It’s the 5th of January and all around the country decorations are coming down and people are returning to work. Christmas is well and truly over so as I sit down to write December’s ‘What I’m Writing’ round-up it feels all wrong. December was so long ago! It was last year! And given that the last #WhatImWriting was on 16th December – before school broke up and festivities completely overtook everything – I feel like I’m trying to round-up things we all did and said in a previous life.
But that’s silly. Mid-December was only a few short weeks ago and actually, what better time to do do a round-up? To look backwards now before we all launch ourselves forwards again? So here goes:
December was a great month for ‘What I’m Writing’ with a whole host of great, inspiring, thought-provoking, sympathetic, sharing and encouraging posts, so thank you so much everyone who linked up. We also had two new linkers last month – Rachael from Honest Speaks and Dana from Writing at the Table – so a big welcome to them!
Last month certainly brought positivity with Reneé sharing exciting news of her book sales (she published Become the Best You at the end of November) having achieved #47 in the Amazon self help section – yippee! She also wrote of the support she received from the online community which was great to hear.
Meanwhile, Iona described a lovely experience she’d had when her young daughter read and gave feedback on the manuscript she’s writing, Carol had made excellent progress with her writing through a ‘no procrastination day’, and Sara was wondering – for the first time ever – about developing a short fictional piece into something longer . Exciting times!
As you’d expect from writers there was also a lot of pondering on all sorts of issues. Sophie wondered how to structure her novel which takes place in two distinct time periods, Morgan was considering giving up her novel to focus on her blog (we convinced her not to!) and Rachael asked ‘what makes a writer?’ – a really interesting debate!
There were creative struggles too: Chrissie wrote about her ‘confused muse’, a recent rejection inspired me to write my ‘ten top tips for overcoming rejection’ and Reneé wrote about the crash that came after her exciting book launch. But such downs are a part of the writing life as Emily acknowledged in a post in which she interviewed Rachael Lucas (whose two books have been a huge success) about ‘The Highs and Lows of Writing’ – they happen to us all!
Despite the downs, ‘onwards and upwards’ was a definite theme with Emily and Sophie both researching their third books and Adria sharing the wonderful idea (about NaNoWriMo) that if you’ve been inspired and written anything, then you’ve won. Dana was also moving on with her writing and described her novel as a beloved albatross that was finally starting to take flight after literally being locked in a safe for five years! And in a very useful post Iona shared what she’d learnt at a recent conference about ‘getting published’ – motivation for us all.
Nikki wrote an incredibly moving post on ‘The Moment that Changed Everything’. It’s a stand alone post in terms of theme and so touching that I’m giving it it’s own paragraph. A powerful musing on awful moments where everything in life shifts.
As we moved towards the end of the year, there was a lot of reflecting on the year gone by and in the loved-up spirit of Christmas I wrote about how much the online writing community has meant to me this year. Sara was also reflective in a post that celebrated her blog’s second birthday and a year that she described as ‘all about writing’. Chrissie shared a very impressive spreadsheet of all the writing she’d done throughout the year (in a later post she also shared a blank spreadsheet that we can all download and use ourselves – thanks Chrissie!) and some impressive targets for next year.
Looking forward to 2015, Aimee shared the sad news that she was winding up her Pass the Gin blog… but for the great reason that she wants to concentrate on her writing, Carol shared an opportunity that was ‘stepping out of the wings’ for her to seize, and Chrissie wrote a great positive piece about how she’s going to take on this year. She channelled her daughter’s determination to go to a party to encourage us all not to fear rejection: ‘If you don’t ask about the party, you won’t get to go to the party’ – so true.
As I look forward to 2015 that sounds like a wonderful analogy for my writing intentions and goals – I hope we all spend 2015 asking about the party and that by the end of the year we’ve all donned our dancing shoes and are boogying away on the dance floor!
Happy New Year!