Tag Archives: critique partners

2011 In Review: Writing

My writing achievements this year were a joke. Such a joke that I’m embarrassed to even share a total word count. It’s laughable.

While I could argue that all the “life events” I was involved in this year had an effect on my ability to find the time to write, it’s not wholly the truth either. I just didn’t have it in me this year.

The beginning of the year was met with the unexpected loss of a critique partner (not loss like death, loss like abandonment). I guess I hadn’t realized what kind of impact that truly had on me until it was months later and I was still dwelling on the why’s rather than moving on.

Then in my attempts to move on, my characters decided to pull a disappearing act on me too, frolicking around in a part of my mind I just couldn’t access. For a long time I begged and pleaded for them to return, even going as far as ignoring other characters from shiny new story ideas, all to try and complete the book I said I’d finish this year. But as more months passed, I finally just gave up. And giving up felt like an overall thing, not that I’d just say bye to that particular book, that I’d say bye to the possibility of being a writer altogether.

Thank God Heather never lets that happen. 

By the time fall was approaching and I had all these pathetic attempts at accumulating a word count all year, I got the writing bug again. Creative juices working overtime in my brain, filling me with a sense of excitement I had forgotten writing had given me before. And I had a startling revelation, one that shouldn’t have been so surprising because people had suggested it to me before, but since I apparently like to live in denial, it was.

I am a seasonal writer.

With fall and winter being my favorite times of the year, my overall demeanor is happier – more at peace and therefore easier to tap into my creative ways. It’s a bit strange, I suppose, since fall and winter are more commonly known to bring on seasonal depression, yet the opposite seems true for me. I might write something of value in my “off” seasons, but it is likely to be in small quantities, hardly worth noting. Fall and winter are where the magic happens for me. Finally accepting this newly discovered trait about myself forced me to make the most of fall this year and finally “move on” to something new.

Cue Crack the Sky

I still love my first story and truly hope to finish it one day, but maybe it was foolish of me to think I was capable of writing an epic fantasy series as my first book. Maybe once I successfully complete a couple standalone novels, revisiting my first series will be easier (and fun again).

I truly hope Crack the Sky stays shiny and bright for me well into the New Year. It’s been a long time since I’ve loved my own work so much. It’d feel really empowering if this time next year I’ve not only finished that book, but started another one!

Writer friends, how did you fare this year writing wise?

2010 in Review: Writing

This year a lot of things changed for me writing wise. Last Christmas I found myself dreading reading my own manuscript because it was extremely long (134,000+ words) and it wasn’t even truly finished. Plus, I knew there was something wrong with it – I just didn’t know what. Still, I forced myself to give it a read and then it sat dormant while plot bunnies ravaged my mind for almost two months straight.

At the end of February I started this journal (in which I’ve made 184 posts on as of this post) with a new direction for my current WIP and it required completely rewriting the story, which I fought for a long time but finally succumbed to a little over a month later. The rewrites have been slow, but definitely worth it in comparison to the product I had in my hands last winter. My writing has improved drastically in the last year and the story has taken such a better turn that I often wonder now why I fought the change so hard (well… I know it’s because I hate change of any sort). I’m not completely finished with it yet, but I intend to be within the next six months and I feel confident that this time when I have the full manuscript in my hands I won’t be scared of it. I will want to read it.

Even though I would have rather finished my book within the first year of beginning it, I’m more proud of the shape it’s taken with time than I would have been if I’d just accepted it as it was last year. Ditching the original version was the best move I could have made. Thank God I didn’t let my stubbornness over change get the best of me.

In 2010 I wrote 66,390 words towards my current WIP. In reality I wrote a lot more than that, but this number reflects what I’m pretty positive will stay in the book. In addition to working on my current WIP I also started a companion novel to the series and wrote several short stories to practice getting the point across in fewer words. Of those short stories I was actually brave enough to post three of them online. For those of you who missed them they can be found here:


Squirrel Territory

The Girl on the Swings

The Christmas Princess

But of all of the writing success I had this year, the biggest one to me was making friends and forming a critique group with Heather aka edgyauthor and Patricia aka poseiwriting. Both of these girls added me on LJ (Heather actually being my first LJ friend aside from my mom) and I am forever grateful for their desire to “know” me. I would have never been brave enough to add them, even if with their appealing nature. Becoming friends with them (and several other aspiring writers as well) has helped me stay guided in a way I couldn’t have imagined. Originally I figured I’d face the writing journey virtually alone, but now I have two people completely dedicated to walking it with me and several others who are hoping to do the same. Being part of a group has somehow empowered me and made the whole writing experience feel more real. I just know that it will only keep me more devoted to truly achieving my goals in 2011 (that and I know they won’t let me just give up because they really want to see the story as whole).

Overall 2010 was a good year for me writing wise, but I’m pretty darn positive that 2011 will be on a whole new level of awesome when it comes to writing. I’m more determined than ever and I don’t accept failure well when I set out to do something.

Writer friends, how was your year in writing?

Peace – Sarah

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Thursday is the New Friday (this week at least)

Four things for ya’ll today :)

First and foremost, Happy Birthday to Anne (aka gracious_anne)! I hope it’s been fantabulous :)

Second, I have the next three days off of work and I’m ecstatic! Sure, tomorrow is going to be spent trying on brides maids dresses which I’m not exactly ready for, but it will be nice to see my sister and she’ll be trying on wedding dresses too so hopefully it won’t be all that bad. If pictures turn out okay, I’ll be sure to share. Plus, there are plans to go to a Haunted House Saturday with our neighbors and I really hope we actually end up doing so. It’s been too long since I’ve been to a Haunted House and the last time I went to the one we’re going it was AWESOME!

Third, what makes me even MORE ecstatic (and has been all week) is that I’m now part of a crit group along with Heather (aka edgyauthor (who was already my crit partner)) and Patricia (aka poseiwriting). We’re currently calling ourselves “The Ring,” though I’m not sure that will hold? Heather’s comment behind it sold me completely though… and I quote: “When people ask, “What, like the movie?” we can respond in our best creepy-voice, “No, SCARIER, because we’re WRITERS.”” It’s so true!

Anyway, I’m super stoked to have a solid support ring and hope that it only encourages me more to finally finish this darn novel and release it to them. Their excitement over just the synopsis means the world to me and I really hope to not disappoint in the end!

Fourth, yesterday Rachel Hawkins (author of the HEX HALL series) announced an ARC giveaway for DEMONGLASS (HEX HALL Book 2) HERE in honor of “Small Son’s” 5th Birthday. I entered (naturally) and you should too! The cover is awesome and I already read book 1 and LOVED it – one of my favorite books of the year honestly. You won’t be disappointed. The contest is only open to the US (sorry everybody else), but there are 5 ARC’s being given away and all you have to do is hit enter to win on Goodreads.

Alright, that’s all for the night. Now I really need to try and finish this Halloween short story so I can actually post it in the next three days for you guys!

Peace – Sarah

P.S. A really inappropriate plot bunny will NOT leave me alone these days. That ever happen to you guys? Something you DEFINITELY wouldn’t write following you around like a sick puppy?

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