7 Questions For Writers When Looking Back on 2015 #writers #writerslife


As writers its vital we look back to see how far we have come, what worked, what didn’t go so well and what we can learn for 2016.

Here are 7 questions a writer can use when looking back on 2015:

  1. What was your biggest writing achievement in 2015?
  2. What writing issue did you overcome and how?
  3. Which writing worries were unnecessary in 2015?
  4. How did your writing outlook evolve over 2015?
  5. Which one aspect of your writing would you do differently?
  6. What were your 2 biggest distractions in 2015?
  7. What was the best piece of writing advice that you received in 2015?

As I love quizzes and questionnaires here are my answers:

  • Completing the second draft of my novel. It was an achievement because I detested the first draft and wanted to bin it. Instead I rolled up my literary sleeves and re-wrote 77k words.
  • Writer’s Block. I went through a really bad patch after my second draft. No matter how hard I tried to write the third draft I just couldn’t write a single thing. Cue the world’s worst period of writer’s block. I became frustrated, paranoid and an absolute pain to be around. The way I overcame my writer’s block was sitting down in December and giving myself some writing freedom. I allowed myself to write whatever I wanted. I just sat at the table and let my fingers type. This was quite radical for someone like me. Looking back now I think I forced myself into writing the third draft and I wasn’t ready for it. Sometimes you have to just go with the creative flow.
  • Worrying about what other people think. I spent a lot of 2015 worrying about what people thought about my writing. This was fuelled by some hurtful comments about my blog and writing from some non-writers / people who know me outside of writing. Towards the end of the year I decided to change my approach. I said to myself ‘who cares what people think?’ – I love being a writer, I enjoy writing, blogging and I have the guts to share my work (believe me – its takes real guts to put your writing out there for the world to see). Since stopping worrying about what the rest of the world thinks of me and what I put out for the world to read I have become a much happier person and writer. I am never going to please everybody.
  • A more relaxed outlook. At the start of the year I was on edge, anxious and impatient about my writing. I wanted fast and immediate results – a finished book. Over the year I have really changed, particularly in the last few months. I have learnt the importance of patience and the benefits of letting ideas stew. I have ditched all my anxieties and gone back to enjoying writing again. This has worked wonders and I recommend it.
  • Listen to my gut instinct. I didn’t listen to myself enough during 2015. It is quite a skill to cut out the noise and listen to what your gut instinct is telling you about a project or a piece of work.
  • Phone and Pinterest. I am starting to reap the benefits of putting my phone away for long periods of time during the day. I am trying not to pin so much but it is addictive.
  • Books take time to write. Books cannot be written in a matter of weeks. Some takes years to write and that’s not a bad thing. Ideas need time to develop and mature.

Have you looked back on 2015? How was it for you?

Let me know some of your answers to these questions?

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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

67 thoughts on “7 Questions For Writers When Looking Back on 2015 #writers #writerslife

  1. Your answer to #1 biggest achievement: I had a post go viral in November which I was pretty proud of. You are on Pinterest? Do you want an invite to pin to our group board?

  2. You know the one that surprised me was that people dissed your writing. Errant nonsense. Just send them to uncle geoffles next time and we’ll show them the error of their ways. Have a tip top 2016 Lucy

  3. These are valuable questions to ponder in looking back. And I liked your answers. Well done on pushing to finish the second draft of your novel. It’s wonderful when writing goes smoothly, but that is not always the case. Sometimes, it’s slogging through. Also, patience is a hard lesson. I find myself getting quite impatient at times, but have to remind myself that crafting a book is a long process — not done in a sprint (at least I can’t finish a book in a sprint, maybe others can). I hope your 2016 is wonderful with your writing and other parts of your life 🙂

  4. My biggest achievement was just writing the damned thing. 🙂 My biggest hurdle was getting up the nerve to actually ask people to test-read it for me. My biggest distractions were, still are, and will always be my dogs. I love them dearly, but they don’t particularly care for it when I write. I hope your 2016 is amazing!

  5. Your blog is wonderful. Don’t listen to naysayers. I love reading it every day. Also, you should check out the blog of Dean Wesley Smith who is in the middle of writing an explanation of Heinlen’s Rules: Five Simple Business Rules for Writing. They are inspiring and motivating. Rule One: You Must Write; Rule Two: Finish What You Start; Rule Three: You Must Refrain From Rewriting, Except to Editorial Order; Rule Four: You Must Put Your Story on the Market; Rule Five: You Must Keep it on the Market until it has Sold. Dean has a wonderful explanation of them at his blog: http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/
    It is 9 degrees (F) and snowing here in Minnesota today. Happy New Year.

