As one calendar year ends and a new one begins, I spend some time thinking about the past twelve months. What did I like about them? What could use some improvement? How can I effect change in the parts of my life that I don’t really care for? 2019 was tough in a lot of ways, personally and professionally. Each month seemed to bring its own distinct set of challenges, failures and, in some cases, triumphs.
Here are a few of the highlights of my writing life in 2019
Goal: To go to three diverse writing conferences to improve my skill set and meet other writers
Participated in the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference (Phoenix), The Historical Novel Society Conference (National Harbor/Baltimore), and the Philadelphia Writing Workshop (Philadelphia).
Goal: Take the first steps toward segueing into travel writing
I began my journey by writing travel blogs from various locations around the United States, including San Antonio and Dallas, Chicago, and Miami. In Salinas, CA. I attended the 38th annual festival, “In Search of America: Travels with Charley”, at the National Steinbeck Center. The final post of the year was Salt Lake City Utah.
Goal: To finish the first draft of a novel and begin the steps toward publication
Completed the first and second drafts 600-page manuscript (yes, I know that is way too long!) and implementing the feedback from two beta readers. Pitched the book to three agents and two of them requested pages. Faced my first rejection head-on and kept writing and revising!
Goal: See the commemorative book I worked on for a regional business in 2018 published and distributed
I received my hardcover copy of the book in December 2019 and it looks fantastic. Proud to be part of the creative team that produced it!
A sampling of what I am hoping to achieve career-wise in 2020
Find one or two more readers and continue to edit my novel down to a more manageable size. Acquire an agent who believes in me and the book
Earn some money for my writing either through new travel articles or returning to local reporting
Bring all my social media up-to-date and get an office out of my home
Continuing to master my craft and further my career through conferences, reading, webinars, networking, and taking chances