Final WIPMarathon Check-in for 2015

This is it. The final WIPmarathon check-in for the year! It always comes as a shock when another year ends. Time seems to be moving faster and faster, forever leaving me to catch my breath. This year has been incredible both writerly and non-writerly so this post will be more than just a regular check-in.

A year ago, I moved to Sweden and had no idea what life in Stockholm would bring. I am incredibly grateful to report, that this past year has been a fantastic one but also one of many changes.

On the non-wrtierly side of things, I started a new job, teaching music at a really good international school, and absolutely love my job. We’ve also managed to make some awesome friends and have a pretty good life here in Sweden.

On the writerly side of things, there have been both ups and downs – thankfully more ups! I sold two books, firstly Scardust, which releases in February (and is now available for pre-order!), and then Obscura Burning which has been adopted by Harmony Ink Press. I also parted ways with my agent, found myself back in the query trenches, and now find myself signed with a truly amazing agent and out on sub again, all in a just a few short months!

During all of that, I also managed to get some writing done mostly thanks to the encouragement of other WIPmarathon’rs and NaNoWriMo.

Writing Issues This Year:

Time, given my new responsibilities with my teaching job, finding time to write has proven more challenging. Also, finding the right head-space to write when there’s a lot of other things going on inside my brain has made writing simultaneously a place of refuge and a source of frustration.

Things I learned this year:

1. Friendships with other authors have made all the difference. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have achieved what I did this year without the support of my writer friends from the #wipmarathon and #WO2016 groups.

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2. Taking calculated risks can prove very rewarding. My SO and I took a risk on Sweden, I took a risk changing agents, I’m taking a risk switching genres – hopefully my risks will continue to be a source of positive results.

3. Exercise and getting into shape has helped tremendously through stressful times and helps tremendously to rekindle inspiration. I am probably the most fit and healthy I have ever been my entire life and it definitely makes a huge difference to every aspect of my life.

4. Doing things that you love and believe in are so important. I love my job. I love being a writer. Sure there are days of frustration and fatigue and moments when I feel like tossing in the towel, but that’s when I try to remember how lucky I am to be doing two things I really love to do. I have been more happy this year than ever.

What I’m working on:

Since my last check-in in October, I’ve been working on a new YA fantasy novel inspired by north Africa. I managed to write just over 20k during November and have since added another 6k to the ms. I’m taking a break from the ms while I do more research and contemplate how to wade through this murky middle to the ending I’ve already got planned in my head.

Goals for next year:

Hopefully sell another book. I know that’s technically beyond my control, but I really really hope it happens. As for what I can control, my goal is to finish this fantasy novel and start working on at least one more of the Shiny New Ideas just waiting for some attention. I also plan to read more diversely and discover more African authors because I’m ashamed to say I haven’t actually read that many.

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So that was my 2015. How was your year?

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  • Ifeoma Dennis

    Wow! You accomplished so much this year! Congrats on all your milestones!
    And I can only imagine the fear and anxiety you had to deal with while moving to another country or changing agents. I’m so with you on how taking calculated risks can prove very rewarding. Glad it all worked out!

    Your YA fantasy novel sounds very fascinating! I hope all your dreams and more come true in the new year! And thanks for being part of what made #WIPMarathon rock this year! <3

  • Emma Adams

    Wow, what a rollercoaster of a year! I totally agree that doing what you love makes you so much happier. You’ve done some amazing and brave things this year, and I hope 2016 is even better! 🙂

    • Thank you! It definitely wasn’t easy but I’m hoping 2016 will see all those tough decisions pay off 😉

  • Krystal Jane

    I bet teaching music is amazing. I’m glad things are going well in Sweden! With risk comes great reward. ^_^ And congratulations on the quick agent turn around!! All the best for Scardust and 2016!! I can’t wait to see how things go!

    • Oh it is – I love my day job! 🙂

      Thank you so much!

  • Yael_Itamar

    Congratulations on everything you accomplished this year! It all sounds so exciting!