anybody says. Yes, I know the book is twenty-five times better when I’m finished with it, but I hate it. I dread getting my editorial letter. I probably always will.

4. People who give me unsolicited advice about publishing and my career or think they know everything really annoy me. (Okay, so maybe I didn’t learn that this year.) (I also have to stop myself from telling people the reason they aren’t published yet is because they spend more hours playing stupid Facebook games than they do writing. And to not bitch about it.)

5. I need to plan my non writing time. I need to be social and hang out with friends and flirt with cute boys.

6. It’s okay for me to take a break from writing. I took nearly two months and not because I planned to, but because I was so fried I didn’t have any other choice. It helped. I needed to recharge my brain.

7. The best way (for me) to get back into writing is just to write. To make myself sit down in a chair and write. And to talk about/brain storm with somebody who’s not a writer. And to be around other writers because they inspire me.

What about you? How was your year? What did you learn about yourself?

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3 thoughts on “My Year in Review….. What I learned about my writing self.”

  1. WOW, Sugar. Good for you. That is a lot of growth–both as a writer and a person! I’ve had a similar breakthrough–or break-down, LOL. It’s easy to burn yourself out in this job, so the big thing I learned this year is to pace myself and to try to keep enjoying the process. I’ve also learned to celebrate my successes and focus on those rather than what I haven’t achieved. My big plan for the coming year, other than publishing two novels, is to live in the moment, enjoy the process, and not get so hung up on the outcome of everything. In the grand scheme of the Universe, my writing–or not writing isn’t likely to change the world:-)

  2. Though I didn’t get published this year, I had a milestone year and learned some of the same things you did (namely, I can write A LOT when I have to). I finished a book (major progress right there), got a contract for the book, then got an agent who told me to turn down the contract and have spent the months since working with said agent to whip this book into shape. The book is now a million times better (and boy am I glad I didn’t let someone publish the earlier version) but I pretty much spend all my spare time writing. Case in point: my big plans for New Year’s Eve include a glass of wine and trying to finish up what turned out to be almost a total rewrite so I can send my agent the new version on Jan. 2.

    A few months ago, my husband actually had the nerve to say, “Be careful what you wish for.” But it is exciting nonetheless and I’m hoping 2014 is the year I do get published. So here’s to 2014 for all of us! May we get what we wished for!

  3. Sorry the results weren’t better after all the effort you put in. But it’s all a learning process, right?
    I’m no where near where you are so I can’t give you any hints o=r suggestions. Only know I’m right here with you to offer support. You’re a good writer and don’t ever forget that – please. Keep it up and sooner or later you’ll get what you’re striving for. :)

    Have a wonderful new year!

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