Posts Tagged ‘NARWA’
Jan. 10 will be here before I know it. That means it’s time to craft my goals for the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival.
But before I do that, I feel a need to create some writing resolutions for 2011.
2010 was a very successful year for me. I wrote more than 180,000 words, entered the Golden Heart in not one but two categories, successfully completed the NaNoWriMo with a 53,000-word story and scored my first-ever contest final.
In 2011, I want to build on that success and keep the momentum going. After all, I’m now less than a year away from the big 4-0 (the arbitrary date I set for myself to get published).
But how? That’s a very good question. I wish I knew the answer — but I don’t. All I can do is try to set some goals for myself.
— Keep writing. I wrote 180K+ in year because I sat down to write most days. I can’t say every day, mind you. However, I did write more often than not. I treated writing like a day job … a part-time one, at least. I took myself to Starbucks (where, until July, I did not have access to the Internet. Am I the only one who thinks free WiFi at the Bux is a bad idea?)
— Continue my search for the right agent. At our last NARWA meeting, I stated the intention to send out at least two queries a week. Hopefully my agent search will become easier in April, after I final in the Golden Heart. (A girl’s nothing without her dreams, right?) Speaking of GH dreams, I already requested the week of Nationals as a vacation week so I can go when I final. 😉
— Finish the first draft on Beth & Cody’s story.
— Edit Kenny & Kristi, my NaNo novel. I started reading through it again last week and still thought it was excellent … meaning, of course, I haven’t been away from it long enough to see its flaws yet.
— Take at least two online classes/workshops this year, so I can can continue to hone the craft.
— Read more. Writers read. Conventional wisdom says you should read as many books in your genre as you can get your hands on. Now that I’m concentrating so much energy on writing, I don’t read nearly as much as I used to. BW (before writing), I could devour two to three books a week. Now, I’m lucky to finish two a month.
Hopefully, that will change soon. The Boyfriend is getting me an e-reader for Christmas. I’m hoping access to cheaper books will encourage me to read more. (Then again, I have shelves full of still-unread books, and that hasn’t been an encouragement. It just adds to the clutter in my room.)
— Build up this blog. My weight-loss blog is moderately successful, even if my weight-loss efforts have faltered. It’s doing so well that I pulled in more than 1,000 hits for two of the last 12 months. Love & Laughter, on the other hand, gets between 100 and 150.
One big difference is posting frequency. Here, I’ve been lucky to post once a week. There, I sometimes put up multiple entries in a single day.
Any other suggestions for me? What about you? What are YOUR 2011 writing goals?
I doubt this will be my last post of the year (I certainly hope not!), but I thought it was as good a time as any to look back at what I’ve done this year.
That’s right: I was catching up on my Word Count Countdown spreadsheet and realized just how much I’ve gotten accomplished since Jan. 17.
- 185,287 words written
- Wrote one complete series-length manuscript (during NaNoWriMo), finished up one that started the year 1/3 finished, expanded and edited two others; and wrote about 1/3 of my second single title
- Sent out countless query letters and got a few nibbles; haven’t landed an agent yet, though.
- Finaled in the FCRW Beacon contest (waiting to hear on the final results).
- Prepped two Golden Heart entries (one in single title contemporary, one in series contemporary)
- Started — and finished — NaNoWriMo
- Volunteered to judge the GH (am waiting for a judging packet now)
I feel like I’m finally on my way. And I owe it all to the encouragement of my NARWA sisters, the gals at the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood and, of course, Jennifer Ashley, the speaker who somehow lit a fire under my butt at the January NARWA meeting.
Thanks, guys. May we meet on bookstore shelves!
It’s been more than 24 hours and I’m still not over the excitement of learning I’m a finalist in the First Coast Romance Writers Beacon Contest for unpublished writers. (You can see the proof here, in the list of finalists.)
This is especially exciting because it’s my first-ever contest final. Strangely enough, I almost didn’t enter the Beacon. I was already busy thinking about the Golden Heart. But when I saw the deadline had been extended and they were looking for entries in the category I had a manuscript ready in, I decided, “What the heck? Why not?” I had some extra money to pay the entry fee — and I’m glad I did.
The timing couldn’t have been much better: I got the call as I was walking out of the post office, right after shipping off my two GH entries (one of them being “Beauty and the Ballplayer.”)
When my phone started ringing, I almost didn’t answer it because I didn’t recognize the number. (Ah, the wonder of caller ID.) But, being certain it wasn’t a bill collector, I went ahead and picked up the call.
The first thing I did after getting off the phone — and squealing with excitement — was call our chapter president. Then I called another writer friend to share the good news … I also left the Boyfriend a voicemail and posted the news on Twitter and Facebook. I wanted to share it with the world — or at least my little piece of it.
Thanks to everyone who gave me their congratulations so quickly.
What’s next? The Beacon gives finalists a little time to revise before entries are sent to the final judges. I got my judges’ score sheets last night and have had a chance to start digesting the comments. Most were very complimentary … I guess that’s what happens when you’re a finalist! 🙂
I’m having a tough time switching out of NaNo mode to think about revising, though. I’m going to try to do a big push to finish NaNo in the next couple of days, giving me a few extra days to work before the revisions are due on Dec. 3.
I can do it — less than 10,000 words to go! (We’re not going to talk about the fact that I’ve had writer’s block today. That’s only a temporary problem. Heading to the Bux in the morning to get some heavy-duty writing done while the Boyfriend’s at work. I actually think better at Starbucks, I think.)