My Year in Writing

Posted on December 29, 2014. Filed under: Short Stories, storytelling, writing | Tags: , , , , |

When thinking about this past year in writing, I find that I can’t decide if I am a glass is half full or half empty kind of a person. Generally, in life, I tend to look at all angles. So, was it a good year? Yes. Could it have been better? Most definitely. Could it have been worse? Certainly.

For the sake of limiting my word count – so many words to write, but I need to save them for my novel – I am going to focus on the positive.

My storytelling troupe, Better Said Than Done, put on 11 storytelling shows in Northern Virginia. We were once again voted the “Best Performing Arts Company in NoVa” by Virginia Living Magazine. The attendance at the May show was somewhat disappointing, but every other show this year was packed, and all the storytellers were great. I personally told 9 stories, 8 of them at Better Said Than Done events – all true, personal, and new. It has been fantastic to watch the audience for storytelling in Virginia grow and grow and I look forward to our 2015 shows – just not so much to coming up with 9 more new stories.

The year of novel writing started out with me taking a fantastic workshop called “Publishing Your Manuscript.” I learned a lot about writing a query letter, finding an agent, and getting my manuscript publish ready. There’s another class in January, 2015. I cannot recommend it enough if you are working on a novel, a memoir, or any other book you’d like to one day see published. Here’s info on it:

Navigating Your Manuscript through the Publishing Process (Fairfax County ACE). Guidance for authors who wish to sell their writing, including digital and other forms of self-publishing. Saturday, Jan. 17, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Call 703-658-1201 to register.

Not only did my completed query letter stem from that class, but writing the query letter helped me focus so completing my novel was easier. And, of course, it gave me a strategy for seeking out and finding an agent. For the 15 or so literary agents I did contact in 2014, only one actually requested my manuscript and sadly, I am still seeking an agent, so you can guess what her response was, but I feel really good about being on this path.

On that note, I actually found a great editor who has given me a lot of advice on revising my manuscript. If you are seriously seeking a great book editor, contact me and I will send you his info. The changes are going to be a bit of elbow grease on my part, but I am hoping that the next agent who requests my newly revised manuscript will be sending me a contract to sign instead of a rejection letter.

I end the year in review with great news. I am getting published! Not my novel – not yet – but a short, nonfiction story I wrote called “What Are the Odds?”  You can find it in the March, 2015 edition of the Northern Virginia Review. With that, I am looking forward to my 2015 year of writing, and being read. I hope you have a Happy New Year and I look forward to reading you as well.

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4 Responses to “My Year in Writing”

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A storytelling troupe! That sounds like so much fun! I’m definitely like you in that I look at things from all angles…sounds like you had a successful year!

Thanks Charnelle. We do have a lot of fun. Happy New Year.

Query letters and agents! Sounds like lots of fun! Despite having self-published my own book, I still have no idea how to do either of those things, which is something I should probably look at figuring out soon. Maybe at that Jan 17th workshop, if i can get away from the newborn for a few hours. Anyway, best of luck, and I’ll hopefully see you soon. Ish.

Well, I figure you have two hands and two kids so you’ve got a pretty good excuse – for now. In a few months when that second kid is walking and making his own breakfast, you need to get back on the ball!


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