A Year of Living Dangerously

Joe’s Post #52

1stIt’s been a full year after we started our 5 Writers, 5 Novels, 5 Months Blog. Yup, a year.

Honestly, it’s hard to believe a year has passed. On one hand, it’s just flown by. On the other hand, I’ve done so much in this year that it almost seems like I was two people. Joe 2.0 and Joe 3.0

So, let’s look back, shall we? Was it a good year?

Blog-wise, yes. I wrote a good number of reviews on my other blog and managed to pound out something pithy or funny or just plain lame right on this blog an amazing 52 times. I didn’t miss a week. And that speaks to what I can accomplish when deadlines loom, when I believe I might actually have readers or when I can write pretty much anything I want without fear of not finding the right word for penis.

That’s right, a full year of posts. Not one missed. The sound you hear is me patting myself on the back.

Novel-wise, I wrote a complete novel in 5 months. Again, not bad. But it’s taken me a bit longer to get the rewrite done. I’m about ½ way through now and, gosh-golly, I didn’t realize just how much work had to be done. I greatly fear the novel I got done in 5 months cut a few corners. Not on purpose, mind you, but I did forget a few vital things.

As well, as a writers group, we pulled off a complete review of each other’s novels in a week. That was HUGE task and an amazing experience. It’s one thing to look at 30 pages and a whole different process to look at an entire book. I learned a lot, and at time I thought I pretty much knew it all. Oh the arrogance.

Life-wise, wow, what a year. I ended a relationship, lost my dog, and began another relationship (and have been on a wild ride ever since.) I’ve lost about 30lbs, started eating right and began to fix some of the things that I know need fixing. No, I’m not talking about the plugged toilet, I’m talking physical things and emotional things. It’s like this was the year I began to get back into life again after losing Margot.

joe and corrineI’ve seen concerts in the park, zip-lined over the towering trees of Whistler, geocached in a park’s dappled light, watched little kids play hockey and insane parents yell at 14 year old refs. I’ve pulled a very strange muscle in my groin while lifting weights, got lost in the woods, (not really a surprise to anyone who knows me,) brainstormed novel ideas with my friends, and even found time to sit on the beach and watch the tide came in.

But there are things I regret. I spent way too much time on the query process for Desert Rains. A word of advice from me (someone who should never really give advice…) As soon as you finish a book, start another one. Sure, get that written book out there, query it, go to conferences, whatever, but start writing again. I got lost and very discouraged in the query process. It is, by its very nature, not the most rewarding of activities (unless you get picked up in which case, errr, I guess it is.)

I also regret that my time management has been a bit of a disaster. I’m getting better, but improvement is needed. Taking a year to write a book? Way, way too long.  Watching the tide come in? Come on!

So what’s the next year going to be like?

Who knows? What I can say is that I will finish this YA book in a few months and start another book. What I hope will happen is that I’ve written something that people will want to read. What I hope will happen is that I will finally snag an agent. What I hope will happen is that I will be published.

Maybe the next 12 months will be my year.

The year of Joe.

One thought on “A Year of Living Dangerously

  1. You’re living life. And you need time to watch the tide come in. That’s as important to your writing process as the actual writing. And yes, you’ve come out of yourself in a lot of ways in the last year, and it’s been wonderful to see. Keep going, Joe, you’re getting there. And helping other writers (like me) along the way.

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