It's that wild time of year where I check my calendar and realize there are only a few days left in 2019. Or, if you'd like to be su...

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It's that wild time of year where I check my calendar and realize there are only a few days left in 2019. Or, if you'd like to be suitably alarmed, the last few days in this decade. 2019 has been a year of (slowly) moving into the adult world for me: I've now completed my first year of university, I'm training up for a new work position, and I've nearly finished my teen years. But through all that, I've been writing!

As a way to officially farewell 2019, I thought I might share the most impactful writing lessons this year and all my WIPs taught me. I've felt myself grow in my style and abilities like never before, challenged myself, and navigated the highs and lows of inspiration. But no matter how hard it was to learn these lessons, I'm grateful for every one of them, and hope I can pass them on!




1) Write What You Love


As my amazing and talented critique partner told me over the phone, "There's not enough of ((passion)) going around these days." I'd spent a few minutes explaining that post-NaNo I was in a deep rut; I had several projects I'd attempted to start editing, then began a few new stories, but nothing stuck. I grew frustrated with each project a few days in, and felt dry and uninspired. But my NaNo novel... I couldn't stop thinking about it.

My critique partner gave me permission to toss aside my rule of not editing a project so soon after writing the first draft; she nudged me towards working on my passion project. And I'm so grateful for it. My spark for writing returned, I fell even more deeply in love with my characters, and I looked forward to each and every writing session.

Writing is meant to be enjoyable. It's meant to be our passion; it might be intense and difficult, but it should be ultimately rewarding. So work on the projects that make you smile! Write the stories that bring delight and make your soul sing. 



2) Examining the 'Why' of Writing

While I was listening to an interview with Garth Nix on The Bestseller Experiment podcast, Garth Nix issued a challenge to all writers: "Are you writing to be published, or to write?" It made me reflect on the 'why' of why I write. Am I writing solely to see my name on a book cover, or because I find joy in the act of it?

As writers, we shouldn't just write what we love; we should also write for the sake of loving it. I asked myself whether or not I'd keep writing if I knew I'd never be published and the answer... Yes. I would. Being published is a dream, but dreams are simply a culmination of circumstances and actions coming together. Passion is far deeper.



3) Carving Out Time

Being at university has posed an interesting challenge for a schedule-based fanatic such as myself; I have several months a year of intense, rigorous study, and several months with little to no responsibilities. While the latter makes it easy to plan when I'll have my writing session, the former makes it near impossible. Yet, I still managed to write every day in 2019.

We have so much more time in our day then we realise. I don't mean that we actually have twenty-six hours in a day (if only), but that there are small moments we overlook as writing time. For me, on long university days, I wrote on packed trains at peak hour. Or inbetween classes and lectures. Or in the spare ten minutes before dinner. 

While I love having two hours straight to dig deep into my writing, (which I discovered is my optimal length for focus without becoming exhausted), every second has a possibility. Every minute can count. A handful here and there can turn into a paragraph, a paragraph into a page, and a page into a story. The time is there, ready and waiting to be carved out.



What writing lessons have you learned this year? What was your greatest writing achivement? (Let's celebrate together!) What story are you writing now that you love with your whole heart?
Happy New Year! See you in 2020! <3


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9 comments:

  1. Beautiful post, Melissa! <3 I hope you have a wonderful 2020!

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    1. Thanks so much Nicole! I hope you do as well! <3

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  2. This is wonderful and so encouraging! I learned to slow down. There's no need to rush into publication. I've also relearned to work on what I'm passionate about. Right now while I revise a book I plan to publish in March, I'm working on a side project that is strictly a passion project. Whether I publish it eventually or not, I don't care. I just love working on it and that's what matters. I hope you have a great New Year! :)

    www.melodypersonetteauthor.blogspot.com

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    1. Yay, I'm so glad Melody!! That's a wonderful lesson to learn, and probably one I should have included too. xD That sounds like a great plan---it's wonderful to take your time with writing, and to focus on what you're passionate about. So glad you're enjoying writing! <3 Thank you, and same to you!

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  3. I'm so glad you had such an epic writing year, Melissa!! This was really inspiring to me, especially that last part about carving out time. I want to keep writing once college starts this fall, but I've been worried about being too busy. This reminded me that every little spare moment counts!

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    1. Thanks Lila!! Aw, I'm so so happy it was! *hugs* It's definitely a challenge, but you can do it! Find those small pockets of time and mine them for writing-time. :D I believe in you! <3

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  4. Aw these are great writing lessons! Carving out time is always a tough struggle, but I've been really working on prioritizing novel writing instead of pushing it aside because of anxiety. It's what I'm most passionate about but it scares me the most you know? But tonight I had a great session which was really encouraging. ^ ^

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    1. Thanks Victoria! :D I totally understand---it's really easy to skirt around what we're passionate about, because the deeper our heart is in a project, the more fears that come along with it. *hugs* I'm so glad you had an encouraging session. Here's hoping there's more to come!

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  5. I need to get back to loving it! Fantastic tips!

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