Writers in the Storm

A blog about writing

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March 7, 2018

It's a New Year: Writing Challenges and Rewards in 2018

Before I begin this post, I have to share that my book cover for P.R.I.S.M. took second place in the Young Adult category of the JABBIC Contest, sponsored by our own Julie Glover's RWA Houston Bay Area chapter!

At the beginning of every year, as the resident science and science fiction geek here at WITS, I share what my friends in the know, in particular Jeanine Just, have to say. I was going to skip this post this year, but there was just too much good news not to share it with you. Here are links to some of my previous posts: 2017, 2016, 2014.

Happy Chinese New Year! It's now officially the Year of the Dog, which brings energy for loyalty, justice, and self-sacrifice. Hard work, competent decision-making, and devotion are the watch words for your writing career in this special year of the Earth Dog. This is good news if you tend to have anxieties and phobias surrounding your writing, because this "double earth" year balances out those problems. This year is a chance for us all to be realistic, practical, methodical and detailed as we build our successful careers. Staying alert, watchful and perceptive, you can pick the right time to make your mark.

Do you know anyone who was sorry to see 2017 end? Me, neither. Thanks goodness 2018 is already shaping up to be a different kind of year. It's important to remember not to personalize what happens to you this year. Instead, honor your own rhythms to promote right brain/left brain alignment. This connection between your analyzing, patterning brain and your creative brain will enhance your writing. There are possibilities for great projects for all of us this year.

This is not a year to be a hermit, locking yourself in your writing space, looking for word count. Conscious connections with like-minded writers and people are important to grow your craft—and your humanity—for amazing adventure and opportunities in 2018.

Last year was a year to begin new projects, new cycles, new thoughts, which necessitated giving up old ways. The change that was forced upon many people was very difficult. This year, reaching out to others to develop interdependence will make changes easier. That's why family, biological or by choice, will be important to support choices of union and synergy over being alienated, lonely and depressed as we move forward with those changes. Understanding the lives of those around you and the "lives" of your characters will be easier through integration of information. Take a class, read a book, attend writer group meetings. Attend events that restore your faith in the good things going on in the world. It will show in your writing.

Support someone else. This could be another writer or a non-writer in your community. You might be pleasantly surprised at how helping someone can help actualize your potential. Ask the right questions. If your plans take an unexpected path, it may be time to move into a different future. Maybe it's time to try dance, yoga, Tai Chi, visualization or meditation. Maybe it's time to fall in love with yourself.

As for the physical:

  • Eat life-enhancing foods that nourish your brain and nervous system.
  • Get more sleep to promote valuable insights and clarity.
  • Lessen mental conflict, racing thoughts, and muscular tension, all of which negatively impact the immune and lymphatic systems.
  • Spend more time in nature to renew your spirit.
  • Experiment with different rhythms and timing. Perhaps you'll find a change that encourages better health.

TO DO's for 2018:

  • Be mindful of your need to "give back."
  • Be authentic. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
  • Don't rob anyone of their responsibilities. It's important to hold others accountable.
  • Welcome everything! Without judgment.
  • Don't put energy into anything your don't want to experience.
  • Graciously allow others to give to you.
  • Commit to making all interactions kind, compassionate and memorable.

This year you can expect to make new friends and relationships that support your writing. Have a great 2018!


Have you already noticed a change this year? What are you looking forward to in 2018?

 *     *     *     *     *


Fae Rowen discovered the romance genre after years as a science fiction freak. Writing futuristics and medieval paranormals, she jokes  that she can live anywhere but the present. As a mathematician, she knows life’s a lot more fun when you get to define your world and its rules.

Punished, oh-no, that’s published as a co-author of a math textbook, she yearns to hear personal stories about finding love from those who read her books, rather than the horrors of calculus lessons gone wrong.  She is grateful for good friends who remind her to do the practical things in life like grocery shop, show up at the airport for a flight and pay bills.

A “hard” scientist who avoided writing classes like the plague, she now shares her brain with characters who demand that their stories be told.  Amazing, gifted critique partners keep her on the straight and narrow. Feedback from readers keeps her fingers on the keyboard.

