Starting Over

Another year has ended,
A new one will begin.
So I’m starting over now
‘Cause I want to try again.

I wouldn’t call it “awful”,
My Twenty Seventeen,
But let’s just say it often felt
Like one long horror scene.

I am proud of my achievements
For the courage that they took.
I moved in with my boyfriend
And I started my own book!

Still, last year was a trial.
It was tough to make it through.
So I’m grateful for this feeling
That I get to start anew.

And no offense, of course,
If for you it was “the best”,
But most agree that last year
Wasn’t happy for “the rest”.

So here’s to new beginnings
And a fresh start full of cheer.
May this one find you better!
Have a wonderful new year!

The Year Ahead: What I Hope to Learn About Writing in 2018

Happy New Year! It’s the first week of 2018, which means it’s time to dive into our New Year’s resolutions! A new year means a fresh start, right? So for my first creative writing post of the year, here are a few of the goals I’m setting for 2018 (and beyond). Enjoy!

To take my blogging to the next level

What exactly does this mean? That’s an excellent question. To be honest, I still only have a vague idea of how I want to achieve this goal, but I am aware that my blogging has been relative static over the past couple of years (thanks, grad school) and I’d like to start taking it more seriously. Of course, talk is cheap and fear is powerful, but even simple steps like growing my mailing list and experimenting with guest posting could make a big difference in the months ahead. Once again, we’ll see how this year goes!

To become a published author

I mentioned last year that I finally finished the rough draft of my first fantasy novel, so I’m closer than ever to achieving my dream of being a published author! The editing will still take a while to complete, but in the meantime, I’m planning to self-publish some shorter stories to build up my author profile and work my way up to self-publishing novels. It’s a long road ahead on my creative journey, and I’m more excited than ever!

To make a living from my passion(s)

Writing fiction has been my greatest passion since childhood, so it’s no secret I’ve been dreaming of making a living from it my whole life. Interestingly, I discovered last year that aside from writing, I’m also cut out for editing and proofreading work; in fact, most of my income since finishing school has actually come from editing blog posts and web content. This year, I plan to continue focusing on these passions of mine until I become completely independent! Here’s to an even more productive year!

What about you? Any new resolutions for 2018? What are your plans for your writing?

A Most Surreal Year

A most surreal year it’s been,
As everyone has seen.
But we expected just as much
In Twenty Seventeen.

For after such a train wreck
Of a year that was the last,
It only stands to reason
That we’d feel we’ve aged so fast!

We’ve seen the worst offenses made
Against democracy
And been forced to endure the most
Blatant hypocrisy.

Some relatives think all is fine,
Or so they boast with pride.
(I smile at them politely
While I’m screaming deep inside.)

Yet though current events have put
My patience to the test,
Far from the worst of all my years,
For me, this was the best!

I left the world I knew behind
To start my life anew.
And every day, I’m grateful
To be with my love so true.

I’ve worked as hard as ever
To achieve my author dreams.
(It’s true that writing novels
Is much harder than it seems.)

So here’s to one more year past as
A brand new one draws near.
May Twenty Eighteen prove to be
A less surreal year!

The Year in Review: What I’ve Learned About Writing in 2017

Welcome to my final creative writing post of 2017! The last week of December is a great time to look back on our resolutions from January and how much we’ve accomplished in the past year. So to finish off 2017, here’s another review of my New Year’s resolutions and what I achieved in my writing this year. Enjoy!

Did I get published in a scientific journal?

Not yet, but the paper has been submitted and is currently awaiting review. It ended up going through several major changes as we tried to decide whether it should be a full paper or a brief note, and the revision process took a bit longer than expected (though that’s bound to happen when the co-authors live in different parts of the world). In any case, we’re closer to publication than ever before. Hopefully the upcoming revisions will be the “easy part”!

Did I make a career out of my writing?

Yes, in a way. While my original plan at the beginning of the year was to get into freelance writing, I soon realized that when it comes to working for others, I have a better knack for editing and proofreading than for writing.

In the year since I started working through Fiverr, I’ve become a Level Two seller, earned dozens of 5-star reviews, and gained a pretty good reputation as a blog post editor. I also finished the first draft of my fantasy novel earlier in the year and have been editing it ever since. On the side, I’ve been working on some short stories for publication on Kindle to build my author profile (which frankly I should have done a long time ago). So much writing to do in the new year, and I can’t wait!

Did I continue growing my blogging network?

Yes! It’s still a bit of a slow process, as always (I’m calling super shyness and “fear of success” on this one, not that they’re valid excuses), but I’ve taken some big steps this year to learn how to grow my blog even more. I’ve been planning to make some significant changes to my blogging style, such as growing my mailing list and experimenting with guest posting, which will hopefully expand my network further in 2018. Here’s to a productive new year!

What about you? What have you accomplished with your writing in 2017? I hope you had a productive year and that your 2018 will be even better! Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year!

What If? Writing Prompts: Holidays IV

December is here! Another year has come and gone, and with the holiday season about to shift into high gear, it’s a great time for some more “What If?” Writing Prompts! This week’s batch of prompts once again centers around the theme of the holidays. See what holiday stories you can write from these ideas! Enjoy!

What if… instead of giving presents, Christmas centered around a tradition of doing good deeds?

What if… your family only celebrated a made-up non-commercial holiday like Festivus in December?

What if… you received a mysterious Christmas present from a relative who had passed away?

What if… one Hanukkah, you and your family played a mystery game in which you’d get one new clue every night until someone won?

What if… every year, at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, you had the power to make it January 1st of any year in history, but had to live that entire year until the following New Year’s Eve?

Good luck writing more stories about the holidays!

If you have any “What If?” writing prompt suggestions (for any theme), please feel free to share them in the comments below. Ideas I like may be featured in future “What If?” posts, with full credit and a link to your blog (if you have one)! Also, if you’ve written a piece based on an idea you’ve found here, be sure to link back to the respective “What If?” post. I would love to see what you’ve done with the prompt! Thank you!

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