plugging back in

In the last month I have deliberately unplugged myself. There are so many blogs, message boards, emails, and things other than writing that left me feeling worn out. Now, I’m ready in this last week of 2009 to look at the year in review – both the good and the not so good – to take a deep breath and move forward.

I had a lot of fun during NaNoWriMo. While I did not officially “win” I did write a little over 35,000 words. More than that, the process of stringing together so many words forced me to figure some things out. I can say, for the most part, I know where this WIP is headed – the shape and form of how it will all pull together, the threads that tie in and form the foundation. What a wonderful feeling, now that I am nearing the end – there is a map to follow!

NaNoWriMo also helped me to finish the novella I was working on, each section based on the movements of the Brahm’s requiem. I am revising this work now and I am amazed at how powerful I am finding the writing. It is great to have that moment of “oh my god, I can’t believe that I wrote this!” This novella is now part of my first novel, soon to be resubmitted to an agent who read the first version of the book and offered detailed feedback.

This year has been filled with highs and lows. 2009 marks the first year that I started to actively pursue publication. I queried agents, submitted stories, applied for grants and entered contests. Trust me, I have the rejection letters to prove all of this. In the process of I have learned a great deal. It has been a hard year, a year of learning the ins and outs of writing queries, responding to requests and revision, revision and REVISION.

In the beginning, I would have thought that success had only finite measurements – landing an agent, getting a story accepted, winning top prize in a contest. Now I know that my success in this last year has been different. My success is in building the foundation to my future accomplishment. This year I have found two great writing critique groups – one online and one face to face. I have started working with a mentor, a published literary writer, who provides both insight, encouragement and that push I need to better my craft. I have become friends with amazing writers – including two talented women that I meet with every week to write.

All of this knowledge and these people are necessary for a good writer to get even better. This is what an acknowledgment page is built upon – thanking these fine people for their support and feedback. I didn’t know at the beginning of the year that I was lacking critical elements of success, but now that I have this firm foundation I have new hope for the new year.

I plan to elaborate on all I’ve learned in the coming week. This is just my “I’m back” post, to give a preview of why I feel so lucky and thankful.

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