Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Year in Review

It's blog chain time again and with the holidays upon us we're doing a jingle chain which means that we are blogging outside of our usual order and on whatever topic strikes our fancy. This time the blog before mine in the chain is Abi's and the one after is Elana.

Christmas is over and the New Year quickly approaches. A new year means three things: 1. Making Resolutions 2. Making plans for New Years Eve and 3. Reading endless lists that review the past year and its high and lows for movies, TV, music, books, pop culture, and anything else that magazine and newspaper editors can think of.

I already have the first two covered (Continue writing for number 1 and cooking for family and then chilling with friends are my plans for number 2.), but number three is one that I haven't really tackled yet, and it deserves to be considered because while my main goal of being agented and published was not accomplished, I took so many other little steps in the right direction that it's hard to chalk the year up as a loss.

So, without further ado here is my 2008 writing year in review.

1. Elana in her post after mine began by talking about not being in the writing closet. Well, last year at this time I was in the closet. The only person who knew I was writing was my husband. Besides him I hadn't mentioned it to my best friend, mom, or any of my four sisters. I think mostly it was not believing in myself and what I was doing. It was my husband who finally outted me and over this past year he, my friends, my sister Amanda and even my Mother-in-Law have read my novel. Now I know the opinions of friends and family are not to be trusted since that whole love thing tends to cloud their judgement - nonetheless when they told me they enjoyed it, laughed out loud, or read half of it in one day - well those were great moments.

2. My education in publishing. Finding QueryTracker, agentquery, Miss Snark and the world of agent blogs, author blogs, and editor blogs meant hours of staring at my computer screen. Clicking, clicking, clicking. Reading, reading, reading. There were actually so many resources out there that I was at times overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information available to me. At the end of it though I had an idea of how to write a query letter, knew who to send it to and who would want sample pages or a synopsis along with it.

3. Send out query letter. Wait. Receive rejection. Pull self off floor. Send out more query letters. Wait. Receive request for partial or a full. Do dance of joy. Wait some more. Have partial or full rejected. Lick wounds until they start to heal. Start new novel and then just hope and wait some more.
At any of these points I could have given up. Hell at every one of these points I wanted to give up. I didn't give up.

4. Receiving an honorable mention in the Bookends Blog first 100 words contest. It was a small thing, but it was a bright spot during a time when a lot of rejections where rolling in.

5. Joining my first crit group - the Passionate Critters. This was my first chance to get unbiased crits from other writers. It also felt it was another step in the direction of getting really serious about writing. Also, I made my first writing friends.

6. Starting my blog. Soon after joining Passionate Critters at the urging of some of the other members I started this blog. Now I wasn't just announcing my intentions of being a writer to my family and friends, but to the whole worldwide web.

7. Soon after starting the blog the blog chain began. I thought it would be a way to get myself to post more on my blog and find a larger readership, but I got something even better out of it - wonderful, special, and amazing writing friends who I don't know how I ever lived without them.

8. Getting close to finishing my second novel. It took me a couple of false starts, but by July I had settled on my Urban Fantasy WIP and have been slowly chipping away at it ever since. There was a part of me after finishing my first novel that didn't know if I could do it again, but now I know that there is no magic in it - only making the time to write and then making myself do it.

9. RallyStorm. Another place to hang out with my online friends? Awesome.

I was going to find a number 10, but I have a cold that is shutting down the part of my brain where I stored that one, and besides it's always nice to leave something for next year.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this year - I can't wait to spend the next one with all of you too!


  1. And I am coming out of the closet in 2009 thanks to you and others I have found in 'blogworld' just like you. I thoroughly enjoyed your post and it has sent me on a review of my own (it may take me a few days to post it). Happy 2009.

  2. Excellent post :) Coming out is hard to do :) especially if you write romance, like I do. Romance is kind of looked down on, even among writers. One of my New Year's goals is to totally own the fact that I am a writer and yes! write romance!! :D Hope your new year is spectacular! :)

  3. I'm glad you outed yourself and that we got to know each other. Have a great 2009!

  4. Awesome post Kate. It's amazing what we can do in a year. I was in the closet at this time last year, too. :)

  5. Kate-
    Fabulous post! I totally understand the "in the closet" thing. Actually, even though I also now have a blog, I think I'm only partially out of the closet. But I am thankful for all of the friendships that Query Tracker, RallyStorm, and blogging have brought me throughout this year.

    I'm looking forward to make a few resolutions on writing myself this New Year. Hope you have a wonderful one!

  6. What a banner year for you! And what a great idea for a post topic. :D

  7. You've had a great year.
    I'm sure '09 will be just as fascinating!! Keep up the work! Write, write, write!

  8. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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  9. Margaret - Congrats on coming out of the closet!

    Elana- I can't believe you were ever in it!

    Sheralle - Thanks for the comment, glad to know you're reading and enjoying my blog!

  10. Happy New Year - and I think this is going to be great year! :)

  11. I'm so excited about 2009. I have such a strong feeling that we'll be dealing with some wonderful changes for us all!!

  12. Happy New Year, Kate. This is going to be a good year. It's more fun here, outside the writer's closet.