Celebrating 2014 Writing Successes

I can’t believe that it is almost 2015. The holidays seemed to fly by this year and it seems like it was just Halloween a week ago. Maybe it was the wacky weather here in Minnesota and the fact that winter showed up in early November and then it felt and looked like fall last week while I was finishing my Christmas shopping. Maybe it is because I worked on Christmas Carol for the last two months so I’ve been in the land of Christmas since November 6.

As I look back on 2014 I have a lot to be proud of. I feel like I’m making decisions in my writing career that will set me up for success in the future.

Children’s author Julie Hedlund, challenged participants of her 12 Days of Christmas for Writers series to post SUCCESSES (rather than resolutions) on our blogs this year. She believes the way New Year’s resolutions are traditionally made come from a place of negativity – what DIDN’T get done or achieved in the previous year. Instead, she suggests we set goals for the New Year that BUILD on our achievements from the previous one. I decided to participate in this Anti-Resolution Revolution! Here is my list for 2014.

Wrote 12 Picture Book Manuscripts for 12×12 in 2014.

Came up with 32 ideas for PiBoIdMo. That’s 32 ideas I can use 12×12 in 2015.

Posted manuscripts for feedback in the 12×12 forums. This was huge for me because I prefer to get feedback from people who I know in real life. I have had the experience of one well meaning comment on other online critique forums kill my story. But the comments from people on 12x were extremely helpful in making my story better.

Attended the Iowa SCBWI conference. This was such a fun conference and a great opportunity to meet new people.

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Attended  Molly Beth Griffin’s Picture Book Writers’ Salon when my schedule allowed

Moved my blog. After years of blogging on blogger, the blog I started 10 years ago as a place to write down my thoughts wasn’t the right place to build my author platform so I finally made the decision to move my blog.

Ordered business cards. No more going to events and not having a business card to hand someone I’ve made a connection with. Now I have business cards. Yay!

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Took a copywriting course and a copyediting course.

Participated in Julie Hedlund’s How to Make Money as a Writer course.

Began offering freelance copywriting, proofreading, and editing services and actually had clients! I am so excited by the support I’ve gotten from friends and how willing they were to use my writing services.

Began offering writing and editing services through fiverr.

Took myself on more artist dates. I made more trips to art museums and theaters this year in an effort to keep finding inspiration.

After years of being an amazing air guitarist, air drummer, and air pianist I purchased a ukulele and am learning how to play. I’m considering this a writing related thing because it is obviously providing research for characters in my YA and Middle Grade WIPs

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Announcing my gigs on fiverr

Announcing my gigs available on fiver.

I recently started offering copywriting, proofreading, and editing gigs on fiverr.

While I have my products and services listed on this site I thought it might be great for people to be able to try out my services through fiverr. Fiverr allows buyers to purchase small gigs for $5.

Since I’m just getting started on fiverr I am only able to charge $5 but once I reach the next level I’ll be able to add gig extras, which would allow me to charge more.

I’d love it if you’d check out my gigs on fiverr

PiBoIdMo Update

In all the hustle and bustle that comes with working in theater during the holidays I haven’t had much time to update.

But the important thing is that I finished PiBoIdMo with 32 ideas. Success!

The last two times I did NaNoWriMo I did not finish the month with 50,000 words. Looking over those drafts I see that I must have gotten busy halfway through the month and stopped writing. But with PiBoIdMo that didn’t happen. I made it through the whole month.

While there were people getting hundreds of ideas I’m pretty excited about my 32. I also really like this practice of writing down these quick little ideas.

As November ended and December began with all of its advent calendars and 10:30 student matinees of Christmas Carol I found myself still having ideas pop into my head and want to be written down. Guess what, I wrote them down. Of course these ideas didn’t count towards my November idea total but it made me think about the overall benefits of PiBoIdMo.

When I first did NaNoWriMo it was because I wanted to become a more disciplined writer. I wanted to know what it would be like to write 1667 words a day. The habits I learn about writing 1667 words a day during the Novembers I do NaNoWriMo really stick with me for a while and even though my NaNo efforts haven’t gone on to become the next Water For Elephants I really do think my writing improves when I focus on achieving a small (ok large) daily goal.

Coming up with 30 (or 32!) ideas in 30 days has helped me grow as a writer. It has opened the idea faucet.  It has given my mind the time and practice to think about ideas and where they come from. It has gotten me in the habit of letting my mind wander while I try to cook up fun story ideas.

Did you spend November doing PiBoIdMo, NaNoWriMo, or some other challenge? How did it go? Have your new habits spilled into December?