Friday, December 28, 2012

What did I accomplish in 2012???

One of the writing groups I'm on posted a question to the members about what goals did you accomplish this year. I've already been thinking about my goals for the new year, but this post got me to thinking about what I've accomplished.

What did I accomplish in 2012?
  • I published my first book, Guardian of Atlantis. I finally took the leap and published the book myself. Yes, I'm an independent author. I'm proud of myself. For years, I've sent out queries to agents. I've even had requests for manuscripts, but in the end was always turned down. I believe in my writing abilities, even if others don't. Even now, I get off comments from family members, friends, and even strangers. I had one person ask me if I went to a copy center and had them copy and bound my manuscript so that I can sell it. But even with these comments, I'm really proud I finally published my writing. When I held the first copy in my hands, I actually cried because my dream was now a reality.
  • I went on to publish two more books, No Rest for the Spirit and Other Ghostly Tales and just recently, Wrath of Hades which is book 2 in my Children of Atlantis series. In some ways it's still surreal. I've got three books out. I actually outlined and wrote Wrath of Hades this year. I feel I did a better job editing this book too.
  • I taught myself a way to outline a book that works for me. One of the things I realized toward the end of 2011 was I needed to figure out a better way of outlining. The sad part is that I've taught outlining in school, but it was when I started really trying to do it with my books, I didn't realize just how much I didn't know. I spent months reading everything I could find about outlining on the Internet. I've got books about writing and outlining on the shelf in my office. I soon realized one method wasn't going to work for me. I took what I learned from the classes and online groups like Write Workshop Chat about tag-lines (thanks Candy Havens for the group and classes!!!), information about plot that I found at How to Write a Book Now and everything else that I've learned through various online classes, groups, and books and I came up with a method that works for me. It consists of writing a tag-line, then a plot, and then a chapter by chapter outline. I work out the holes in the plot before I start even start writing the story. My finished outline is detailed. If you read it, you have the complete story from start to finish without all the little details. The outline is not ridged or set in stone, but it lets me know where I need to take the characters, yet has enough flexibility that if the characters suddenly go in a better direction, everything still works--especially when characters say or do things that I really didn't plan for them to do.
  • I started this blog. I've followed various blogs over the years, but never really thought I would do it myself. What do I have to say that will be of interest to anyone? Self-doubts are a real pain! But here I am.
  • I learned how to tweet. My son is the one who set me up with Twitter. He said if I was going to write and blog, I needed to learn to use Twitter too.
  • I, as of last night, have three outlines ready for me to start writing. I've got so many story ideas in my head that some days it's a really crowded place. LOL! I decided to utilize my vacation time from school to work on the outlines, and now I've got two outlines for a new series (it'll consist of two books and a couple of novellas) waiting for me to reread and fix any holes that are there. The only person, besides me, who's read them is my husband, and his words when he finished reading them was to tell me to start writing. Oh, and don't worry. I'm working on the idea for the next two books in the Children of Atlantis series.
Of all that I've accomplished this year, the biggest thing is I allowed myself to dream and then made that dream a reality.  Are there more things I want to do? YES! And in the next blog or two, I'll talk about my goals for the new year. But until then, what did you accomplish this year?