Book clubs, story sales, and revisions, oh my! A 2017 wrap-up.

Okay, I know it’s already 2018, don’t @ me.

2017 brought a lot of change to the way I write and the way I look at writing. That means it’s time for some reflection. This year I wrote over twenty short stories and I’m up to around seventy submissions (yikes!). 2017 was also the first year I’d ever written, revised, and submitted short fiction, so I’m excited to see what 2018 brings.

This year I also revised, queried, and shelved a manuscript–and now I’m deep in the revision quagmire for my latest project.

If 2017 taught me anything, it’s to hold nothing precious. If something isn’t working, making something new.

A side note: It’s been about two years since I had to do a revision this extensive. You know how mothers say they often forget the pain of childbirth? Well, I think this writer forgets the pain of revisions. Ouch. Everything hurts and my characters are rude.

In 2017, I met some writer friends I am so thankful for. And I finally met two critique partners I click with and absolutely trust. They’ve pushed my writing to be so much better in such a short time, and I don’t think I’d be surviving revision hell right now if it weren’t for them.

Now, I’m the first person guilty of getting a little doom-and-gloom sometimes, so for this post, I just want to look back at some of the things I’m happy about.

I had my first professional sale!! This is probably the one I am most over the moon about. I can’t quite believe it. I’ve sold a flash story to Flash Fiction Online, which is a SFWA qualifying pro-market I am obsessed with. When I created this website over the summer my goal was to keep track of my writing credits with the hopes of someday having a pro-sale, but I never imagined it would come so soon. This was the seventh story I submitted to FFO and it’s very close to my heart. You can read it here.

I started a book club! This is the newest development, and one I’m a little bit surprised about. It stemmed from my desire to have a community to read with. In-person book clubs have never worked with me or my schedule, so I made an offhand post on facebook asking if anyone would want to be a part of an online book club. I imagined that maybe five or six people would. Imagine my surprise when over thirty people said they’d be interested! We’re using the Facebook group function since it’s fairly straightforward, and the book club already decided the month’s genre. Our book for the month of January is going to be BEASTS MADE OF NIGHT by Tochi Onyebuchi. The book club is open to anyone, so if you’d like people to read with, feel free to jump right in!

I read thirty books! This was a big one for me. Reading is so essential to improve writing but I never had time for it in college. After I graduated in April, I read twenty-five books. This is the first year I’ve actually beaten my Goodreads challenge! I think next year, I’ll be setting the goal at forty books.

2017 kicked my ass, but it also handed me some much needed tiny victories. Here’s to 2018!

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