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Pondering 2022 Writing Life Lessons

By Julie, planning on decking the halls after I schedule this post

Some months coming up with a blog topic for the Wickeds is easier than others. This month, because of the season, I’m a bit more reflective and had trouble landing on one. So I decided to share a few thoughts I have about my writing journey.

It’s Better With Friends

Last weekend Edith, Liz and I sat at a table at a Cape Ann holiday author event. We sold some books, which is lovely. But we also had fun being together, meeting readers and chatting with other writers. A few days ago a debut author tweeted about her launch party where only two people showed up, and many authors chimed in to share their stories. Here’s what I know–never doing a solo event mitigates that because you’ll be there with a friend or two and you’ll figure it out. I remember Shelia Connolly and I doing a library event and there were only three people in the audience. I was deflated, but Sheila decided that we’d have more fun sitting around the table together and talking. She was right. That day is now a treasured memory.

I’m a Plotter

Last month I wrote a post about Plantsing NaNo Style, outlining my hopes to pants a roughly plotted novel during the month of November. Pantsing is a term that is used for folks who “write by the seat of their pants”. Normally I am a plotter, which means that I think through every scene in my manuscript before I write it. I was hoping that a very rough outline and some ideas would be enough to get me through the month. I was wrong. While I did get 30,000 words written, they were painful to write and are truly terrible. I need a map.

I want to make it clear that there’s no one way to write. Many of my friends are organic writers aka pantsers, and it works for them. I’m a proud plotter. That doesn’t mean I don’t have surprises while I’m writing. What it means it that I create a map to follow, and while I can add side trips, I can get back on track.

I’m Always Learning

I am fortunate enough to host the Sisters in Crime Writers’ Podcast. Every week I get to talk to writers about writing. And I’ve yet to have a conversation where I didn’t learn something, or have an “a ha!” moment during the conversation. Honing our craft, learning more about the business, finding the fun again–that’s what we all need. How lucky am I to talk to wonderful writers who are willing to share insights about their own journeys?

I Love Writing

I love looking at my shelf of books, and am so fortunate to be published. But what I’ve realized in 2022 is that I love writing more than ever. I love creating new worlds, meeting new characters, formulating new puzzles and spending time letting my imagination take me on an adventure. Sometimes in our pursuit to be (or stay) published, we forget that joy. I’ve rediscovered it, which is one of the great gifts of the year.

So those are some of my random writing thoughts from this year. Thank you all for being on the journey with me–I wish I could tell you what that means.

Friends, what’s your “a ha!” thought from 2022?

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