It’s closing in on the end of an eventful year in words for me.
I finished the second draft of my first novel, “Alexander’s Tail”, and ended up setting it aside to await the strength of will I feel I need to tackle another significant rewrite. In reviewing the existing draft with friends and acquaintances helping with beta reads, I realized that I have to make some choices between writing for safety and writing the story that wants to be written before I begin the next draft.
In order to continue learning this craft I did three things. First, I set out an educational path that includes self study as well as an individualized curriculum from the Loft Literary Center. I continue to enjoy both, but have to acknowledge that there is nothing like learning face to face from a professional. Second, I challenged myself with the NaNoWriMo experience. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It was created as a nonprofit more than ten years ago and is an online group challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November. The idea is to show young and young at heart writers what it takes to be a writer. Namely, you have to put words on paper. On November 29th I “won” NaNo by officially breaking the 50,000 word goal. By completing this challenge I also created a very rough draft of my second novel, “The Psychology of Choosing”. I’m excited about its potential. The third thing I did was make a commitment to participate in at least four writing contests in 2014. The ultimate goal of this is to become published in a format such as short story or poetry. My first contest is a 24 hour short story contest on January 11th. Wish me luck and send me coffee for that day!
I often have the time between Christmas and New Year off work and have spent it at a cabin near Lake Superior for the past eight years or so. It tends to be a cold and quiet time, lacking in connectivity and inviting self reflection. Sometimes I reread journals from past years. This year I’m going to be reading this book and gathering more ideas for making the most of the potential 2014 will be offering.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Make each morning the beginning of a totally new day and the first day of the rest of your life.