I recently heard of someone doing an “End of Decade” comparison between where their writing career was at in 2009 versus 2019 and I thought, “I could totally steal that idea.”
Okay, the math and calendar-keeping nerds out there all know we have one more year of the 2010s, and I completely agree because who starts counting at zero? No one. So, in reality the “End of the Decade” will come in December 2020.
However, even though I don’t consider my writing career to have truly started until 2010, my very first article was published in 2009, so I thought it a bit fitting to do a little 2009 vs 2019 comparison to see how far I’ve come.
This is not a Year End Review, nor a Goals for Next Year post. That’ll be coming in a couple weeks. Instead, it’s just a quick peek with a few graphics for fun and excitement…if your idea of exciting is colorful graphics.
First off, let’s look at where it all began…that article. It was accepted by Oregon Coast Magazine and featured all the tourist traps around Tillamook, Oregon (besides the tastebud tempting Cheese Factory). Since then, although I’ve cut back on my freelance writing in recent years, I’ve had articles appear across the Internet and in national and international magazines.
My second foray into trying to be a “real’ writer was to test my chops in a few writing contests. I nabbed my first honor in 2010 and accumulated a handful more over the next few years. Again, this is an area I’ve cut back on, but I did submit to one contest in November…we’ll see how that goes.
Short stories for me have been a hit and miss thing. In my first couple years, I wrote them like mad for practice and for contests, but then I slacked off for a long, long time. I only just got back to writing and submitting short stories this year and forgot how much I enjoyed them….I like them even better when they get accepted for publication (haha).
And then we have the whole reason I got into writing…BOOKS! In 2009 I had two first drafts of manuscripts I had no idea how to fix or what to do with (those manuscripts still haven’t been tended to). As 2019 comes to a close, I’ve seen 10 books through to publication (or 16 if you want to count all six parts of Domna, plus The Complete Series as separate books) and I’ve got at least four more books in the lineup for next year.
So, all this feels like I’m doing a big old brag fest. I’m not. First off, in 2009, I was making gobs more money at my day job than I make writing.
Second, I know there are writers out there who have published dozens upon dozens of books in this same time period, and who figured out this self-publishing thing early on.
Me? Up until 2017, I was really floundering around with my writing and not taking it as seriously as I should have been. I wasted many years screwing up, working on dead end projects, not focusing, not understanding, and not succeeding.
But I was learning and once I got my writing mojo on in 2017, I’ve been improving bit by bit.
And that’s kind of the point of this post. No matter how hard it is to start, no matter how daunting it is when you have no books under your belt, no matter how much you screw up at the beginning, every word you write and every time you put yourself out there, you are learning how to make writing work for you.
Again, I’ll go more in-depth with this in a couple weeks, but 2019 has been my best writing year so far, just as 2018 had been the best year up to that point. Each year I improve and that’s a least a tiny bit of success.
Ugh, sorry, that got way too sappy and rah-rah, didn’t it? Here, how about an inappropriate meme to make up for it….
Have a great week everyone and best of luck in all your projects!! And I’d love to hear about a difference between your 2009 and 2019, so tell me about it in the comments below!!
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