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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