#IWSG Looking Back on 2017

It's Insecure Writer's Support Group time again! You can sign up for the group here.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

This month's question is... As you look back on 2017, with all its successes/failures, if you could backtrack, what would you do differently?

One New Year’s Eve about seven years ago, I started a new family tradition. On a few sheets of plain copy paper, I gathered the family and went through the past year. We used our photo albums as our guide and wrote down the highlights. Not everything is captured visually, but the exercise reminded us of other things: stitches and illnesses and odd triumphs. All of it went into a sort of chronological account. Each person made a list of favorite happenings. We made predictions for the coming year and sealed away our work in an envelope.

That was our first time capsule and we’ve kept it up every year since.

If I was to make a professional time capsule for 2017, there would be just a few things to include. My novel was well received (by a handful of people). In a few days, I will release a second book. I’ve posted new blog content twice weekly for more than half of the year. I’ve sent some queries and slowly chipped away at a foothold in the sort of obscure, unknown author life I’m after.

It was a good year.

There were things that could have been done better. I could have worked harder. I should have identified some sort of niche for the blog. I should still do that. Even the littlest decisions might have changed the trajectory of my writing life, but I’m not much of a backtracker. My way is more to forge ever ahead, hopefully having learned from past mistakes. If there was an option for a do-over, I wouldn’t take it. This is right where I’m supposed to be.




19 comments:

  1. Slow and steady. that's the way we authors have to do it. As you get more books out there, people will begin to discover your earlier books, so it's okay if your earlier books aren't big sellers right now.

    The time capsule sounds like fun, but I can't imagine that ever happening at our house. y family would last about five minutes before they moved on to something else. :)

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    1. It’s not always easy getting everyone to attend to the writing of the capsule. They’re super interested to read the predictions from the past year, but not stoked about taking the time to put things down for the future. I think Mom guilt prevails and they do it for me!

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  2. I love the time capsule idea! That's so neat! Congratulations on the release of your first novel and the upcoming release of your second. It's hard for people to come to the "right where I'm supposed to be" conclusion. But that's how I feel as well. I think we can lead more fulfilling lives by letting go of the past.

    Thanks again for stopping by my blog. - Evelyn Haddock

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    1. Thanks! I agree, you’ve got to find peace and happiness where you are in life. It just doesn’t work to think it’s going to be there when you get to the next accomplishment.

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  3. I think the time capsule is a brilliant idea!
    Awesome you are releasing a new book really soon.

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    1. Today in fact! Almost couldn’t sleep last night!

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  4. I love the idea of a time capsule--must be so fun to review prior years. Best of luck with your second release!

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    1. We’re don’t do much to celebrate the New Year, so it’s been nice to have something little to make it special. That ball drop really doesn’t do it for me!

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  5. I may steal that time capsule idea. That's lovely.

    As for doing things differently, all we can do is learn from where we've been and use it to get us where we want to be.

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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    1. I keep the time capsule in my daughter’s Christmas stocking. It goes away with the decorations and doesn’t get lost - a very important part of the execution of an annual time capsule. Enjoy!

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  6. I'd love to include a time capsule in a book. I've discovered a man in a nearby town who makes the actual capsule and sends them all over the world. How interesting. Ha, we could all work harder, but I've written more this year than ever. Congratulations of your new book! I wish you happy trails and sales!

    Happy holidays!
    Denise :-)

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    1. I think it would be so cool to find a real time capsule buried in the ground. We made one when I was in high school. I wonder if anyone ever dug that up. Probably too soon.

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  7. Slow and steady does win the race, or at least I hope it does cause that's the pace I work at. Sounds like you've got a lot to be proud of - one book published and another on the way.

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    1. Slow I’ve got, I need to work harder at the steady part!

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  8. Something I used to do...throughout the year, write down things that made you happy on a strip of paper and put it in a jar. On New Years Eve, dump out everything in the jar and read through the memories. It always made me smile. :)

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    1. That’s a great idea! Writing the slips would make you happy as you do it and then it’s great to help you remember at year’s end.

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  9. Hi, Joey! Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday. I'm with you: I feel like I am right where I am supposed to be, even when there are ups and downs and challenges. I am grateful for the course my life has taken. I love your time capsule tradition. Wishing you Happy Holidays with your loved ones and happy writing in December!

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    1. Cheers to being where you’re supposed to be or at least loving where you’re at!

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  10. Your family tradition for remembering the past year with a time capsule sounds like a good way to look back and look forward without regret. Glad you're where you're exactly meant to be and hope it gets better for you with every new year. Happy Holidays! :-D

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