It feels a bit trite so say that 2020 has been a rough year, but it’s true.
This writing group — this friend group — has been a spark of light during some really difficult times. I’ve never been one for having more than two or three close friends at once, so I can’t believe how quickly I’ve come to feel so very close to these ladies. It feels like I’ve known them so much longer than a year.
And at the same time, it feels like no time at all!
Was it really a full year ago I tiptoed into Caffe Nero in Falkirk, a long-time NaNoWriMo soloist heading into my first ever in-person meeting?
So, what’s changed for me — as a writer — in the past year?
Well, the obvious one is The Scribblers’ Circle. I’d never have had the confidence (or, likely, the time and tenacity) to set up something like this on my own. As a community, we’re still incredibly new, but seeing engagement come in already on our Instagram account has been thrilling and really rewarding. I’m excited to see, now that we’re off and running, how TSC grows in the year to come.
Having a group of — specifically writing — friends has given me the push (or rather, lots of pushes) to try new things and take myself a bit more seriously as a writer.
*** I’ve got my own writing-focused Instagram account (@lferrellwrites) as well as this new author website (even just writing that makes me feel a bit pretentious…. but fake it ‘til you make it, right?)
*** I’d never tried my hand at writing short stories before this year. I mean, the attempts this year were partly down to my inability to focus on anything longer, but still — I wrote and edited three short stories this year.
I even have one being published in an online magazine in January. The prompt for that one came directly from this writing group, when we played around with the idea of producing an anthology together (An over-ambitious but possibly long-term goal!).
I’ve also learned a few things about myself and my writing process. I’ve learned from my fellow writers and explored the techniques and writing styles that they’ve introduced me to.
*** I’m never going to be a detailed plotter, but from their suggestions I’ve explored Save the Cat, The Snowflake Method, and the Plot Embryo. I’ve found, much to my surprise, that I do actually work better with an idea of all my scenes laid out before me, however rough. It’s made the writing process itself more enjoyable.
*** And… I hate to say it, but despite being a total morning layabout and natural night owl, I’ve noticed I’m most productive in the morning, and that it’s worth dragging myself out from under my duvet. So, thanks for that one, I guess….
This November, I’m writing a different project than the one I was playing with last year. It’s one that came to me in January and I’ve been working on, on-and-off, all year. It’s evolved massively but I’m aiming to finish the first draft of my third act and to completely redo the first act by the end of NaNoWriMo.
Who knows? By the time we’re due to reflect on another year’s progress, I might have a finished product to share with you.