P.R.I.S.M., a young adult science fiction romance story of survival, betrayal, resolve, deceit, lies, and love is available in trade paperback and e-book form at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

When she’s not hanging out at Writers in the Storm, you can visit Fae at http://faerowen.com  or www.facebook.com/fae.rowen

31 comments on “It's a New Year: Writing Challenges and Rewards in 2018”

  1. 2018 at least looks like it has the potential to be better than 2017... it would have to go a piece, to be WORSE! Thanks for these, Fae - they give me a touchstone to look back on during the year.

  2. So far, 2018 has a much more promising feel than 2017. Some of that, I hope, is attributable to me being more proactive and determined...and some is just that 2017 sucked so hard that Hoover wanted to know its secrets. Thanks for the tips for this coming year, Fae!

      1. Fae & Laura & Julie nailed it. What was it with 2017? The number of folks that have said almost exactly the same thing to me is amazing; I don't remember anything like it. And "Hoover wanted to know its secrets" -- great line! For everybody at WITS: in 2018 - Onward! Thanks for a great post, Fae, and congrats on the P.R.I.S.M. cover.

        1. Thanks, James! And I do love that cover. Working with the design team on the PRISM 2 cover. When I’m not working on the book...

    1. Well said, Julie! I’m going to be laughing at your, “sucked so hard....” comment every time I vacuum!

  3. I love the Chinese New year forecast and it was spot on for me last year as I essentially flipped my career to write in a new genre. Here's to an exciting 2018!

    Congratulations on that cover award...it's gorgeous!

    1. Thanks for the validation on your Rooster year, Debbie! And I was surprised by the Judge A Book By Its Cover Contest. Happily surprised!

  4. Congrats, Fae! It's a beautiful cover! If I can adhere to half of the principles you describe for 2018, I'll count myself a success! Thanks for this post!

    1. They are suggestions, Barb, all there for you to choose your successful habits for this year. I hope we can all look back at 2018 with stories of success and sales!

  5. I'll admit (hands up, defensively), personally I liked 2017. I published my first illustrated children's book, I spoke to lots of groups and libraries and writing groups about publishing and writing, and I began my next novel - women's fiction. My hopes for 2018 are more writing, more publishing, more glory in the act of teaching creative writing and pushing myself on my next project. Best of luck to your goals for 2018!

    1. Congratulations, roughwhiting, on all your successes in 2017. Being an outlier can be a very good thing! And continued success in 2018.

  6. That’s positive - I’ll take it with open arms. I love sharing my enthusiasm with other writers, and I have a book almost ready to grow wings, so it’s all looking good for 2018. Thank you. Have a great year with lots of back scratches, hugs, walks and good company. ? ?

  7. Oh, I’m happy to enjoy your great wishes for 2018, jayjhicks! And best of luck and success with your book. Let us know when it’s ready to fly!

  8. Just so y'all don't think Fae is ignoring you - she's on a beach in Hawaii, with bad internet. Yeah, I know. I feel sorry for her, too.

    1. Oh, the POOR THING! Wait, wait just a minute. I contributed an essay for WITS and answered comments one year on Maui, hunched over my tablet, looking out the hotel window at the beach . . . where my friends were. I take it back. No sympathy from me, Fae.

      1. The North Shore of Kauai is not kind to any electronic connectivity device—from cell phones to iPads or laptops. Even my friend's "hotspot" didn't do the trick. But I have a pretty good idea of when the satellite is directly overhead now. Oh--I'm home now; came in on a red-eye flight.

      1. Pictures in future blogs and on Facebook! Three monk seals and a sea turtle laying eggs on the beach. The new UV gear worked great!

  9. Thanks for this interpretation of the YEAR OF THE DOG, Fae. This is good advice no matter what the year is or isn't. I'm looking forward to 2018 being completely different--at least in my outlook.

    1. Worth repeating, LIsa! Kind of like the kid learning to ride the bicycle looking at the parked car saying, "Don't run into the car. Don't run into the car..."

  10. […] https://writersinthestormblog.com/2018/03/its-a-new-year-writing-challenges-and-rewards-in-2018/ “Do you know anyone who was sorry to see 2017 end? Me, neither.Thanks goodness 2018 is already shaping up to be a different kind of year. It’s important to remember not to personalize what happens to you this year. Instead, honor your own rhythms to promote right brain/left brain alignment. This connection between your analyzing, patterning brain and your creative brain will enhance your writing. There are possibilities for great projects for all of us this year.” It’s been an okay year so far. I’ve been keeping up with my goals. I wish some other things were better but time. […]

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