Author Journey – 1 Yr Anniversary Update

Well, I blew past my 1 yr anniversary of beginning to write – sometime at the end of February, 2018…

I think…

Then I blew by my 1 yr Instagram and Website anniversary in March and April respectively…

…And I just looked and I missed my 1 yr anniversary or being on Wattpad.

It’s official, I suck at anniversaries.

This isn’t really a surprise to anyone in my personal life – I just scheduled gallbladder surgery for the day before my 10th wedding anniversary because it worked best with my work schedule.

Oops. Happy anniversary honey…😬😘

(Our date-iversary is cinco-de-Mayo, and our wedding anniversary is D-Day. You’d think I could remember them…🤷🏻‍♀️)

My apparent memory issues aside though, I did want to celebrate a year (and some) of writing seriously, and take a moment to look back on what I’ve created in that time. I think it’s really important to take a moment to look at what we’ve accomplished each year because our lives are so busy and it always feels like there isn’t enough done, and so much else left to do.

Below, I’m going to go by category and list number of pieces written, collective word count per category (this doesn’t take into account editing – only my totals in scrivener), any accolades achieved, and some tidbits about each category using my Wattpad book covers as section markers.


Poetry:

Over the last year I wrote 41 poems, most of which have been included in my poetry collection on Wattpad called “Crepes of Wrath” (my husband’s name for the crepery and coffee shop which we will never own because neither of us likes to get up early).

My poetry collection, which is collected into a “menu” like you would see in a diner, has been featured on Wattpad’s WP Poetry profile, has won multiple first place awards within the Wattpad community, and was ranked in the top 25 out of 1000 poetry collections on the site.

# of pieces written: 41

Final word count: 3,450 words


Short Fiction:

In the last year I have written twenty pieces of short fiction. This includes 7 pieces of flash fiction (under 300 words), 12 pieces of short fiction (500 – 3000 words), and one illustrated “kids book for adults.” Most of these are documented in my short story compilation, “Tales from the Potty,” because I have done a lot of writing – you guessed it – on the potty. Either escaping work, or escaping the small hands reaching under the door, the bathroom has been solid porcelain support for my writing over the last year.

My short story compilation – “A Treasure Trove: Whoosits & Whatsits Galore” was created for a Wattpad contest. After the contest was finished, I expanded it to include any short fiction I wrote which was related to the sea. It has won several short story awards, and gained the TINY awards stamp of approval for short stories.

# of pieces written: 20

Final word count: 16,200 words


Children’s Fiction – Picture Books:

Over the past year – this is really more like a year because I think I did my first children’s fiction contest in May or June of 2018 – I have written 10 different pieces of Children’s fiction. Most of these can be found on my Wattpad page. I have also been working with an illustrator since October of last year to do illustrations on my Harriet The Flamingo book – which has morphed over time into multiple stories as I edit it down accordingly. This is my experiment in indie-publishing a children’s picture book. I’ve been writing pictures books mostly because that’s what I’m currently reading to my son, and thus frequently inspired by. I’ve played with both rhyming and non-rhyming stories for this genre.

Maury The Moose and Harriet The Flamingo both won first place in the Children’s Fiction contests they were written for, and the results for the contest I wrote Morton Gets a Dragon for should come out any day now.

# of pieces written: 10

Final word count: 5,500 words


Adult Fiction|Novella:

My comedic fantasy adult fiction novella, “The Dark Heir”, is the first and only novella I have written. This was written in January, 2019 for the Open Novella Contest on Wattpad, and edited in February and March. It has made the Shortlist, (62 out of an original 1300 entries) and I am waiting in a state of suspended anticipation for the final results. This is by far my most popular work on Wattpad, and was also the most fun to write. I am currently working on a “prequel” of sorts – taking the first three chapters and making them a separate novella – and a sequel, and hope to weave them all together to make a novel in 3 parts.

Aside from making it to the Shortlist, this novella was a winner in the Trident Awards, and is featured on Wattpad’s Dark Fantasy profile.

# of pieces written: 1 (and some for the prequel and sequel I’m working on)

Current word count: 45,000


Adult Fiction|Novel:

My adult spec fiction novel, “The Book of Irin” (or “Sara’s Book” on Wattpad), is the project which got me writing in the first place. It’s my first, and probably because of that, toughest project. I currently have two separate drafts of it, both sitting at around 2/3 complete. I got caught in the trap of trying to apply plotting techniques to a draft in progress, as well as trying to define genre too soon perhaps. Either way, it’s mulling while I work on other projects.

My novel – or the first 13 chapters of it currently on Wattpad – has won first place in two different awards contests, and second place in another. It got a 10/10 in a review by a writer on Wattpad who I really respect, and I can’t tell you how much that meant to me.

# of pieces: 1

Total current word count – 2.5 drafts – 136,000 words.


Non-Fiction:

My main non-fiction work in progress is “The Perfect Story.” This is where I document everything I’ve been learning on the craft of writing in the last year. It’s one small way I try to give back to others in the writing community on Wattpad who may not have the time/desire/funds to purchase and read a lot of craft books. It’s also where I document my writing and editing process as I try to apply what I’ve learned to my writing.

# of pieces: 1

Current word count: 15,000


Bookshop Gauntlet Reviews:

This past fall, some writer friends and I made a profile called The_Bookshop on Wattpad to review books in a brutal contest called The Bookshop Gauntlet. We’ve run four Gauntlets since then and our reviews are in depth and extensive. It’s taken a good amount of energy to do these – more than I ever thought – and a lot of words written for them.

Word Count: 30,300 words


Total Word Count in one year of writing:

251,500

# of Pieces: 73

A quarter of a million words in one year is pretty good I think. It’s 685/day, or 20k/month. I did most of this while working full time (except for a 2 month sabbatical I took in November and December to try and finish my still unfinished novel), and being a parent to a 3 (now 4) year old. I’m happy to say I was able to write “The End” on a draft of a long form story, even if I’ve decided to expand it for the future.

This doesn’t count what I’ve written on here in my blog posts – which is not much since I’m terribly inconsistent.

Other stuff:

I’ve been shortlisted (had full MS requests) in #Revpit and #Writementor

I’ve created over 20 different book covers and learned even more about graphic cover design.

I met two Camp Nanowrimo goals of writing 20k/month in April and July of 2018.

Not too shabby for a year.

Here’s to another – hopefully as productive if not more productive – and hopefully one which gets me further toward my goal of being a published author. I think I’ve had a good start on this journey so far.

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