  6. I’m writing a second draft because I lost the majority of the first one and I think it’s much harder this way. Some say it will be better. We’ll see…hope you have a wonderful new year! ~Elle

  7. If it makes you feel better, the first person I let read through an early draft of novel pretty much said that dosing it with napalm would have been a kindness. After that I really wanted to give up on the project and start a new one from scratch, but I stuck with it and eventually wrote something I could be proud of. I know you can do it too.

  8. Writer’s Block and your realization about it, is one of the reasons that I detest the mantra: ‘write every day. Even if you don’t want to.’ I dislike this because the brain is a muscle. It needs time to heal, to recover, to re-energize. *envisions energizer bunny* We aren’t able to always pump out new drafts, new ideas, new plots. Sometimes, the best thing for writer’s block is truly to take a step back for a while. The key is to decide how long and not completely give up on the draft. ^.^

    P.s. People suck. :p It’s terrible that people have the audacity to break someone down with harsh words and insults when someone loves what they’re doing. It’s that kind of behavior that kills dreams. Don’t let it kill yours and remember: you can’t please everyone. Some people are going to hate it. There are always going to be critiques of your work and that’s their choice. They can continue to live their lives with cynicism, but you will venture forth into the wonderful land of imagination and writing and story-telling and learn to brush off their bad attitudes. (Note: in my experience, most people who attack others are ignorant and lack tolerance. Those are just terrible people in general: a dying breed if you will.)

    *steps off soapbox* Lastly, I want to say congratulations on all the growth and improvement you’ve made through the year. While I may not have been privy to your journey (as I only appeared here a few months ago), just reading about your reflections says volumes! I look forward to your posts in the New Year and hope to continue to support you on your journey to becoming an author. ^.^

    1. Arrrrr thx – your comments are like mini posts! I am glad you popped up on my blog one day or did I pop on yours? I can’t remember but I am glad we are connected. This world needs more blonde writers. Happy new year!

      1. Haha! I’m sorry. :p I get carried away… a lot. (The first YA novel I ever finished writing was 170K… it’s around 90K now. :p)

        I’m glad we connected, too. It’s fun chatting with you and I love your style of posts. It’s a breath of fresh air from all the book reviews. ^.^

        Happy New Year! (P.s. I’m still looking forward to your guest post! ^.^)

      2. Oh yea – will crack on with my guest post…..don’t want you thinking I am disorganised or anything (no one mention the missing email from 22 Dec)….:-))

  9. Great post, great questions, and great, honest responses which I’m certain will strike a chord with many writers, myself included. I’m also really glad that progress is being made on your third draft. I for one can’t wait to read your first!

      1. We all have to do it sooner or later… It’s a whole new level of writerly terror. But seriously, if you wanted to, I’d be delighted.

  10. Best advice about writing and life in general- The only way to truly fail is to never try. Your writing on this blog has been delightful and I look forward to reading your blog. You are already a successful writer. A novel will be icing on the literary cake.
    Best wishes for 2016 Lucy.

  11. We ARE on the same page. Great responses to your questions. I need to adopt a few of them like relax and who cares what people think and putting the phone away… Happy 2016! 🎉🍾

  12. An excellent post and reminder that Rome wasn’t built in a day. As writers I think we often put undue stress on ourselves. What others think or how much we are or are not writing each day, etc. I too, have come to the conclusion that taking a more relaxed view of my writing world makes me more productive. I can’t be all things to all people; but if I focus on one area at a time, I can be pretty damn good.

    1. Thanks for this great and insightful comment. Weirdly I was just on my lunch break talking to someone about this very issue – writers putting undue stress on themselves. Writing is not an instant thing and I am learning this. With the world we live in being focused on instant gratification and ‘I want it now’ I can see why us writers put unnecessary pressure on ourselves and have poor expectations on literary success. Thx for your great comment! I am just enjoying my writing at the moment, the demons are still there but I am dealing with them. I hope you are in a good place 🙂

      1. I’m in as good of a place as I’ve been. I’ve had some unfortunate health issues over the last few years which has set me back considerably. As a result, I’ve had to give myself permission to write or not write. I too, still struggle with the “I should be…” but getting there. Thanks so much for engaging and stopping by the Cow Pasture. May 2016 be productive and less stressful.

  13. My biggest writing achievement in 2015 was winning NaNoWriMo for the first time. I’m still working on my novel and nearly finished it now 🙂 I would say my biggest writing issues were procrastination and self-doubt. Self-doubt was a big one because I received some criticism about my writing too, which wasn’t at all constructive. I had to tell myself that not everyone will like my work and that I shouldn’t stop writing just because of one person. Luckily, I feel like the positivity and support of others often outweighs the negativity and criticism. My writing has evolved because I don’t worry or give in as much to self-doubt or procrastination, I just write and worry about editing later. The best piece of writing advice I’ve received is a quote from Janet Hulstrand that bad writing always precedes good writing. Happy New Year and happy writing!

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