Wednesday, 31 December 2008

End of Year Round-up

This time last year I wrote "2007 has been a good year writing-wise. Let's hope 2008 is even better!" I couldn't have made a more prophetic wish.

To anyone who reads this blog semi-regularly you'll already know that 2008 has been my best writing year EVER. Let's face it - when the one dream you've hung onto since you were eight years old finally comes true it's going to be one pretty damned amazing year.

I ummed and ahhed about whether to write an end of year round-up because I didn't want anyone to think I was being a big, fat show-off but I can't let the end of the year pass without doing some kind of summary of my year.

So here we go:

In 2008 I:
  • Wrote 9 new short stories thanks to my Story a Fortnight Group
  • Rewrote novel 1 after agent feedback which said it needed more work
  • Wrote 20,000 words of novel 2 (a)
  • Sent 28 short stories to women's magazines (a lot of the submissions were the same story sent to multiple magazines. A story isn't dead until it's done the rounds!)
  • Entered 8 stories and 1 novel extract to writing competitions
  • Came up with a new idea for novel 2 (b), started writing it in December and hit 11,000 words by the 31st

'Bad' things in 2008:

  • 7 of my competition entries were rejected
  • 20 of my short story submissions to women's magazines were rejected
  • Scrapping 20,000 words of the original novel 2 and wondering if I'd ever fall in love with a novel again and actually finish it

Good things in 2008:

  • 8 of my short stories were bought. 6 by women's magazines. 1 by an online magazine. 1 by an arts magazine (my only story sale without payment). 6 of the 8 stories bought have now been published
  • An extract of novel 1 became one of four finalists in the Romance Writers of America Stiletto contest (paranormal chicklit contest)
  • My story "My Daughter the Deep Sea Diver" placed third in the Writers Bureau short story competition
  • I signed with my literary agent
  • Said agent got me a two book deal with Orion (novel 1 to be published in October 2009) and sold foreign rights to Russia, Germany and Brazil
  • I met Orion to discuss novel 1 and was stunned when lots of people popped into the meeting told me how much they'd enjoyed reading it
  • I got my mojo back and fell in love with my new idea for novel 2 and wrote 11,000 words of it.

So there you go. To say I'm excited about 2009 would be an understatement. I've got so many wonderful things to look forward to writing-wise including the publication of my novel and a writing holiday in Thailand (please god let it happen!). I also have to do the edits for novel 1 and continue to fight the demon that sits on my shoulder and says, "Novel 2 is never going to be as good as novel 1 and your agent and editor will hate it!" and finish the first draft by September. There's also a few things I'm planning on changing in my personal life but more about those if and when they happen!

And I just want to end this wonderful year by pointing you all to Sally Quilford's inspirational post here on the secret to achieving writing success.

Here's to a wonderful 2009 for all my blog readers. May all your dreams (writing and otherwise) come true.


Helen said...

You're not a big fat show off. More of an inspiration! I feel like I've had a good year in my personal and writing life too. Lots of luck for 2009. x

Quillers said...

Good grief, Cally, if you can't shout from the rooftops about the success you've had this year, then it's not worth any of us trying.

Well done on your much deserved success, and I hope 2009 will be an even better year for you!

Jacqueline Christodoulou said...

You're an inspiration, Cally! I hope you have a brilliant 2009!

Leigh said...

Happy New Year, Cally. I hope it will be even better than this one has been! Hugs and best wishes for all the other stuff too ;-)

HelenMHunt said...

You are a total inspiration. Happy New Year. 2009 will be even better!

Paige said...

What a year! Congratulations! I want to write a post like this this time next year ;)

I agree with the others - you're an inspiration!

2009 is going to be fabulous for you! This time next year I might just be saying your book is my Read of the Year ;)

Angie said...

Congratulations on a momentous year. I've enjoyed reading about your journey and have found it so inspiring. May 2009 be even better!

Gonna be a writer said...

I'd be shouting from the rooftops if were you and so would any of us. I for one love hearing about your success. Good luck for 2009.

JJ said...

I've gone on and on about how inspired you've made me feel - to the extent that you might start to think I'm a mad stalker woman. But you ARE one of the main reasons I've begun to take my writing so much more seriously this year. Thank you for that.

(My fingers are SO CROSSED about the writing holiday... I can't bear it to be another let down)

Please keep sharing your good news - it's not being a big fat show off! So there.

Tam said...

What everyone else said - here's to an even better 2009!

L-Plate Author said...

Happy New Year Cal and all the best for everything you do in it.


womagwriter said...

You've had a fabulous year, and there's no reason why 2009 shouldn't be even better for you. You go, girl!

Vodka Mom said...

Congrats on your successes, and here's a toast to you, and the coming year! *clink*

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

You go ahead and be as successful and happy as you like. It's catching, you know! I hope 2009 is even better for you than 2008.

Anonymous said...

I can hear you from here ;o)

Well done on a truly amazing year.

B said...

Well done Cally. You're a demonstration that hard work pays off in the end (and maybe a little fairy dust)!

KAREN said...

It was a brilliant year for you writing-wise, and I wish you lots more of the same for 2009 :o))

Calistro said...

Helen - Thanks mate. I'd hate to think anyone thought I'd disappeared up my bum hole!

Quillers - Thank you. You too. Now if you'd just finish one of your novel I know you'd be snapped up by an agent! Consider that a kick up the ****! ;o)

Jacqueline - Thanks so much for commenting. I hope you have a brilliant 2009 too :o)

Leigh - Thanks mate. The best wishes for the other stuff are much appreciated :o)

Helen - Thank you. Happy New Year to you and your houseful of cats too :o)

Paige - Oooh! That would be lovely. I just hope all my other bloggers DO like it. I'll know you all hate it if none of you mention it on your blogs! ;o)

Angie - Thank you so much for commenting. I'm glad you've enjoyed the blog. I'm not planning on stopping blogging any time soon so that's lovely to hear.

Gonna - *clambers up onto roof top, shouts loudly, gets sh*t on by seagull* Ah well, it was worth a go! ;o)

JJ - It's so wonderful when people tell me I've inspired them. I feel all weird and humbled and stuff - especially when I was looking to people like Kate, Rowan, Lucy and Clare as inspirational this time last year. And yes, pleeeasssse let the Thailand holiday happen. I will be absolutely GUTTED if it doesn't. I need it to look forward to!

Tam - And to you love! I just know you'll be writing a similar end of year post this time next year. I've got everything crossed for you.

L-Plate: You too missus. You deserve 2009 to be your best year ever. You've worked damned hard for it.

Womag: Thank you. You too!

Vodka: Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I really appreciate. Happy New Year to you too *clinks back*

Zinnia: I don't know if 2009 could possibly be better than 2008 but I'm happy to find out! :o) Hope your 2009 is a happy and healthy one.

Captain: It's my screechy voice that does it! ;o)

B: Yes, the fairy dust certainly helps *sprinkles it liberally on all her blog readers*

Karen: You too oh queen of TaB :o)

sexy said...