Thursday, January 9, 2020

Making It The Best Writing Year Ever

Before looking ahead to my hopes for 2020 when it comes to my writing, I want to share a couple of highlights from last year.

While  I can't say that 2019 was a great writing year, there have been a couple of notable highlights. First was the publication of the fictionalized version of my mother's life, Evelyn Evolving: A Story of Real Life, which was published in May by Next Chapter Publishing. When the book was first released, it was a number one bestseller at Amazon in several categories, including women's biography and young adult biography. Since then, it has flirted with a number one spot off and on, and has often been in the top ten. Seeing that little tan best-seller tag on the book's Amazon page always made me smile.

We dream often of having a best-selling book. And while this wasn't as prestigious as having a New York Times best-selling book, it certainly did this writer's heart good. Not just from a professional standpoint, but also knowing that many people were getting to meet my mother and discover what a strong woman she was, facing down the many challenges in her life.

Another highlight of 2019 was when I received notification that my humorous memoir A Dead Tomato Plant And a Paycheck was a finalist in a contest sponsored by Top Shelf Magazine. The message came late in December with a note that the book came very close to taking the top spot in the nonfiction humor category.

These types of recognition that our books receive are always a boost to our creativity, as well as an affirmation that, "Yes maybe what we are doing is good after all." We writers struggle so much with insecurities, at least I know I do, and I cherish these types of affirmations, or a very nice review, or a letter from a reader saying how much they liked my book. They carry me forward to another day, another week, another year of writing, which brings me to 2020.

I don't know if it will be the best writing year ever. Unfortunately, the trigeminal neuralgia that I have as a result of a battle with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, has more control over that than I do. The pain in my head and right eye limits the time I can be on the computer. But I do have plans and goals. One of which is to finish the third book in the Seasons Mystery Series. That's been a goal for a few years, but this is the year it is going to happen. I only have two or three chapters to go.

Then I'm going to write my story, which will finish my mother's story and answer the question some readers have asked, "What happens next?"

To accomplish those goals, I'm going to take advantage of every pain-tolerable moment and write. I'm going to use dictation on my phone so I can look away from the computer screen, which is actually how I did the first part of this blog post. I'm going to spend less time on social media to save precious computer time for writing.

There are ways. I am woman. I am strong. I will write.


Posted by Maryann Miller  You can find out more about Maryann, her books, and her editing services on her Website and her Amazon Author Page, read her Blogand follow her on Facebook and TwitterHer online workshop on self-editing, part of a series of online writing workshops from Short And Helpful, can be found HERE

18 comments :

  1. You are always in my thoughts, Maryann. I truly hope this year brings relief from pain for you.

    Congratulations on your amazing successes of last year!

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  2. Thanks, Elle. I appreciate the kind words. Unfortunately, this has turned into a chronic pain issue that could last indefinitely. Instead of spending so much time and energy trying to find a cure, I am going to put more time and energy into learning ways to live productively with it. I heard a wonderful TEDX talk by a woman who has the same condition, and she had good advice, as well as inspiration.

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear that, Maryann. But your approach to dealing with it is admirable. Much love to you.

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    2. Thanks, Elle. I can always use a little love, or much love. :-)

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  3. Congratulations on your 2019 accomplishments, Maryann, and kudos to you for your determination to carry on in 2020 in spite of limitations.

    My own goals are to finish old projects instead of starting new writing just to keep submitting to my critique group. I have multiple book and short story drafts but haven't finished anything for a full year.

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    1. I hope you get a few of them completed this year, Pat. It always feels so good at the beginning of the year to look ahead to what can be accomplished. I've finally learned to write down what I want to get finished and prioritize things. My mind tends to flit from one to another, and I have to keep pulling it back. LOL

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  4. Congratulations on last year's successes. Such positive experiences certainly add incentive to move forward as much as possible, even when needing to overcome painful obstacles that threaten to interfere with creativity. You're an inspiration to all of us, Maryann.
    P.S. I have't begun reading your Seasons Mystery series, but that's on my to-do list for 2020.

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  5. Thanks so much for the kind words, Linda. You are an inspiration to me! And maybe if I hurry I'll finish this third book in the Seasons series before you finish reading the first to. :-)

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  6. Congratulations, Maryann. Yes, finish the Seasons series! :D

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    1. Thanks, Dani. I'm getting closer to the ending. Writing around the pain in my head and arthritis in my hands. DragonSpeak is really slow.

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  7. Congratulations on your publishing successes! I wish you a life full of blessings and happiness. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks, Lena. I hope this is a terrific writing year for you, too.

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  8. So glad Evelyn Evolving has been such a success for you. Did I see it is becoming a movie?

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  9. Not sure why I thought I saw that. :) Oh well, it should be.

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    1. Thanks, Diana. Let your producer friends know. :-)

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  10. Of course you know what I thought of Evelyn Evolving. I loved it. If you did nothing else last year, that book was enough to rest on your laurels. Congratulations on your other success. So that really was a very good year for you.

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  11. Definitely celebrate the successes! It sounds like you have a plan of action moving into 2020. Looking forward to hearing more of your journey and those writing projects!

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice.