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My year as a writer

When a new year approaches, there’s more to it than just setting a few resolutions.

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With the new year straight ahead, I am finding myself reflecting back on the past year and what I can take from it into the new year. The one thing that comes to mind is lessons learned. Every year I have them. Certainly I hope I am growing and learning as a person, as a writer, as a wife, mom, and more.

Here are some personal reflections and lessons from my year as a writer.

The years always start off with hopes and aspirations. This year was no different. I wanted to continue writing, hoping my writing would get even better and I was willing to work hard to make that happen. Personally I believe my writing has improved. I still haven’t written a long novel yet but I think that will happen someday. I enjoy writing short stories as much as I enjoy reading short stories so most of my books have been short stories. Even Agatha Christie began with short stories so I do believe there is a longer story to be written in my future. My novella, SUMMER BY THE SHORE, is yet the longest fictional story I’ve written. And, I do plan on bringing that book back, making it available again, perhaps in 2015.

Speaking of Agatha Christie, I love mysteries. I enjoy watching the Miss Marple programs, too. I also find Sherlock Holmes’ mysteries fascinating. Writing a mystery would be a fantastic journey—one I may travel someday. The genre I have written so far, besides my non-fiction books, is contemporary romance. Romance is fun and sweet to write. I have enjoyed networking with many romance writers over the last year. I find most of them wholeheartedly dedicated to their genre, with some crossing over to other genres as well. I have learned that in romance, anything’s possible although maybe not plausible. Readers like happy endings, overall. They like characters they can sympathize with or identify with. It’s good, I think, to have at least one static character in a romance story—one who stays the same throughout the story with no shocking behaviors or decisions. I have also learned that although I have had some very nice reviews of my short stories, most readers want longer stories—they want to stay engaged with the story for a while, perhaps not wanting the story to even end at all. The characters become “real” and it’s hard to let them go when the story ends. I have appreciated the reviewers who have been kind enough to leave a review and pointed out that they wish my stories would have been longer.

In 2014, I released three short story books: THE CAT WHO PLAYED CUPID, A KISS FOR THE FOURTH, and CRANBERRY KISSES. These books, along with one more, ONCE UPON A CHRISTMAS TIME, comprise my Holiday Romance Series. I have always enjoyed the various holidays and thought it would be fun to write stories centered on holidays. It was a delight and I am proud of these books. It was a labor of love to write these sweet, PG-rated romances. Doing a series is enjoyable and I plan to do another one is the future, of a different type next time.

Book releases are fun days and I have learned Tuesdays are the best days to release a book, according to all the information out there. Book promotions are fun to do, too. Sometimes I offer freebies during a promotion as a bonus. I want the reader to enjoy my books and I don’t mind having free book promotions. I enjoy being able to download free books on my Kindle and I am always happy, when possible, to offer mine for free, too, to the readers. I think having a strategy of when to offer them for free is the most important thing.

In 2014, I participated in National Blog Posting Month and wrote a post on my blog nearly every day that month (November). It was enjoyable and I wrote poetry frequently. I love poetry—to read it and write it. I have learned that participating in such an event helps to make connection with even more writers and bloggers.

Blogs are great and being in the blogging community is such an adventure. There are so many talented writers out there and talented photographers, too.

Overall, 2014 has been a great year, for me as a writer and I have enjoyed being able to network with so many. My Twitter following has grown. I do have a Facebook author page however I don’t promote it much. I do like Facebook for personal use however professionally speaking I think it’s more of a challenge to make a connection to the fans and readers there. Additionally, my Amazon author page is out there and I hope people are able to find it. I am on Goodreads as well and have some reader feedback there. Pinterest is fun and I spend time there, too. I get so many good ideas and inspirations from Pinterest.

Personally, there are many exciting writing projects coming up for 2015. And more lessons to be learned.

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Happy New Year to you and may you have a wonderful year ahead.  Thanks for joining me. 🙂

Susan

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