A Look Back, and Ahead

In 2011, I had 52 articles published (mostly news related), and made 39 blog posts. So that is one article a week, and almost that much for blog posts. Thanks to everyone for the encouragement and challenge along the way!

I am looking forward to two writing conferences in 2012, and I hope I can maintain and even better my record from last year. I would like to have more personal essays published, work on a novel, and just get better as a writer.

And I would love to have a new camera and improve my photography skills.

What are your (writing) goals for 2012?

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Writing Limbo

I’m at that weird and awkward place in my writing career that reminds me of getting a new job when you’re fresh out of school.

I have made a lot of growth and progress as a writer, met fantastic people and written about interesting things. But everything I have done is mostly short. Magazine articles, newsletters, book reviews, profiles, and more. At least, that’s all I have had published.

I would like to have something longer-like a book- published, but this is where it gets awkward. Even if I have a complete manuscript ready, most publishers prefer that you have already written and published a book. The same goes for various organizations who provide grants for writers. You need a book credit to your name to prove that you are worthy of their money. I can understand where they coming from, that they don’t want their money wasted on someone who ultimately is not committed to meeting the goal of publication, but it is like trying to get your first job. You need to have experience in order to get the job but you can’t get experience without the job. Frustrating.

So here I am, with teens in the house, trying to get my “first job”. And about the only way to have that happen without some Divine Intervention is to plug away down at the bottom and work your way up. So that is why I am considering having a book published for free…

I have found a local organization that is soliciting local writers to submit children stories for kids under age 5, and they will print them at no cost to the author, and then distribute all 2000 of them. Sounds like a good idea to me. I will learn a lot more about collaborating with an illustrator, and putting together dummies (a set of model book pages). I will indeed learn from the bottom up what goes into making a book. I will meet many like-minded people along the way and build mutually beneficial relationships.

That’s not to say I don’t believe in Divine Intervention- I do! Heartily! Because sometimes Divine Intervention is low-key, and I need to have eyes to recognize it- like seeing an opportunity with a small local publisher…

Right at Home

Sitting six feet from the woodstove and seeing snowflakes gently falling to the ground outside as I ponder words at my desk is an amazing feeling. I am so glad for those around me who helped me decide to give up my secure job as an Office Admin at Home Hardware to pursue my love of writing.

I am feeling right at home during this time of transition. Even though the paycheque is a little thin right now, it is worth the gains along the way- even little things like sitting six feet from the woodstove.