This is my last writing check in of 2022, which feels surreal. When I started doing writing monthly check-ins for myself in May, it became a way for me to really understand what I accomplished in a month as well as what I could accomplish. With the start of next year, I’m going to review the goals I set for myself this past year. I want to continue to try and achieve the goals I didn’t meet, but I also want to set new goals for myself.
In November, I participated in NaNoWriMo, though for a lot of reasons, I was unable to meet the 50,000 word count goal. Hitting it is a goal I met only once in my life, and I remember feeling really proud at that time, but it was also extremely difficult and taxing. I commend and applaud all the writers who managed to do it. I hope I can join you in the next one and maybe get closer to hitting 50K.
November was a tough month for me, but I still worked on my writing whenever I could. The first week of December, I had a week off of work, and I took on a lighter writing schedule. I didn’t realize how much I needed a week off until I was enjoying the time I had. It is so important to take breaks. Be especially kind to yourself as you finish out this year. I’m glad I was able to take one because now I feel more prepared to finish out the year strong.
Here’s the progress I made on my various projects the past 30 days:
- I wrote 25K words of my novel! I think that is a really good chunk to get finished. I had some days where I was focused on rewriting sections, but ultimately, I’m really excited that I’m entering the final stretch of the book now. If I had to estimate, I would say I have about 14K to go, and I’m hoping to finish this draft before the end of the year.
- I wrote six new poems, and some of them are what I classify as ‘really decent first drafts.’ They’re not finished or polished in any way, but there are lines that really strike me every time I read them, and I’m really excited to see where I can take them. I have to let poetry rest for a bit before I can edit them.
- I rewrote drafts of two short stories that I’ve been working on extensively this year. One story, I’ve been working on for about 2 years (though in reality, I wrote the first draft of it back in 2014), so it’s been with me for awhile. I’m closer to getting it right, but still struggling. I’m on draft 11 of this particular version. I hope it’s nearly done. The other short story I rewrote I wrote the first draft of in April. I’m already on my fifth draft, but it’s better. I was lucky enough to be able to send the first 10 pages to an editor for critique for free, and I’m looking forward to her feedback.
- I plotted another book! Last month, I came up with a new book idea and wrote a loose outline for it and the first 1,000 words. This is not the same book. I actually came up with another idea for a contemporary supernatural romance, and I plotted out the entire first book. If you have been reading my blog, you know I’m a pantser, so plotting out something is really excited. I have three books I want to start writing once I finish my current WIP, so it’s going to be a challenge to decide which one gets written first. I’m excited that I have ideas to fill my writing for a long time to come.
- I continued working on a new short story, but it’s still unfinished. The threads of the story got away from me a little bit, but I’m hoping to be able to go back to it and start over before finishing. This is one I’m going to try and loosely plot to see if it results in a better story.
- I got some amazing editorial feedback. I want to talk more about this in a post about finding your writing community, but I haven’t finished that one yet. Anyway, a lot of popular speculative literary magazines (such as Apex, Uncanny and the Deadlands) often run Kickstarter campaigns to help fund a year of their magazine. I’ve backed all of these at various levels. When they run around the same time, it’s hard to always contribute as much as I want to each of them, but The Deadlands offered poetry critiques in their last Kickstarter, so I backed at that level because I have never had a professional poetry critique before. And let me tell you, it was the most amazing feedback I’ve ever gotten. I received back six pages of notes, from the incredible and amazing editor Romie Stott, and it has been incredibly insightful. I learned so much from that critique, not just about the single piece I edited, but also about the poetry market. It also showed me a way that I could potentially edit my poetry going forward. I wanted to mention this because as writers we should all be seeking out feedback and critiques wherever we can get them. I’ve learned more in the last year about writing by becoming part of an online writing community than I have in the past decade. Readers and writers are invaluable to becoming a better writer.
- I continued to beta read for other writers. I didn’t beta read or crit swap as much this month, just because I wasn’t asked as much. That may have been a good thing because my head wasn’t in the best space to do this the entire month, but I always jump on those whenever I can. One of the hardest parts of being a writer is finding other writers to read your work, so I try to always help other writers out because I’m going to need the same help one day too.
- A poem of mine was published, and I received a copy of the anthology in the mail! That was amazing. I shared the full poem on my blog- Daughter of Water, if you’re interested in reading it.
Once again, I’m pretty happy with how my writing month turned out. I’m glad I wrote new poetry. I’m glad I was able to work on drafts that have been in process. Everything I did brings me closer to being able to share my stories with the world. I really hope everyone had a good writing month. I think December is always a hard month to stay focused too because of the holidays, but I’m going to try and keep plugging away.
Going forward I’m going to post my monthly writing check-ins around the first of the month, but it’s going to go hand in hand in January with my new writing goals for the year. I’m excited to enjoy the rest of this year, slow things down, relax and spend time with my family, but I’m also looking forward to starting a new year, setting new goals and see where my writing journey takes me next.
This is amazing! You were able to do so much, but I’m so glad you were also able to take some time off and really recharge too. You’re an amazing beta-reader/feedback-giver, so I’m glad you got some really insightful feedback on your poetry too. Can’t wait to see what the new year brings you!
Thank you Meredith!! I can’t wait to see what the next year brings you as well!
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That’s a hell of a lot! Glad to hear you’re going to slow things down and recharge for the rest of the year. We all need that
Thank you Reece! I hope you’re able to slow down and recharge too. It’s a good time of year to take a break.
Ahhhh, SO EXCITING about your poetry feedback and feeling really good about it!! I am just so jazzed to see what comes next for you. You’re doing so much (and I hope you recognize that and celebrate it) and I’m just so stoked for you!
I have learned so much and grown so much since I met you!! It’s insane how much you’ve taught me, and I’m so proud of where I’ve gotten and where I am going.
This comment just has me both 😭 and 🥰 at the same time. I am SO proud of you and I am so hopeful for you and your 2023 goals!
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