Sunday, December 23, 2012

2012: Year in Review

2012 was an excellent writing year for me. Now, my goal is to make 2013 a year in which I do excellent writing. Ba-dum tsssccch. See what I did there?

My main writing achievement in 2012 was finishing The Curse of the Carberrys, which I'm happy with as first drafts go (translation for non-writers: I am not actively planning to enter the Witness Protection Programme now that some of my closest friends have read it).

I won Nanowrimo in spectacular fashion, writing 31,000 words in six days and earning both a dedicated congratulatory thread on our regional forum and a round of applause when I showed up for our end-of-Nano lunch. I have to point out that this achievement is of dubious character, since it was only made possible by falling really really far behind in the first place, and it made my fingers hurt.

I also finished my Nano novel, and it may be the worst thing I've ever written, including shopping lists and phone messages taken while my colleagues are having lunch. That said, I am fairly pleased with the ending (which reminds me of that old joke - your teeth are alright but your gums have to come out). I think the novel has some potential and I'm looking forward to going back and digging that potential out.

This isn't as quantifiable, but it's certainly important to me - I feel far closer to the point where I can start my pending YA project, One Other Person. I haven't written YA before, but I read a lot of it, so I'm both inspired and intimidated at the thought of stepping into one of my favourite genres. This year I have put a lot of thought into One Other Person and I'm dying to get started on it.

Aaaaand I finally figured out how to fix the fairies-in-Dublin novel I wrote for Nano 2010 - the one I usually just call Becky, after the main character, because no other name has stuck. It means a total rewrite from the bottom up. I am changing everything bar the characters - we will still have Becky, our slightly cynical fairy-hunter, Sammi, her skint journo flatmate, and even Scissors Gogarty, Sammi's source for crime features and an inadvertent fairy dupe, may make the final cut, but they will be encountering all sorts of menaces and secrets that weren't there in either of the first two drafts.

Thus, my writerly to-do list for 2013 looks like this:

1. Make list
2. Edit The Curse of the Carberrys
3. Write a query letter for The Curse of the Carberrys. Cry a lot. Re-write query letter. Cry some more. Eat cake.
4. Send off query letters.
5. Crap self.
6. Edit/rewrite The Soldiers of Bruges
7. Start (and hopefully finish) One Other Person
8. Ruin Becky Barrett's life. Again. Worse this time.
9. Finally learn to spell 'occasion' and 'necessary'. This is ridiculous, I am almost 29 years old.

Where are you guys on your writing journeys? I've been out of the loop in 2012 - please take this opportunity to share your woes and let me congratulate you on your awesomeness!

Oh yeah, and 10. Try to make 'awesomeness' a socially acceptable word for almost-29-year-olds to use.


  1. Congratulations on some wonderful achievements, Ellen. It is coming together for so many people and I couldn't be more delighted.

    I've had my best year yet: publishing two ebooks and landing an agent. 2013 will hopefully be even better.

    Have a lovely Christmas.

    1. Thanks Donna, I was delighted when I saw you had published your ebooks and I hope you have every success!

      Have a lovely Christmas and a happy 2013 :)

  2. Awesomeness is totally an acceptable word to use!

    2012 has been a stellar year for me. I will probably have a blog post of my own up about it in a while.

    1. It certainly has, and I hope 2013 is even better :) Looking forward to your post!

  3. It was great to read about your writing plans. I've self-published last year and have written the first draft of my second book already. My writing list for 2013 includes promoting my already published book, editing, completing and finding a publisher for my second book. And of course, running a busy practice and being a mom on top of all that! Phew.
    I'll pop by and see how you are getting on!
    Abby Wynne

    1. Thanks Abby - sounds like you have a full schedule for 2013, I look forward to hearing more about it!

  4. Very excited to hear about the YA project. :)

    1. I look forward to bending your ear about it - I've been using your blog for contemporary YA book recs.

  5. I'll admit... necessary always gives me a problem too!


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