This year felt like a bit of a flop for me, as a writer that is. The reason it felt this way is that I didn’t have any new books published or accepted for publication. I didn’t win any writing awards or competitions. There were no obvious ‘successes.’ And this was the first year in many that this has happened to me.
When we experience this (as most writers do at some time), it’s all too easy to think of ourselves as a failure, and that’s how I was beginning to feel. This is when it’s tempting to give up and forget writing altogether. After all, it’s already challenging to find the time, energy and willpower to continue writing in the highly competitive book industry. Put that together with running a business and raising a family, and it seems almost impossible.
Needless to say, when I received today’s challenge in the 12 Days of Christmas for Writers I inwardly groaned. Write a whole page of successes for the year? What? I would be lucky enough to jot down two. But as I started thinking, and writing, I ended up with a list of over 20 successes. As I was writing I realised that success as a writer doesn’t just mean getting a publishing contract, but making steps towards it, working on your craft, learning, growing, presenting and getting excited about the unexpected surprises, like having my chapter book series published in the UK.
So, the reason I’m sharing this list of 2017 successes is to show you that success comes in many forms and it’s worthwhile and motivating to think about and acknowledge them.
Here’s my list:
- Outlined my first crime novel
- Chapter book series published internationally
- Attended an editing workshop with an editor from a major publishing house and plucked up the courage to gain feedback on my story opening
- Successfully applied for and ran library writing workshops for the Summer Reading Club program
- Submitted a reworked manuscript for a new chapter book series to my publisher and then received a request for a series proposal
- Submitted the series proposal
- Reworked my YA novel and accepted an offer of a critique from a good writing friend
- Attended a workshop to learn more about presenting writing workshops for kids
- Requested feedback from my author talks and workshops that I added to my testimonials
- Put in multiple submissions for my YA novel
- Ran author talks and workshops – expanding time spent and number of students presented to
- Learned about the Story Grid structure and started using it
- Applied for my first travel grant for writing
- Investigated further study options for writing
- Received a lovely acknowledgement for my work editing a client’s short story collection in his published anthology
- Sent a screenplay in to a competition and received positive feedback
- Offered to run a workshop on getting your books into bookstores which will be scheduled for 2018
- Received unexpected income from my books
- Undertook a mentorship on how to set up an online course and created the course and writing school for tween and teen writers
- Entered the Pitch Wars contest
- Was invited as a guest author at Romancing the Stars and presented to teachers, librarians, writers and readers at the event
- Taught students and teachers in Laos how to write a story in English
What are your 2017 successes?