2015 is over. I won’t miss it. It was a year when tiredness had me questioning, more than usual, my writing abilities. In April, I had a bit of a writing breakdown when I realised my writing was going nowhere slowly. I simply wasn’t writing enough. I still aren’t, but my word count did go up after April, at least until I finished writing a first draft of a novel in October. After that, it was onto redrafting, editing and proofreading.
I wrote about 113,000 words for the year, an average of 300 or so per day. At the beginning of the year my goal was to average 500 words a day, and if I had just been writing first drafts and redrafting I might have come close. I wrote on all but nine days of the year.
I wrote a 6,000 word short story for a Christmas anthology for the Australian Writer’s Forum. If you want to read it, there are links to the free ebook on a previous post.
But my major writing effort was finishing the first draft of a novel called Branded. I originally wrote the first two chapters of it for a writing for young adults subject in my masters and then put it away for eight years. I pulled it back out for 2014’s National Novel Writing Month, and about 130,000 words later, finished the first draft in October. I am currently about a quarter of the way through redrafting it, and so far I have added an extra chapter.
One of the issues that really concerned me in April was the lack of critiquing of my writing. I did get two and a bit critiques of my short story. No one said they loved it. But that has rarely happened in all the years I have been writing. So either my writing sucks or my stories are crap, or they fail to connect with the average reader/critiquer. The story could have a better ending, which I will add if I ever think of one.
I do hang on to the positive responses to a few bits of my writing from lecturers in writing courses. I received one such positive response for the first two chapters of the novel I am working on.
In an effort to find more writers on my wavelength, I joined The Australian Writer’s Forum, and rejoined Critters.org and started critiquing for both. From May, I critiqued 20 stories and a 66,000 word novel for critters.org, and three stories for the anthology for the Australian Writer’s Forum.
Did I mention I was tired? I started the year tired, and then, in about August, another dose of one of my various chronic illnesses made me even more tired. From August to the end of this year, I read three-quarters of a novel. Before that, I had read about seven books for the year.
In April, grumpy me has a hissy fit when my editor at Divine dared to do her job, and ask for changes to an article so it would conform to government guidelines (Divine is funded by the Office For Disability and hence the Victorian State Government). Fortunately, I pulled my head in and edited the article. After a two-month break, I wrote another four articles for Divine and I and currently working on the first for the new year.
My Writing Goals for 2016.
Get more sleep. If I can get on top of my chronic tiredness, both the quantity and quality of my writing should improve, as well as my general demeanour. I have been a grumpy bastard all year. And I also am going to spend less time on Facebook and more time writing or learning about writing.