Chasing a Dream: A Year in Review

My little baby blog is closing in on a year. Where has the time gone?

I started this blog for two reasons. One, to begin building a platform for promoting my writing. Eventually. The second reason, and perhaps the most important reason, is to practice and hopefully improve my writing. Becoming a writer has long been a dream of mine, and in starting this blog I made the decision to pursue that dream more aggressively.

I began with a confession of my fears and insecurities. Writing in itself is not a scary endeavor but being a writer is terrifying. Being a writer means sharing one’s soul with the world. It means opening up one’s most vulnerable places to a harsh, cruel world.

Why would I choose to do this? I write because the words call to me. I write for those moments when everything suddenly becomes clear and a story comes to life. I write because those most vulnerable moments can also be the most exciting.

I’m still trying to determine in which direction to take this blog. My focus has been on becoming a better writer. As such, I’ve tried to pursue the things I’m told are what it takes to succeed as a writer. The top things that I need to do is to write and read. So that is what I chose as the focus for my blog. Writing and reading. In a nutshell, it was to be a blog celebrating words.

As I worked to find things to write about I stumbled across this reading challenge. This became the perfect opportunity to begin writing book reviews. With twelve books, it gave me something of a plan for the entire year, the goal being to post a new review each month. I discovered authors I’d never read before, like Susan Dennard’s Truthwitch. And authors I’ve long wanted to read, like Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. I’m down to the last two books on the list now, and I’m going to need a new challenge for 2017. Any suggestions?

Through the year, there have been times when finding time to read has become challenging. Particularly during the months when there is a NaNoWriMo event going on. In April and July I was participating in Camp NaNoWriMo. I had some fun sharing bits of what I was working on during those months.

In April I worked on my middle grade novels, The Silver Compass Adventures. I felt like these posts were well received. I’m excited to see more progress on these as well as the sister series, The Golden Locket Adventures. They have been a lot of fun to research, plan and write.

I launched a new project in July, a series of short stories based out of novel world I’m already working on. My goal was to use these stories to explore questions raised in writing the novel. Back stories, histories, legends and the like that would both build on and enhance the novel itself.

I made a promise to my readers that I would publish one of these stories. Since July I have been working to perfect this story into something I could share with you. The process has taken longer than I had hoped, but it is still moving forward. I’ve shared the story with some beta readers, and I received some very insightful feedback on how I might improve it. I am aggressively rewriting this story, and plan to have it ready for publication very soon.

I have also tried my hand at writing about the writing process itself. These posts have been the most difficult for me. I’m still new at this business, and I don’t feel like I have much to offer that hasn’t already been said a thousand times. My favorite of this type of post was where I compared writing to another favorite past time of mine, baking cheesecakes. It was a fun, playful post that I think has brought me closer to my true voice.

While I work on trying to figure out this blogging adventure, a couple of months ago I began responding to the WordPress daily prompts with this post about motherhood. Some days I have nothing to say about the chosen word, other days the word surprises me in where it takes me. I’ve had some fun with these posts, and they have led me to some new connections with other bloggers.

So, in the past few months my fledgling blog has seen a little growth. While I continue to have fun with it, I also continue to struggle with what to write. Finding a balance between my various writing projects and full-time life is an ongoing battle, and likely will continue to be.

What happens next? Next comes November, which is National Novel Writing Month. I will be off the grid for thirty days making the attempt to finish writing a novel. I will be eating, sleeping and breathing words. I plan to get to “the end” after far too many years working on this same novel. I intend to finish it and move on at long last to other novels, other stories.

After that comes December. Christmas. New Year. And this baby blog turns a year old. I need to decide what I’ll do with it next. Because I do plan to do more. I’ll continue reading and writing reviews. I’ll continue my research on my various projects, and I’ll share what I learn.

I’ll write about writing and reading and about life in general. My blog will grow a little more. My writing will improve. I’ll finish more of what I’ve started. Every day is a choice. And today, I choose to chase my dream.

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