15 things I’ve learned from blogging every day for a year.

crop unrecognizable woman writing goals for upcoming year in notepad

1 – I really can come up with 365 things to write about. (Even when I’m sick.)

2 – I can never predict what will resonate more with my audience. Sometimes it’s a post about writing, sometimes it’s a poem. So I quit trying. I write and hope my meandering ideas are enjoyable to my audience.

3 – Research is critical to sharing authentic experiences. It is also a dangerous trap that can consume more time than the research is worth. It is better for me to research before I write than while I’m writing, but sometimes I don’t know what I need to research until I get to that point in my writing.

4 – Editing is best done after filling the sandbox. I need to throw everything I can think of onto the page before I start to polish anything. Most of the time I’ve found my best ideas come during the editing phase once I have a deeper appreciation for the characters, setting, and plot.

5 – Writing habits are a double edged sword. You can develop a terrific writing routine that works perfectly for you. If that routine is disrupted, it can ruin all your progress. I have to be flexible, and kind to myself if I don’t accomplish as much as I planned.

6 – Inspiration comes from literally everywhere. A song, a book, a movie, a TV show, a conversation, or any number of random thoughts can inspire me. Even weird dreams can spark my imagination in ways I hadn’t expected. I try not to close myself off to any avenue of inspiration.

7 – Hope, my muse. She is a generous but fickle mistress. Hope can give me everything I need, or withhold any words she might otherwise share. I still have to write whether she is cooperating or not. The only way to do that is to settle in and write. Procrastination won’t help, waiting for her to come along won’t work either. I have to write. Sooner or later she’ll peer over my shoulder and add more of her influence to what I’m working on.

8 – Updates about what I’m writing are more interesting to me than to my readers. They want a finished product, not my gushing excitement about the latest chapter or short story I am writing.

9 – Querying is my greatest struggle. Writing a book, or a series of short stories is easy. Finding a publishing professional who believes in that work, and will work with me to build a business relationship together is far more difficult. I’m still searching.

10 – New work is always going to come from sitting at my desk. Even if I scribble a note for later, or jot down ideas on my phone. The outlines, timelines, and actual prose comes from planting my butt in the chair and writing. Nothing else will substitute for that.

11 – Reviewing where I’m at is helpful, but only to show me what else I can accomplish. I can’t navigate in reverse all the time, planning where to go based on what I’ve already done works. I won’t limit my vision based on where I’ve already been either though.

12 – Using the real world versus my version. Early on while I was writing Fantastic America, I got a lot of feedback about setting my books in a different version of the real world that didn’t use actual living people, businesses, and so on. I resisted. That was in my mind, part of the appeal of the stories happening in a contemporary setting. Once I embraced the idea, my version of the real world made the story better. I was free to manipulate the world we all know and fit my story into better settings, with better characters, and a history that preserved my ideas.

13 – Poetry has been my communication style of choice since I was in high school. I drifted away from it, but always circle back to some couplet or another. Sharing my poetry has not always been a great experience. Friends and family may love my words, but I’m convinced professional poets are on a different level than most humans.

14 – Writing during the pandemic. Lockdown hasn’t felt all that constrictive. I’ve gone where I wanted to for the most part, and done the same kinds of things. I’ve lost friends to the virus, but for the most part, I’ve stayed safe. I wouldn’t wish the kind of suffering it causes on anyone.

15 – People love lists. One of my go to blog ideas is to write a list of things people might enjoy. This post is one of those lists, in fact. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. As I close in on 365 posts in a row, I thought it would be a good idea to examine more than just how these posts were viewed. I enjoyed writing it, looking for details from other blog posts to create it, and sharing it with the folks who follow my posts. Thanks!

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