My 2015 (Writing) Year in Review

Here’s my list of posted story words for the year 2015:

posted-wordcount-2015

The majority of my story writing through January and February was finishing up my 2014 NaNoWriMo endeavor, Highs, Lows, and In-Betweens, which I’m currently editing for another free book. March was a bad month, so we won’t go there. April brought a return to form a little bit, but I made a concerted effort in May to focus on getting back into my game, by writing and posting a vignette per day, which definitely went a long way toward restoring my good feelings about writing. I managed to keep on through the second half of the year despite very little feedback, proof that I don’t need an audience to keep me interested in my characters and universes, a trait I’m finding increasingly more valuable the more I go back and edit my work. Make no mistake: I love feedback, but my stories don’t generate much of it. Despite that, I wrote and posted just over 150,000 story wordsย  in 2015. Not bad for a no-talent hack.

While I know that the numbers truly don’t mean anything, they do represent my honest effort over time to craft words into theme, plot, and dialogue that resonates. And posting them is a public prod for me to keep developing my skills, in a way that keeping these stories in a desk drawer could never do. Not every story will resonate to the same degree, of course, not even for me…but every single one of them is a tiny piece of myself that I’ve put out there for folks to read and – just maybe – enjoy.

Sharing stories is one of the biggest reasons why I write. I take a lot of comfort and joy in thinking them up and writing them down, but when I hear that someone else has read and found joy in one of my stories, that’s a feeling like no other. That’s why I think it’s so important for us to share our stories, whether we publish our books for a global audience or we just click the “Add attachment” button to send it along to a friend.

Everyone’s writing goals are different, and everybody’s stories are going to be different. But every story made with honesty, care, and love is worth sharing. We might not think so because we see our own writing all of the time, and it can often start to look the same. But what makes our stories unique is that they’re ours, and no one else can craft that story in the exact same way that we can do.

For the coming year, I wish for you many words of the good and precious kind, and, if you haven’t yet done so, the courage to press Publish or Send on a story of your making.

What was your 2015 Year of Writing like?

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10 thoughts on “My 2015 (Writing) Year in Review

  1. I think 2015 was my best writing year. Having my own blog helped things, but I feel like I overcame a lot of fears about my writing. The biggest fear was typing my drafts and submitting them to fellow writers, like you.

    I’m hoping this year will be an improvement over last year. I plan to write more stories, perhaps enter one in a writing contest. My biggest goal is to start writing a novel. I’m working on the details.

    Thank you for your stories. I enjoy reading them. You inspire me to write my own stories and post them on my blog. My hope is that fellow bloggers will enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them.

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    • You’ve had a great year, George! It’s always good to see more writers putting their stories out there, and I’m honored you’ve chosen me as someone to help with your journey.

      Any story created with heart and sincerity will find its audience. I’m sure yours will grow, too!

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  2. I’m glad to hear you’ve had a productive year writing. You raise a good point about how sharing even with one other person fills us with joy (and maybe trepidation), and it’s always been a rush for me to see how excited my friends get when I tell them a basic outline of what I’m working on.

    Without a doubt, 2015 was my most productive writing year. Not only do I feel as though I’ve grown as a writer, but I also believe that writing helped me learn more about how to analyze text and characters. Having to create and tweak ideas from every angle gave me a better view of the entire scene or situation, and now I have trouble NOT analyzing movies or books, or whatever else I come across.

    I just want to say a big thank you for always being there to help me get through difficulties I find while writing, and for encouraging me to keep writing, even when I know I’m only writing garbage. You’ve been a huge source of encouragement to me, and I hope that 2016 will be an even greater year for writing for both of us! Happy New Year!

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    • That analysis can be a tricky thing to turn off, but it can also really deepen our appreciation for the art form, as readers, viewers, and story creators.

      Nothing you write is garbage, spooney! Maybe it’s just for fun, something you don’t want to spend a lot of time editing or critiquing, but you always write with passion and genuineness. That’s always for the better good.

      Happy writing in 2016!

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  3. My 2015 was definitely an improvement over the previous two years, with more than 60,000 words set down. Far short of what you accomplished, but a major step for me! I’m hoping 2016 will see more of the same, although there have already been some busy and distracting hiccups in January!

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    • That’s a great accomplishment, JM! You tend to be more thoughtful in your words – I just sort of spit them out onto the page in free-writing – so 60K is really impressive! And, really, it’s about quality, not quantity. If this were one single story I had worked on, I’m sure (a) the wordcount would have been lower, and (b) if the wordcount really were that high, it would take a LOT of editing to make it read-worthy. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Hopefully, the hiccups you’re experiencing are only temporary and don’t hang you up from your goals too much. Though, sometimes, hiccups can be a good motivation to reevaluate our current strategy, too. Good luck!

      Thanks for stopping by! It’s great to see you back into your blogging and writing! โค

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  4. I did a lot of circling around the Writing Bush, so to speak, in 2015. I was very distracted and not connected to my muse as I usually am. It was not a great year, and yet I did get a short story published in an anthology, which was totally cool. That helped fuel me, I think.

    I agree with you about the importance of sharing our work, when we’re ready. I did much more of that when I was with Limebird, but it was more out of a duty to the team than out of a desire to share. On 4am, I choose to keep my fiction under wraps and hone my writing skills through my essays. I also belong to a local writer’s group, so I’m able to jib-jab about my personal projects in a more personal atmosphere, which I prefer.

    Getting feedback online is not as satisfying to me. I feel the need to have a dialogue, a back-and-forth, when discussing writing, be it my own or someone else’s. Even though I do this kind of thing as a job and working remotely demands the need to provide feedback and editing and guidance online, I always ask clients if we can chat in person or over the phone to get more in-depth. I think there are way too many nuances in writing to get to the heart of my response/reaction/feelings/instincts in a blog post comment.

    But that could be me looking for an excuse to go out for a beer or coffee or something. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Looking at 2016, I have a lot of little plans that could turn into big plans, stay little, or fizzle out entirely! I feel like I’m throwing a bunch of spaghetti on the wall and see if any stick. Regardless, should be an interesting ride.

    I hope 2016 will be a good year for you, Mayumi, with lots of writing wins!

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    • Having the plan is half the battle of getting to the goal, Kate. That’s what I believe, anyway. I saw your plans over on JM’s blog, and it looks like you’ve already got a busy guide for the new year!

      I definitely prefer having face-to-face conversations about writing. Nothing beats direct communication like a phone or Skype call. It’s even better when it’s over coffee or a beer! ๐Ÿ˜€ My problem is that I simply don’t have that outlet available. Whenever I’m with friends who are interested in talking about stories, I always find myself in the listener role for their stories, because once I’m allowed to start talking about my own, I may never shut up. ๐Ÿ˜‰ So, online feedback provides the path of least resistance for everybody: people comment if they are so moved, and I’m free to expound in my responses (once I’m done twirling around the room).

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m always happy to hear what’s going on with you. And, I’ll make you a promise: if I’m lucky enough to get up to your corner of the northeast, the coffee and/or beer is on me. ๐Ÿ˜€

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  5. Congrats on all you’ve accomplished this past year in your writing! ๐Ÿ™‚ This year is going to be sequels to Six Train (published) and The Girl (2nd draft) and a third series shopping around and possibly getting a first draft of a standalone done. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • Thanks, Kourtney. ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ve accomplished a lot in 2015, too – and I know you’ve got a busy 2016 ahead! I hope you’re going to keep us up to date about all of those projects, because they all sound exciting! I am super-curious to see what genre you tackle with the standalone story. ๐Ÿ™‚

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