Reflections on 2018 and My Keyword for 2019

The end of December and beginning of January is a thoughtful time of year for me. I think back on the previous year, the highlights and achievements, the setbacks and lessons learned. Then I turn to the year that’s beginning to unfold. I ask myself, “What can I accomplish by the end of the year? What do I want to do? How can I continue to embrace the projects and ideals that matter most to me?”

This year, I’m taking that goal-setting to a new level by trying a New Year’s ritual that my friend Leanne Sowul practices. Every January, she chooses a word to guide her decisions, intentions, and actions for the next 12 months. In that way, it becomes a sort of theme for her year. And knowing what I’ll be up to in the near future, I’ve chosen my own word to be my touchstone for 2019.

Before I share that word, let’s put 2018 into perspective.

Continue reading

Chronicling The Craft: Six Writing Lessons I Learned While Working On My WIP

chronicle-six-lessons-banner

Chronicling The Craft is a series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE. These articles alternate between a) progress updates and fun “TKC-related” content, and b) revising / editing tips. Today we finish our celebration of the end of Draft #3 with a tips-oriented post.

Working on a novel is a learning experience in and of itself. You’ll make right and wrong decisions, figure things out, and find ways of improving the story. You’ll also absorb tips away from the WIP via blog articles, workshops, and literary conferences. That “self-teaching” can double – or even triple – your knowledge about writing between Day 1 of Draft #1 and The End of Draft #3. And after wrapping up my WIP’s third draft, I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve learned about the craft of writing and about myself as a writer.

So, the last Chronicle for Draft #3 isn’t exactly a tips-oriented post. Instead, it’s a retrospect of discoveries I’ve made since I started working on The Keeper’s Curse (or TKC). Perhaps these lessons might help you on your own writing journey (or maybe you’ve already embraced them). Then, at the end, I’d love to know what you have learned about yourself or your process from any of your writing projects. 🙂
Continue reading

Guest Blogging Today at Wendy Lu Writes

Wendy Lu Writes log

Today I’m visiting Wendy Lu Writes to offer words of encouragement for slow writers. Inspired by my own personal frustrations with my writing “speed,” this article talks about boosting your productivity as a writer as well as embracing your unique writing process. Why both? Because as much as we want to write faster or be more efficient, we can’t criticize ourselves. Think of it as “self-compassion” for the writer. 😉

Click here to read “A Pep Talk for Slow Writers.”

By the way, Wendy is one of my colleagues at DIY MFA, and a fantastic writer. She covers a wide range of interests at her own site, from writing and current events, to food and makeup. If any of those topics pique your interest, make sure to check out her other articles.