One of my goals for 2020 was to really dedicate more time to my writing journey. That means writing more, honing my craft, immersing myself into the writing community, finding critique partners and beta readers, learning more about the publishing industry and more. Overall, it’s been going quite well. However, my writing journey was heavily impacted by all the effects of COVID-19. From leaving the country to finding a new job and a place to live. The stress of it all impacted my creativity and mood overall greatly.
Of course, there are people going through a lot worse. But I did want to share something positive and hopeful regarding my writing journey. So if you are interested in my hopes and goals for my writing journey, keep reading.
to find my voice.
The first thing I am working towards on my current writing journey is finding a distinctive writing voice. We all know authors who have such a unique writing style that we can tell it’s one of their books when we read it. I’d love to find that and hone that. This ties into improving more as a writer. Once I’m able to strengthen my prose more, I’m hoping that my voice will also become clearer. As of now, when I reread my work I’m not sure it sounds like “me” yet. That could be due to being so close to it that I’d need outside opinions. Also, I’m still learning about writing and with education comes growth.
to make writing friends.
One of my biggest goals in my writing journey is to find meaningful relationships with other writers. I think it seems so awesome to have peers who understand the highs and lows that come with being a creator. It would be awesome to have people to bounce ideas off of, to learn from, to share my own experience with and to just geek out over books and our characters with. Most people in my life aren’t really readers or writers, so I’ve always felt a void when wanting to vent about an idea with someone. Having writing groups from Camp Nanowrimo gave me a taste of what it could be like, so I’m hoping to form strong bonds with other writers.
to become published.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but there are plenty of writers who are hobbyists and that’s what they want. For me, I know that I want to be published, see others loving what I wrote and see my book on bookshelves. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little girl and one that still keeps me going even when there are times I want to give up. At this stage in my writing journey, I’m leaning more towards traditional publishing. The thought of being able to work with an editor who can help me improve my writing even more and trusting me with the ability to improve it excites. I know the road is a hard and long one. Even getting a manuscript to the stage where it’s ready to be queried is challenging. But I won’t be able to rest until I’ve at least tried.
to improve my vocabulary.
This kind of ties into the first point on finding my voice and improving my prose. However, overall I’d like to have a wider vocabulary. While I believe I’m intelligent and have a decent size vocabulary, I find that in my writing I don’t branch out more. That’s not to say I want to write in a pretentious manner. But I do want to expand and use more words in my writing. This will hopefully improve by writing more. I’ve tried studying the dictionary but I gave up on the second page of “a” words. Maybe it’s time to try again?
to discover my perfect process.
Writers always hear that there’s no right way to write. Fantasy author V.E. Schwab has an Instagram series called “No Write Way.” In it she talks to her author friends and they discuss their different approaches to writing. Stephen King is an avid pantser (someone who does not plan their books). But there are plenty of successful writers who swear by an outline. In my writing journey, I want to find what works for me in the brainstorming, outlining, drafting and especially revision phase. I’ve gotten better at figuring out my outlining phase, but as I edit my Project Sunflower, I’m a little lost. This will come down to trial and error. I want to find whatever process makes my writing the most efficient.
I call it my writing journey hopes because writing is a journey. There isn’t an exact endpoint where you stop learning or improving. That is, of course, unless you give up. If there is anything having my life impacted by COVID-19 has taught me, is to not waste time. During my time in lockdown, I’ve been able to write a lot and read a lot. Partly as a way to cope and also because I’ve realized that I don’t want to put off my dreams any longer. And I encourage you to do the same!