Archive for 2016

Looking Back and Moving Forward in 2016

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

Writer at Work

By , @Writing2Day

I must confess, I was shocked to see that my last blog post was in October of 2014. I will be the first to admit that I am not the most consistent when it comes to blogging on a regular basis. This is extreme even for me and really opened my eyes to the fact that I had several unproductive writing months during 2015. This lack of productivity has been nagging at me for quite some time. Rather than wallow in the sense of guilt that comes with that, I’m going to take a quick look at what I have accomplished (focus on the positive).

In 2014, my first book was traditionally published, “Images of America: Grand Teton National Park.” The book is focused on the history and controversy of this beautiful park. I followed this up in 2015 with a travel guide, titled “7 Days & Beyond in Grand Teton National Park.” I decided to go the self publishing route for the second book for expediency’s sake. I felt I could accomplish this much more quickly on my own and wanted to strike while the iron was hot. Self publishing was a very interesting experience and one that I am definitely looking forward to in the future. That took me into summer, baseball, camping – oops, there I go focusing on the reasons I didn’t accomplish anything else in 2015. I said I was going to stay positive and if I were speaking to someone else, I would be congratulating them on their first book and the fact that they published a second book within a year of the first. So I guess it’s pat on the back time for me!

I am going to keep the momentum going in 2016. I am not going to set a New Year’s resolution to publish another book this year. I am truly at a crossroad at the moment trying to decide which direction my writing should take. If I think about what I truly want out of my writing, I have always wanted to write a novel. I have only three chapters to go on a novel I started 30 years ago but it is dated and I have changed so much as a person in the last 30 years that I really think it’s irrelevant at this point. I do have a more recent novel in the works which is ironically titled “The Poser.” Ironic because it is posing me all sorts of problems. I participated in NaNoWriMo in 2014 not to write a complete novel but just to work on this novel for 30 days. The problem is that about seven chapters in I became thoroughly stuck and overwhelmingly frustrated. This of course led to all sorts of self-doubt about my writing abilities and has probably been the main factor in my lack of productivity.

Having published two nonfiction books, I am very confident in my abilities in the nonfiction genre. I also see a need, and was somewhat felt out, for a different historical book that would be a lot of fun to research and write. This would be the safer (and less stressful) route for my writing to take this year but the underlying desire to write a novel keeps beckoning. I know I will not feel that I have accomplished my lifetime writing goals until I have written that novel.

Will 2016 be the year that I buckle down, face my fears and accomplish that goal? I’m not sure at the moment but I will be choosing my path for 2016 during January. Once chosen, I am committed to following that path and writing on a regular basis to accomplish my goal. So now I’m off to read the pages of the dreaded novel that stopped me in frustration, review other story ideas, give indecision a much needed kick in the ass, and start typing my way towards my goal.

Wishing everyone a wonderful 2016!