2016 Year In Review

Hello, writers and bloggers. I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. I understand it can be stressful. As such, writing can be rather scarce. Because of this, I am posting my self assessment a little early. I mean, if TV can broadcast their “best of” lists a week or two before the year ends, why can’t I do the same?

2016. What’s the one word that can sum up my writing journey?

Honesty.

There was so much I wanted to do this year, but for whatever reason, I didn’t. I let some goals fall by the wayside. But if I was honest about who I was as a writer, I probably wouldn’t have tried. Two goals stick out from my list. One, start writing a novel. Two, write a short story series for my blog. These goals, I saw as a challenge to my passion for writing. To say I failed miserably is me being nice. I had these great ideas, but they were nothing more than ideas. There was nothing concrete to build upon. The short story idea was worse because I wrote a couple of stories. But they didn’t feel right. There was no sense of story; it felt more like info-dumping.

So, honestly, what did go right for me? One, I completed the A to Z Challenge for the second year in a row. I felt better prepared for it, even though coming up with topics was more of a challenge. And I posted some more stories. This is probably not something to toot my horn upon since readers don’t really respond to stories. Still, the fact I wrote more stories than last year must count for something. And speaking of stories, I came close to beating a goal during NaNo: to complete three short stories. I finished two. The third is still in progress. So, in that respect, I did well.

Throughout the year, in the quest to meet my goals, I had to sit myself down and think. Think about my reason for writing. Think about my purpose. And I had to be honest. Was it something to distract myself from what was really important? Was it something I could make a profit from? Could I devote the time and energy needed to make this more than just a hobby?

I’m sure these are questions every writer asks. I took some time off writing on a few occasions this year to ask those tough questions and really be honest with myself. From those sessions, I came to one conclusion. Writing is something I can’t imagine not doing. Even if I don’t do anything with my degree. Even if I don’t publish anything. Even if my audience is just me and some members of my family. Writing is in my blood. I love to tell stories and I want people to share in my experiences. Writing allows me to do so.

So, in being honest, I realized this year was more about revelation than accomplishment. Which is good because without it, I’d still be a bit delusional about who I am as a writer. This year, I learned some things about myself. I learned to be more patient. I learned I need balance with my writing and everything else. I learned more about writing with purpose. I learned a way to write without editing midway.

These may not be big revelations to others, but it means a lot to me. In the midst of it all, I learned to be honest with myself as a writer. That is what matters above all else.

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Author: G. R. McNeese

I'm originally from Illinois, currently residing in Georgia. I graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing. I am blessed with a supportive wife and family.

5 thoughts on “2016 Year In Review”

  1. “I learned I need balance with my writing and everything else. ” This is always the trick, and I’m not sure it ever gets easier, but if writing feeds your soul and feels more like the oxygen you breathe (as opposed to an enjoyable hobby), then I think it’s worthwhile to continue trying to make your “regular” life and your creative life meld.

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  2. I always mean to take some time off from writing to examine the whys of my obsession with it, but, somehow, it never really happens, probably because the drive is so strong. It’s something I really should do this next year.

    Happy New Year, George!

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  3. “More about revelations than accomplishments.” Yep. Was it something in the stars in 2016? In 2016, I became a published writer, which was great, but I also lost my way and started doubting whether I even wanted to be a writer. I’m still not sure what happened. Creative burn-out? Frustration with the process? Trying to cram my process into someone else’s formula? Who knows? What I do know is that in 2017 I’m trying to slow down–because when I move too fast, my stories come out forced and confusing. Right now I’m just trying to get back into the joy of storytelling–because I can’t imagine not being a writer.

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    1. I think I ignored what the powers-that-be told me what I should be writing. I wanted to try it just to see if I could. In the end, it turned out to be a big mess. In 2017, I am thinking smaller in terms of goals, but not in effort. I still want to push myself as a writer. Try new things, new genres. Anything to get me thinking outside the box. So that’s what I’m going to focus on this year.

      Liked by 1 person

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