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2021 – a year of writing

It’s the second year now that I’ve decided to take writing seriously, at least more than the sporadic flash-fiction pieces I’ve always enjoyed writing. What has it looked like for me this year?

A novella

2021 started with the finishing words to my current work-in-project, which later came to be entitled At Home Under the Stars. I finished the first draft in early January, after 9 months of daily writing.

I let it rest for a few months and looked at revisions in the Spring. This step has always daunted me, and having my biggest manuscript to date didn’t help, but with the help of writer friends I reorganised my chapters, wrote a couple of additional scenes and polished the prose. In July, I sent a full synopsis and the first chapters to an indie publisher and was delighted when the full manuscript was requested a couple months later. Sadly it didn’t go further, but I took away from this experience that I’d done at least a few things right.

6 short stories

At Home Under the Stars left me a little empty, but also craving shorter fiction. Since I’d signed up to the “Story a Month” challenge hosted by Susan Dennard on her newsletter, I used her prompts to write half a dozen flash-fiction pieces during the year, making me expand my writer’s horizon and explore new themes, especially queer identities. I think writing in English made that easier for me. I did translate as many of them as possible, while some of them I kept only in their original language. I didn’t love everything I wrote, but I’m particularly fond of my very first one, “The Time-Wise Accountant” (click here to read).

I kept my writing rhythm for 4 months straight, and then stumbled a little, got back into it, and stopped.

The start of one novel

At the beginning of Summer, I set up a new writing group with three friends, and we met for some quality (writing) time which I used to brainstorm a new project. Ever since finishing At Home Under the Stars I knew I wanted to find another long-term project, and there was this idea I’d explored in one short story that demanded to be expanded (“Beatrice and the stubborn book”, click here to read).

I decided to keep going with this and see if I could make a synopsis out of it, so that by November and NaNoWriMo I’d be ready to write it. Well, in the meantime I got a new (fourth) job so things started to feel a little hectic, but I did get 12K words down and a whole lot of questions.

And from here?

My plans for 2022 are to keep going with this YA fantasy work-in-project, and to sneak in another half-dozen short stories if I can manage because it feels wonderful to finish something in a couple of hours and there are many paths left for me to explore.

What did 2021 look like for you writing-wise?

Are you happy with what you’ve done?

What are your hopes?

Here’s a pat on the back for you because no matter if you’ve written 10 words or 100K,

you’re doing great.

a golden field under a low, winter sun.

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