Happy New Year! As we celebrated the holidays with extended family and friends, I was asked about my writing journey. I thought I’d share some of this year’s highlights here.
In January, Literary Agent Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency offered to represent me. She has provided endless encouragement and guidance throughout the past twelve months. Her excitement for my book ideas motivates me to continue to improve my craft, and I’m grateful to her for giving me a chance.
In May, I received my first rejection letter, and I embraced it. Writers often wait months to learn what industry professionals think of their work, and this waiting has been the highest hurdle for me. As I hold onto the hope that my manuscripts will fall on the right desk at the right time, I continue to write.
In September, I attended the ACFW Conference in Dallas. I met an amazing group of authors, including Laura C. Brandenburg, a 2016 Genesis Semi-Finalist and a 2017 First Impressions Finalist. We had critiqued each other’s writing through Scribes, ACFW’s online critique group. After hanging out together in Dallas, we agreed to be critique partners. I hope 2018 is a great year for both of us!
In November, I participated in #NaNoWriMo for the first time. Though I didn’t meet the 50K word goal, I learned a valuable lesson – I can write (almost) anywhere. Up until the #NaNoWriMo challenge, I needed to have a block of time in a quiet space. I would write and edit along the way, striving for perfection instead of excellence. But during #NaNoWriMo, my word count grew despite a multitude of distractions. I focused on getting the words on the page – there would be plenty of time to revise later. Now I lug my laptop or a printed copy of my manuscript with me if there’s a chance I’ll get to spend a few minutes with my characters.
Later this same month, I was named a Finalist in the ACFW First Impressions Contest. I was thrilled to see my name listed alongside these other talented writers. Congratulations to the winners!
In December, I wrote a short story – an Amish twist on O. Henry’s popular “The Gift of the Magi” – based on the hero and heroine in my First Impressions submission. Huge thanks to Faith, Hope, and Love Stories for publishing the story on Facebook.
I also reworked a novel I had written earlier this year. Over the next couple of months, I plan to polish the manuscript to submit in the ACFW Genesis Contest. Please check back – I’ll keep you posted.
Wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2018. Dream big!