How’s it going, writers?
Did you write in April? I hope you did. I hope words flowed from your fingers and characters and worlds came to life through you. This month, I focused on writing articles, business copy, and CampNaNoWriMo.
At the end of every month, I do a check to see what I did the previous month and what I’m doing next month to forward my writing career. I thought I’d share it with you with the goal of taking a peek inside my writing life and hopefully starting a conversation. I’m not just shouting to hear my own voice here – I want to join in the community of writers and I want you to as well.
So this is the first in a series of recaps to touch base on my writing life. Let’s take a look at April 2017 and see what I did well and what I can improve on for next month. Feel free to share your highs and lows in the bottom or on Facebook. I’d love to hear from you.
- Upgrade website
- Write a blog entry and a book review each week
- First Draft of The Divantinum Project book 4: Heart of Stars
- Write and publish a series on freelance writing because that’s what readers asked for
- Freelance articles
- Chat with BWF
- Two meetings with Mentors
- 25 pitches
- Revamp CV & look for day job
- Create the Anthropology, Archaeology, and Romance workshop
- Plan 4 other workshops
- Find a critique partner and exchange at least 2
- Email the librarian about the workshop she wants me to give in summer
- Figure out what a Mastermind Group is and Establish one (they sound cool)
- Network with writers
- Network with readers
- Figure out how to attract new readers
- Write at least two guest posts
- Invite writers to my blog to share info on writing and life…let them choose what they want to share
- Write every day
- The Artist’s Way – continued
I was ambitious.
Just looking at that list, I’m tired.
But I worked at it and I did make some progress.
What actually happened in April:
Last month, I conducted research of 100 writer websites. This month, I adjusted my website.
I reviewed for the Nonfiction Book Awards and started reviewing books sent from Bethany House. I asked on social media and in forums if anyone wanted a fair review in exchange for a book – and I put myself on reviewer lists.
Links and Fun Things
I think the weekly link list is not for me…I’d rather have a page of resources for writers. That’s easier for me to curate and for them to find things.
First Draft of The Divantinum Project book 4: Heart of Stars
I crushed this goal. I wrote 33,911 words in this first-draft novel, or the first third of the book. I’ll work on the middle in July and the end in November.
Edits for The Divantinum Project
Not much progress here…and that’s really frustrating. I need to spend more time on this…and as my due date is May 30, the procrastinator needs to take a hike while I finish this.
Freelance Writing Posts
I asked my audience what they needed the most…and came back with some interesting feedback. Based on that feedback, I took one of the ideas and ran with it. I’ve been a part-time freelance writer since 2010, and I compiled as much information as I could into a series on how to start freelance writing.
Yeah, that didn’t happen this month. I’m working more on that next month.
Chat with BWF and other writers
BWF = best writer friend – writing is a solitary business, but I need my writer time too. I talked with my BWF.
Two meetings with Mentors
20 new pitches generated and sent
Revamped. It looks awesome.
Create the Anthropology, Archaeology, and Romance Workshop
I finished it. I also created some cool graphics for it. I set it up like an RPG and I think that is a fun and easy way to make it accessible to writers on several levels at the same time. They can pick a character and their level of experience and attack the information the way they want to. This is based on my B.A. in anthropology – and I hope writers attend.
Plan 4 other workshops
I brainstormed a list of other workshops, but didn’t plan them.
Find a critique partner and exchange at least 2
Did it. One critique partner and I had a solid exchange. The other partner couldn’t send her work to me because of technical difficulties…I hope she does next month.
Email the librarian about the workshop she wants me to give in summer
Forwarded to today’s to-do list.
Figure out what a Mastermind Group is and Establish one (they sound cool)
Group established. I’m still wondering about Masterminds…I need more insight into this, but I did get a small group going. If anyone wants in, message me.
Network with writers and readers
I did on social media, email, and two boards.
Figure out how to attract new readers
Need to do this next month
Write at least two guest posts
I did! Places I guest posted include:
Invite writers to my blog to share info on writing and life…let them choose what they want to share
I am shy about asking for help. I don’t want to be considered a burden, but there are questions I simply do not know the answer to and writers have many takes on things. So I wanted to reach out to other writers and include a variety of voices. I am so glad I did – they responded and I thank them all for it!
Write every day
This was hard, but I did it. A lot of things jumped in, but when they did I shifted my day around and worked later. I’m okay with that.
The Artist’s Way – continued
Why does a book that theoretically takes 12 weeks takes me five months? If you haven’t heard, the Artist’s Way is a spiritual and creative jumpstart created by the amazing Julia Cameron. It was based on over thirty years of her experience working. This is my third round in the book and I’m not kidding when I say every time I start it, I tell myself it’s going to take 12 weeks (as it’s advertised) and it always takes me five months. I think it’s because I deep dive into the subjects…I’m finishing up week 10 now and next month will be weeks 11 and 12…I love it every time because new stuff comes up and I get to experience the creative energy. I guess it’s a trust-your-process thing.
The lowest lows:
- The unknown…we’ll see how many people sign up for the Anthropology, Archaeology, and Romance workshop…stay tuned for that one.
- So many pitches out…so many resumes…and the waiting is hard. But that’s when we keep going…despite everything else. The persistence gene my family gave me is a blessing.
The highest highs:
- Achieving my CampNaNoWriMo goal
- Creating the Anthropology, Archaeology, and Romance workshop
- Writing every day
Tomorrow I create goals for next month. I’ll post them during the first week of May.
Thanks for joining me on this journey, writers. You’re not alone. It’s good to know that I’m not, either.
I am Darlene Reilley. I’m a writer and teacher. My hands-on experience can help writers find inspiration and purpose. My love of adventure and well-traveled boots help readers find new best friends! I’m a humble writer who dreams of living on the bookshelf between Reichs and Riley. Come join me in my writing adventure at DarWrites.