And So it Ends…and Begins


headshotFrom Cathy:

Hi and Happy New Year, everyone!

Where to start? Well first, a HUGE congratulations to Karen. Read on for her big announcement below. So excited for her!!!!

Last year at this time, I wrote that this challenge “is about the work itself, not so much the final project.” I guess I’m glad I wrote that because, for me, the final project isn’t exactly what I’d envisioned. Maybe that’s because, drum roll please…I couldn’t stick to 20 minutes of writing a day.

There. I’m glad that’s off my chest. I did write every day, faithfully, for three months and it nearly killed me. After that, I wrote as much as I could manage. And I’m still doing that.

So here we are, the year over, and what have I achieved?

I wrote a third of a new novel. And copious notes and an outline. Then I put it away because I couldn’t think about it anymore, and found that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Parts of it, at least. So I’ll continue. But in the meantime…

I did a couple more rewrites on the first book, and got a couple of in-depth, extremely thorough reads on it from a couple of friends and now I know what direction that will take too. And these same friends helped me rework an old  story I submitted to a Glimmer Train contest. It didn’t win, but did place in the top 25 (out of more than a thousand submissions). So I feel pretty darned good about at least being a finalist, and can’t wait to get that story back into circulation.

All that aside, this challenge has brought my writing to the top of my priorities list. It’s no longer something I plan to do at some point. It’s something I’m constantly doing. I may not actively be writing every day, but I’m thinking about, reading about, and planning on writing every day. And that’s a huge leap for me.

Oh, and I started painting my new office yesterday (YES!). Pictures to come. I got a laptop for Christmas (my first ever!) so I should have no excuses now. But I’m sure I’ll manage to think of plenty.

Thanks to all of you for sticking with us through this year, and we hope you’ll stay around. It’s been great getting to know so many talented people through this blog. If you’re still slogging through your own year of writing, or if you’re just beginning to jot a few things down, I wish you a new year filled with creativity and patience and time and lots and lots of lovely words on pages.

Write well, everyone!

–Cathy Cruise

Karen-Guzman-300x228From Karen:

In the final days of 2013, it happened. My novel is being published. No kidding.

I received the news via email from the Press’ wonderful editor, Michelle Richmond. Homing Instincts is scheduled for publication in September 2014. Overjoyed and blinking in disbelief pretty much sum up my current state.

And grateful—hugely grateful to Fiction Attic Press (please “like” them on Facebook and comment) and to my writer friends who have been such an invaluable source of support—and editing. No one more than my Write Despite co-host, Cathy.

The Write Despite challenge kicked my writing into high gear. I produced more, got rejected more, scratched my head more and kept trying to figure it out. The process, I’ve learned, is the teacher.

I do have a confession: I did not technically write every day for 20 minutes. I tried.  I have become much more disciplined and better at squeezing writing into every available minute when my brain isn’t fried from the day. And it has really paid off.

We’re taking Write Despite into the new year, and I hope you are all coming with us. We’re tweaking our mission.  The challenge is no longer to write 20 minutes a day—although please continue if it’s working for you! Write Despite in 2014 is broadening its charge: WRITE as much as you, and whenever you, can—DESPITE the world and all its distractions. If that means every day, God bless you. If it means just three days a week, we think He’ll bless you anyway.

Seriously, doing your honest best is always good enough. And we’ll be here to help, sharing our journeys, our resources and “a-ha” moments. You’ve all made a difference in our writing lives. Let us make a difference in yours.

Joy and peace in the new year, my friends.

–Karen Guzman


5 thoughts on “And So it Ends…and Begins”

  1. Thank you, Leanne! We’re thrilled that we’re able to inspire other writers to dig deeper and push on. And we’re so glad you’re coming along with us in 2014. Please keep sharing your insights. You help keep the wheels turning!

  2. I’ve been meaning to read this post ever since it was posted. I can’t believe that it has taken me half a month. Welcome to the swirl of activity that is 2014.
    I had to comment in thanks to both of you. Through out 2013, you informed, entertained and inspired me. I look forward to more in 2014.
    And a congratulations to Karen–you’re lighting the way forward.

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