Retrospection

Originally published in the Black Diamonds of RWA chapter newsletter

Edited to update.

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Looking Forward by Looking Back by Jill James

Sometimes it seems in the writing world everyone is looking forward. Deadlines for manuscripts written, asking what your next project will be, asking where you want to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years. We are trained to say, “When I get published, not if I get published”. Always looking forward to the prize on the horizon.

Day by day, if we are serious about our craft, we will see improvement. But, will we recognize how far we have come if we don’t take time to look back at our beginnings? I’m sure everyone has heard a writer, maybe even you yourself, talk about that first awful manuscript, the one gathering dust bunnies under the bed, or languishing on a hard drive never to be seen. The question to ask is, are they as awful as you remember and are you brave enough to dig it out and compare it to today’s work?

Several years ago, I did just that. I dug out the then, ten-year-old children’s story I wrote for my son’s then-2nd grade class.  “The Story of Sammy Bootlebutt”.  I wrote and illustrated a story of Sammy the frog finding his place in the world. Even though my RWA chaptermates’s comments were encouraging, that wasn’t why I dragged it out of the closet. I wanted to show myself how far I’ve come. Sammy is an okay story, but simple. It was fun to write, but so are my stories I write today. Everything I’ve learned along the way goes into each story I write. Everything I’ve become along the way goes into each story I write.

All the classes, workshops, critiques, and conferences add up to where my writing is today. I’ve learned POV, GMC, layering, subtext, using back story to build characters, being organized, how to plot, using astrology for characters, world-building, and a dozen more workshops I’m sure I forgot.  I’ve now published with a small press and by myself as a self-published author. Sometimes when I glance back I’m amazed at how far I’ve come. Take a few moments and take a trip down the ‘memory lane’ of your hidden stories and you might find a gem, you might find a dud, or you might be amazed too, at how far you’ve come.

So, we all need to “look forward” to where our writing will be in the future so we can “look back” to today and marvel how far we’ve come.

Happy New Year and may your 2020 be happy and prolific!!

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Jill James, writer of contemporary, paranormal, and zompoc romance*

2020 – Happy New Year

For years I would do New Year’s Resolution. About February they were dust in the wind. Then my friend gave me a Wishing Pot. Each New Year’s Eve I sit down and open it up and read what my wishes were for the year. Some come true, some don’t, and some happened that weren’t in the Wishing Pot at all.

wish pot

Another year, another opening of the Wishing Pot. What did I accomplish? What did I forget? What did I not write down but I did anyway?

What will I put in there for next New Year’s Eve? What are my hopes and dreams for 2020?

 

1 writing-related, 1 health-related, and 1 personal. It is funny how I won’t think about those wishes until it is time to check them next New Year’s Eve. Happy wishes to everyone for 2020 to be all you want and need it to be.

What is your wish for 2020?

and how did it become 2020???!!!


Jill James, romance writer

2019 – Happy New Year

For years I would do New Year’s Resolution. About February they were dust in the wind. Then my friend gave me a Wishing Pot. Each New Year’s Eve I sit down and open it up and read what my wishes were for the year. Some come true, some don’t, and some happened that weren’t in the Wishing Pot at all.

wish pot

This past New Year’s Eve I got my wish pot off the shelf and opened it up. Imagine my disappointment to find no wishes inside. The wish pot had still been packed away last New Year’s Eve after the move to our new house and it was months later that my office was finally in order and the little pot on a shelf.

 

 

But, now it has new wishes for this coming year. 1 writing-related, 1 health-related, and 1 personal. It is funny how I won’t think about those wishes until it is time to check them next New Year’s Eve. Happy wishes to everyone for 2019 to be all you want and need it to be.

What is your wish for 2019?


Jill James, romance writer

2016 – Happy New Year

For years I would do New Year’s Resolution. About February they were dust in the wind. Then my friend gave me a Wishing Pot. Each New Year’s Eve I sit down and open it up and read what my wishes were for the year. Some come true, some don’t, and some happened that weren’t in the Wishing Pot. Each New Year’s Eve I sit down and wish for some new things. Some come true, some don’t, and some happen that I didn’t put in the Wishing Pot.

wish pot

What is your wish for 2016?


I’m wishing for more butt in chair time to put out more books in 2016. I’m wishing to continue my new lifestyle choices of portion control and some exercise every day. I’m wishing for happiness and healthfulness for me and my family.

Looking forward by looking back by Jill James

Originally published in the Black Diamonds of RWA chapter newsletter

Edited to update.

*********************************************

Looking Forward by Looking Back by Jill James

Sometimes it seems in the writing world everyone is looking forward. Deadlines for manuscripts written, asking what your next project will be, asking where you want to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years. We are trained to say, “When I get published, not if I get published”. Always looking forward to the prize on the horizon.

Day by day, if we are serious about our craft, we will see improvement. But, will we recognize how far we have come if we don’t take time to look back at our beginnings? I’m sure everyone has heard a writer, maybe even you yourself, talk about that first awful manuscript, the one gathering dust bunnies under the bed, or languishing on a hard drive never to be seen. The question to ask is, are they and you brave enough to dig it out and compare it to today’s work?

Several years ago, I did just that. I dug out the then, ten-year-old children’s story I wrote for my son’s then-2nd grade class.  “The Story of Sammy Bootlebutt”.  I wrote and illustrated a story of Sammy the frog finding his place in the world. Even though my RWA chaptermates’s comments were encouraging, that wasn’t why I dragged it out of the closet. I wanted to show myself how far I’ve come. Sammy is an okay story, but simple. It was fun to write, but so are my stories I write today. Everything I’ve learned along the way goes into each story I write.

All the classes, workshops, critiques, and conferences add up to where my writing is today. I’ve learned POV, GMC, layering, subtext, using back story to build character’s, being organized, how to plot, using astrology for characters, world-building, and a dozen more workshops I’m sure I forgot.  I’ve now published with a small press and by myself as a self-published author. Sometimes when I glance back I’m amazed at how far I’ve come. Take a few moments and take a trip down the ‘memory lane’ of your hidden stories and you might find a gem, you might find a dud, or you might be amazed too, at how far you’ve come.

So, we all need to “look forward” to where our writing will be in the future so we can “look back” to today and marvel how far we’ve come.

Happy New Year and may your 2014 be happy and prolific!!

*

Jill James, writer of contemporary and paranormal romance
Amazon Top 50 Best-Seller

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