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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

It's a Tough Year, Already!

Well, even though 2014 has just begun, I have to say that so far, I am not a fan! I ended the year on rather a high-note. In November I was able to attend the Northwest Writer's Retreat hosted by ANWA. I have been there two other times and love it each time. It's a chance to meet up with old friends and make new ones. There is always a key note speaker and this year it was Angela Morrison, author of "Taken By Storm," and "Sing Me To Sleep." She was wonderful and taught me some wonderful ideas and gave me the lift I needed to get going with my writing again. The other highlight was being able to teach a break out session class. I taught about writing short stories and the class was well attended. it was fun to share about the things I learned while getting my own short story published.
Angela Morrison
In December I was able to attend my friend, and fellow author, Michelle Wilson's book signing for "Does This Insecurity Make Me Look Fat." This event was also a boost as she challenged me to sign up for an upcoming conference and to include a pitch session. Whew! I was on cloud nine and ready to conquer the world.
So then 2014 comes along. I was sure this was going to be my year. But instead it seemed like I was being stopped at every angle. i learned that my publishing company was hosting another anthology contest. This one was a mystery, themed "Liar, Liar." I instantly had a story and began feverishly writing to get it done and submitted in time. I wanted to have another story published as I also worked on my manuscript. This would keep the "juices flowing," as they say.
Half way through my writing I learned that the contest had been cancelled as they were focusing on other projects for the year. I was actually sad about it. I thought this story would be perfect and loved the way it was unfolding. I guess I could try to stretch it out and make it into a full manuscript but that is what I'm working on with "Abandoned Grace." (see previous post for more details)
The conference I was planning to sign up for (LDStorymakers) had Orson Scott Card as the key note speaker. How exciting to hear that he was going to be speaking! Well, I waited too long and learned that a special session had been sold out- DOH! Most of the pitch sessions had also been sold out so now I had to make a mad dash to register, only to find out that I couldn't get a membership discount UNTIL my membership actually went through! Aaahh! I feel like I'm in limbo and it's only January 15th.
NW Writer's Retreat in Anacortes, WA
I guess I can learn some valuable lessons through all of this. One, I need to be more punctual when it comes to signing up for conferences I want to attend and two, I need to roll with the punches. If a short story contest gets cut, don't take it as a sign that you are a terrible writer and have no talent. Look at it as another challenge and push to work on the story that I'm most passionate about (Abandoned Grace).
I'm going to try to reboot my brain, put my trust in my talents and abilities, and focus on what makes me the happiest!
I recently attended an meeting for SCBWI and it was mentioned that when you are writing, to just write straight through, no editing, and then set it aside for a few weeks. I think that is a great idea! It will be hard for me, constantly editing as I write, but it might be just what I need to get it done.
Even though 2014 hasn't started out on the firmest ground, I'm determined to make it the best writing year yet!