In January 2017, I was floundering. My writing schedule was inconsistent; I was producing some work but hadn’t yet finished the second draft of my book and desperately needed to. In the past, I’ve tried a lot of different tracking methods to try and maintain a consistent writing habit (most of them in some sort of digital format), but nothing really stuck.
So I decided to go old school. I printed up some graphic paper, labeled it with letters for months and numbers for days, and gathered up my colored pencils. For every day I wrote, I got to color in a square.
A year later, here’s how that ended up:
Byron was in my office one day in December and said, “Look at all that color on there! You’ve done so great!”
I looked over at it and said, “I guess you’re right. I tend to notice all the white.”
But when I look back on my writing in 2017, it was, all in all, a good year.
- I got my first two short stories published (“Home” and “Flight“).
- I finished the second draft of my book.
- I wrote a query letter (which WOW is a process in itself) and started querying agents.
- I wrote two new short stories that I really love. They’re currently searching for their homes.
- At the very end of the year, I started mulling over a new book. (Because I’m crazy? I dunno. Time will tell.)
Sometimes during this weird slog we call the creative process, it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. You have to show up and put in the work, regardless of the outcome. Even though it doesn’t always seem like it at the time, the color adds up to something.