Tuesday, January 3

2011? Pretty Good

As the sun sets on 2011, here at Wordwranglers,we're taking a look back. Most blogs are doing resolutions for the upcoming year. But it's kind of hard to do that without knowing where you've been and taking a minute to pause and reflect. Loved Liz's post yesterday.

Things I've learned. Hmmmm... I learned where I fit. I write contemporary western suspense. Every time, including on my most recent manuscript, that I go outside those lines I'm not happy. I like mystery. I like cowboys and horses. The fit is good for me.

I learned that I want to break some rules. Not grammar rules, but rules of genre writing. I found out I don't want to write Intrigue-length any more. Although I found out that's where my word count wants to stop after all these years of writing that length.

Things I'd change or do differently. Not much. I have the best circle of critique partners in the world. It took years of searching, but the fit I have with the gurls at Crit-me, several from Critters and the blend of both is just amazing. Their help has really made a change in my writing. Strengthened it immensely.

I would try to write faster again. I used to be able to write a book in a month. These days it seems to take me half a year.

I wish I had learned to laugh off contest judges who "don't get me" sooner. Sure low scores still sting. I've gotten some of the lowest scores ever on Branded, but I just don't care. I love the book. I think my agent will, too.

I'm sure there's more, but my brain is blank right now. I'd love to hear how you look back on 2011. And don't forget to drop by tomorrow to see what Kristi has to say.


  1. hmmm, I think that's a good idea of taking a moment to look back before moving forward. I think most people are just in a hurry to get the old year out of here, hoping for a better upcoming year. It's good tho that so many are hopeful for a better year. Good post!

  2. Nice post D'Ann. Looking back on 2011 I'm awed by all the wonderful people I've met. I'm happy with what I've learned to improve my craft, but readily accept I'm not finished yet...it's a constant process of growth. Here's to hoping that 2012 will help me organize myself enough to meet a few goals I set for myself when I first started my writing journey:)

    As for you D'Ann...your writing is amazing and I know you'll succeed. Glad you found your niche :)

    Happy New Year!

  3. Looking back, 2011 was a year of frustration. I want more. More time to write. More books under my belt. More time to read and crit. There is never enough.

    I found a different side to my writing--short contemporary erotic. Also frustrating because it seduces me away from my passion which is novel length historical romance.

    But I'm grateful for all the fantastic, generous people who have helped me be the best writer--whatever genre--I can be, and I found them in 2011. Let 2012 try ot top that!

    Great post, D'Ann! Branded is great. You should be very proud.

  4. If I had to do it over again, I'd have joined RWA and found a crit group earlier. Other than that, I'm humbled by all the wonderful writers that have helped me as I work towards my dream.

  5. Excellent post, and further proof you're moving in the right direction. It's so cool to know right down to your toes that you're in a good writing place.

  6. Great post, D'Ann! I wish I had written more last year so I am setting goals this year. Can't wait to read your new one!
    Happy New Year!

  7. mystery, cowboys and horses - sounds great to me.

  8. Looking back on 2011. I'd have to say it was my least productive year since I started writing. Why? I'm not sure. It's been a struggle to write but it's coming back to me now. 2012 will be my year. I'm planning to work hard to make it so.

  9. I wish I could write and edit faster, too. If this pesky job wasn't in the way... oh, wait, I did the laid-off thing and I didn't get much done then either. Oh, well.

    I look forward to critiquing anything you write in 2012!

  10. Great look back at the year--you're happy with where you're at, D'Ann, and that shows in your stories.

  11. I'm glad you know just what niche you write in--that is so important.

    I look back on 2011 and regret all my procrastination and not listening to my gut instincts more.

    Great post, my friend.

  12. My rearview glance at 2011 is similar to yours, D'Ann. Feeling the groove where my genre lies and finding the CPs that are more like family than my own.

    The only thing different in 2012 I plan to do (okay, who's laughing??) is organize my time better. I want to make writing a priority rather than stuff into the portions of my day.

    Oh! Cowboys and horses. Dogs and kids. Now you're talking my language!! Happy New Year, cowgirl.

  13. 2011 was supposed to be the year that I accomplished a whole lot of writing. Well, that didn't happen due to circumstances beyond my control. Now I'm way behind in all of 2011's goals. But what did I learn? I learned to break the rules, to write outside the box. I learned to push through when things get tough in both writing and life. I learned patience is a virtue I don't really possess. LOL.

    Here's to a great 2012 for all of us!

  14. I'm so glad you've found that comfortable spot in your writing - it makes all the difference. Once I stopped trying to fit into this spot or that corner, I found my voice and my stories and...I'm a happier all around writer. And I'm hoping that also pushing me into the Published Author category very soon.

  15. D'Ann, I love your attitude. I also love the fact you live your stories. Ranches, cowboys, horses and dogs are the things I love too. Knowing you can write and doing it has to be a joy. I have had an ugly year and am so happy it has ended. With the help of mercy, I will get back to writing again. Thank you for your fabulous stories and friendship.

  16. Good post D'Ann. I loved Branded. To me, half a year is pretty fast lol. I can't imagine putting out a book a month. Happy New Year!

  17. They say practice makes perfect. So looking back I'm doing good, but should probably up my discipline to write everyday. I kind of did things backasswards as far as pubbing my book without a good marketing plan first, so 2012 will be concentrating on marketing.I've never thought of myself as a speaker (I'm a terribly quiet soul)but it appears this is a new avenue writers must take, so I'll have to do some soul searching, confidence building and take the plunge. While nothing is going fast enough and falling into place for me, I just keep telling myself, no wine before its time. I'm still apprenticing but have the goal of a bestseller before me.

  18. Nice post D'Ann. As for myself, It's been a very good year! Of course it had its ups and downs, but somehow you plunge forward. I've met some wonderful people and feel blessed.
    Your writing is awesome.
    Great Post.
    Here's to 2012,

  19. I had a banner 1st year as a writer. I am so looking forward to year 2. Congrats on your accomplishments, D'Ann!

  20. Happy New Year! Good idea to look back at the previous year and analyze. So many goals. So much to do!
    Wishing you much success and lots of happiness.

  21. One of the best things I did last year was let a guy cop friend who'd read A Hunter's Angel in it's roughest draft talk me into rewriting that book. You know what that story has done for me...

    I stopped considering self-publishing a last-ditch effort for authors who couldn't get noticed. I now realize it for what it really is--another opportunity for us to reach more readers.

    I too am blessed with wonderful CPs that I'll never be able to repay.

    Great Post and Happy New Year!

  22. Valle~
    Thanks for coming by!

    Thanks for the compliment! SO glad we met!

    There's never enough time for anything, is there?

    Me, too.

    I'm in a great writing place, due in large part to you and the other Crit-me gurls.

    So glad we met, and am anxious for you to see the new ms!

    LOl. Yup.

    I see a great year for you!

    Back attcha, sweetheart!

    Listening to your own gut is HUGE. Way to go.

    You're so sweet. Thank you!

    We're like blood, without the drama, aren't we?

    I can't imagine the year you had last year. Thank goodness John is ok.

    My friend, Published Author is just waiting for you!

    So anxious to see something of yours. You're so dear to me. HUGS.

    Thank you. Hurry up and write this book! I wanna see where you take it!

    You're doing great. ONe step at a time, right?

    SO happy to have met you. TY for the compliment. Happy 2012!

    You had an AMAING year! Here's to another one like it!

    This is OUR year.

    My friend. So glad you stuck up for me on that loop a year ago. HUGS.

    Happy New Year, my friends!

  23. I'm excited for your revelation. Sometimes that's all that it takes. Good luck!

    Can't wait to read you in the new year