Fiction,  Happy New Year,  The Writing Life

Writing in the Spaces in 2021

Writing in the Spaces was an idea I came up with as a writing strategy for 2020. As a result of some family health issues, I knew it would be a difficult year for writing. I had no idea at the time, that Covid19 was looming, threatening to add to the chaos.

The idea was to make use of all the minutes that get lost every day. Not the big chunks of time, but the moments of waiting, or in between events when you have 30 minutes free but not three hours, to dedicate to your writing.

But if you’ve ever had an emotionally draining year (and let’s face it, who hasn’t at this point?) you’ll know that time is not your enemy, Lack of emotional energy to write is your nemesis.

Now, at the beginning of 2021, I’m confident it is the perfect strategy for another uncertain year.

Looking back on 2020

It was a great relief to me, when I gave myself permission to not worry about my manuscript and the revisions it needed. I took some time away from it. My mind was in too much of a jumble to figure out the whats and the hows of editing and revising. Instead, I spent much more time reading. Soaking in stories. All kinds of stories, as well as lots of teen stories. I wrote in my journal. I thought of what else I might like to write.

Freeing myself from the obligation to keep at my current project was the best thing ever. The result? Ironically, 2020 turned out to be more productive than I expected.

It’s a wrap!

After taking a break from my manuscript, my mind full of the wonderful books I had read, I was pumped to tackle the next steps in the revision process. I’m happy to say that I completed the revisions, added some polish, cleaned up the copy, and sent it off to my amazing agent, Stacey. I’m pleased to announce, This Girl That Song One Summer is making its way into the world, as we speak. I’m nervous but also super excited. I have a good feeling about this story.

During the time I took away from my writing, I was able to focus on some other projects. I presented my first virtual session at the Calgary Young Writer’s conference, and learned how to make and edit a video on writing for the Young Alberta Book Society TV youtube channel. It was great to get my feet wet in the virtual world. (And now, I’m super excited about preparing for several virtual teacher’s conventions.)

By November, I decided I was ready to jump into the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge. While I did not finish a new manuscript or reach 50,000 words, I did reach about 40,000 words of a pretty decent story. It actually was a lot of fun and I’m thinking this manuscript just may be my next novel project.

What’s next for 2021

I love the idea of writing in the spaces, of finding that tiny crack in the schedule that you can fill with a few words. A few ideas. A description. So, you can look forward to more inspirational quotes and writing prompts for when you don’t have the energy or time to work on a long project. These prompts also work well as writing warm-ups if you find that to be a helpful part of your writing routine, because this year, it’s all about the routine. There will also be posts about specific parts of the novel writing process to help you push past writer’s block.

My goals for writing this year are going to focus on the consistency rather than the quantity. I want to write something every day. Read something every day. Post something every week. I’ll be interested to see if this consistency plan results in more writing at the end of the day. The key is to get started. That’s it. And if you actually get started every day, who knows where it will lead. Right?

Thanks for joining me along this journey. We will tackle this writing thing one step at a time!

Keep safe and…

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