Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lessons Learned This Year – 2011

You Don’t Have To Be Alone

I started the critique group last year and we continued this year.  I looked forward to our monthly meetings.  Sharing our writing, writing successes and failures helped me a lot.  I also found a community online when I attended an online writing course.  We posted daily our writing goals and encouraged one another.

I also have a new writing mentor, Dr. Linda Beed, who has been a blessing to me spiritually and mentally on this writing journey.  Her weekly encouragements have helped me to complete my editing.

Writing On Schedule

The Novel in 30 days taught me about writing on a schedule and knowing how much I can write if I have to.  When I set a scheduled time, I write and don’t let anything interrupt me.  I found that I can write for an hour and write about 1500 words.  That’s not bad for an hour.

Know Your Budget

I was excited to know the ACFW conference was coming to St. Louis and I really wanted to attend.  However when the date started to get closer and I had to make a decision.  I had to sit down and look at my budget and think about if attending the conference was a good idea.  I hated to admit it, but at the time it wasn’t.  My budget had taken a major hit with my mother’s death and other family emergencies, I had to let that goal go.

I learned that when I’m planning my schedule for next year to look at the costs of each event. What will I get out each event and to also look locally.  I was able to attend two conferences this year and the prices were very reasonable. I was able to do a lot of networking, which was worth the admission.

I also attended an online writing course on plotting and character building.  I learned so much in that course, it helped me be prepared to accept the challenge of the Novel in a Month.  This was a free course and I hope next year to find a few more courses to attend.

You’re Never Prepared For Death

I started the year out with a mother and I’m finding it very hard to know I will end this year without my mother.  I don’t care how sick someone is, you’re never ready for them to die.  It is probably the hardest thing you have to handle in your life time.  I can honestly say after my mother died, I think I went into a cocoon.  I was living on the outside but inside I was growing in ways I never knew I could.  Her death taught me not to take life for granted and to stop talking about what you want to do and do it.  My mother use to tell me that all the time, but I wasn’t willing to come out of my comfort zone.  My biggest regret is that she’ll never see my published books.  I know it will happen mainly because of her loyal support.  She saw my books before I did.  So in her honor I will make sure I get to see them too.

I also lost a writer friend this year, Leslie Esdaile or L.A. Banks.  I was still grieving over my mother when I learned of her death.  It hit me hard too.  She was an amazing writer who supported SORMAG since day one.  She is the reason we were mentioned in Essence Magazine.  It hurts my heart to know she will no longer grace the earth.  However her legacy to me is to follow your dream and write your butt off.  Leslie wrote in different genres and she made it work.  She inspired me to branch off into something new.  I’m so glad I did.  I am truly blessed to have known Leslie.

These are a few of my lessons I’ve learned over the year.  If you’ve been reading my blog you’ve seen a few more.  If this is your first visit, take a moment to read some older posts. I shared a few other lessons.

What lessons have you learned this year?


Rhonda McKnight said...

You have learned quite a bit this year, Lashaunda. 2012 looks bright for you already. Stay the course. I look forward to holding your book in my hand one day.

LaShaunda said...

Thanks Rhonda,

I pray I will be able to autograph one of my books for you one day.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.