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Friday, December 25, 2009

KaNoWriYear or Picking Up the "Pace"

As 2009 draws to a close, I am beginning to dwell on my writing future. In the past twelve months, I have gone from hobby writer to student writer to published writer and have even placed in a couple of writing contests along the way. I do not mean to imply any grand success --in the beginner's writing world, "published" and "contest winner" does not necessarily mean there's cash rolling in. But what it has meant for me is a start, and for someone who has never had a high degree of confidence, "a start" is a huge step.

Lingering right here at "a start" would be so easy to do. I'm writing, afterall, and I love to write. I'm comfortable here -- I turn in my Christian Writers Guild lessons every two weeks, write an occassional short story, study writing, dabble with my couple of half-written novels, blog, submit an article or a short story once in a while. Yeah, writing life is good right now.

But God doesn't like for me to get too comfortable. Through the guilt I experience over not writing harder for Him, His message is bold and burns in my gut: I've given you "a start." Now show me what you can do with it. Let's pick up the pace. And I realize that's exactly what I need. A pace.

So I am declaring 2010 my "pace" year. My foot is in the door, and now I need to get the rest of my body in there. How do I go about doing that, you ask?

My (gasp, choke, hack)... left brain. I know that's a dirty phrase to many fiction writers. Most fiction writers aren't wired to be (gasp)... left-brain... people. We're right-brain people by nature, artistic and creative -- at least with words (please don't ever ask me to draw a picture). Writing, yes even fiction writing, requires both sides of the brain to be successful. Read here to find why writers have to have both right- and left-brain strength to be good writers.

As I prepare for 2010, my "pace" year, I will be setting writing goals, creating action plans, and developing a schedule. You know, all that left brain stuff. So you can all hold me accountable, here is a sneak peek at a couple of my goals:

KaNoWriYear - Those of you who are familiar with NaNoWriMo will understand this play on the acronym. 2010 is Karen's Novel Writing Year. I will write a novel this year and have the final draft ready for CWG/Tyndale Publishers Operation First Novel on Oct. 1. I probably won't win, so I'll also take it to the CWG Writing for the Soul Conference in 2011.

Freelance - It's time to make a few bucks, and I will be actively seeking freelance writing opportunities. I'd love to find a newspaper or magazine looking for a parenting humor columnist. I have a binder filled with writing that would really embarass my kids and family, but if I got some cash for it, I think they'd forgive me. I would also enjoy doing devotionals, greeting cards, newsletters - anything really.

I won't tell you the rest of my writing goals because I'm not sure I want to be that accountable.

Dig into your left brains, Writers, and tell me what your 2010 writing goals are.


  1. Stephanie Faris said...

    You go, girl! I once attended a writer's workshop where they instructed on setting New Years Resolutions. "Get published" isn't a resolution but resolutions as you've set are good resolutions. Things YOU can control.

  2. Tamara said...

    Hi Karen,
    Loved this post. I am in a similar situation and have been thinking about goals for the new year. Your post has inspired me. Thanks and I'll be looking for you at Writing for the Soul in 2011 :-)


  3. Angie Vik said...

    I love the concept of "KaNoWriYear". Goals are great. Full steam ahead!

  4. warrenjc said...

    Hi Karen,

    Sounds like you are busy as far as writing goes. I am as well. I have a book that I have already published but want to rewrite and apply what I have learned at CWG. Not that that is a guarantee of publication but...

    I also have a second book that I have written and am in the process of rewriting it also with the same criteria. My goal is to finish the rewrite this year. It will, to say the least, keep me busy.

    I have already written four chapters of this second nonfiction book. I have a third book that I haven't even started yet but have about five pages of notes and ideas, even an outline.

    I have another small book that I wrote within the last two months and will be sending it off to my editor in Jan. I hope to submit by Feb or Mar.

    My mentor realistically told me that she didn't hold out much hope for new writers in this economy but with God all things are possible. That by itself, gives me hope. Christ is where I get my hope.

    Just keep focused Karen and go for it. Magazines are a good start. It gets your foot in the door. Nonfiction is also a way to get many readers as opposed to a few with fiction.

    Only two per cent of manuscripts are published a year. (Not counting the economy.)

    But if God told you to write and you are obedient to Him, He WILL open the door. GBY Karen in your efforts and I will be praying for you in that endeavor.


  5. Anysia Derora said...

    Wahoo! This is good stuff! I haven't got my "start" yet. I'm scared to send to publishers and since that is my current assignment with CWG it's freaking me out - actually considered quiting this week. Ugh. Not a good idea. Thanks for sharing. I'll have to set some of my own writing goals for this year too. I'll be watching to see how your pace goes and praying for you too!

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