A Year in Review, 2018

It’s the start of a new Feistner fiscal year! And as is tradition in these parts, I like to look over what I accomplished for the past twelve months. Because it’s too often that I get a panicky feeling that I am ‘not doing enough’ and so it’s nice to have a list of bullet points as a reminder that, oh yeah, I am definitely giving this writing thing my best go.

Writing accomplishments:

  • Wrote my first query letter (for Creampuffs)+ workshopped it
  • wrote and finished Blackout Odyssey (NaNoWriMo)
  • edited Space Crazies
  • Started the 100 Rejection Challenge (collect 100 rejections in a year, which I did in EIGHT MONTHS)
  • wrote and workshopped a second query letter
  • Began querying two novels at once (Creampuffs and Ashes)
  • sold two stories (including my first semi-pro sale!)
  • edited Blackout Odyssey
  • did a challenge month of double submissions in June (25 in total!)
  • finished 5 new short stories (the most in one year for many many years, likely since I was a teenager)
  • readied Creampuffs for PitchWars (including writing a new query letter from scratch)

and of course

Along the way, I also:

  • Typed up all my journals from Japan
  • drew a map of Japan with all our destinations on it as a gift/memento for my father
  • sewed a new dress and bathing suit
  • dealt with family stuff of the “uh oh” variety
  • decluttered the last and hardest category: sentimental items
  • refinished two chairs
  • painted the bathroom
  • helped my partner renovate their office
  • renewed my passport

I started a new productivity technique last year which was picking a Priority for the month (up to three if they were in different categories). It’s really increased my ability to focus on a singular project until completion, and I recommend it, especially in conjunction with a bullet journal or similar tool. It’s too easy to have many dangling projects competing for a scarce resource (my attention), especially when the projects in question are tiring and boring (looking at you query letters and editing).

36 was the year of setting a really good foundation for getting published. I feel a bit wiser and more prepared for the cycle of research-email-rejection-repeat that is querying. (Blackout Odyssey is next to be queried, hopefully in October.)

Here’s to hoping that 37 is the year of finally selling a book!

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