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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?