2021 Review & Planning for the New Year

The Snow is Watching by Maria L. Berg 2021

A Review of Experience Writing 2021

This fall has been intense: jumping out of bed every day to explore new photography ideas and write a poem. I know exactly what I’ve been doing since October first, but what was I up to last January?

I’m glad I took a look because I don’t want this year to be an exact copy of last year, but I have the same revision goals. I made a lot of progress, but not as much as I would like. So this year, to switch things up, just a little bit, the focus will be on Novel Revision Motivation.

Last January, I didn’t post much, but I did discover TBR Con (To Be Read Convention) a free online writers convention that I enjoyed. I looked it up and the TBR Con 2022 schedule is up. Shelly Campbell, who was kind enough to do an interview about her revision process last February, will be part of the Worldbuilding 101 panel on Monday January 24th at 2pm PST.

In February, I also had a guest post by author Ferrel Hornsby with her revision tips.

In March, I took Cat Rambo’s online revision class and started a series of posts demonstrating my work revising a short story:

  1. Revising a Short Story: working through discouragement
  2. Revising a Short Story: Pacing and Structure
  3. Revising at the Scene Level
  4. Revising a Short Story: the penultimate pass
  5. Revision: Using Feedback to Strategize

I also discovered Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday (#SoCS) which I enjoy participating in each week. Having one day a week that is completely stream of consciousness is an idea I enjoy. Glad I checked over there today. Looks like Linda has a daily blogging challenge for January called Just Jot It January, in case you’re looking for a daily blogging challenge for the new year.

April brought National Poetry Writing Month, in which I wrote 30 poems in 30 days and the A to Z blogging challenge. This year I chose janus words which are very interesting words that mean one thing and its opposite.

In May I did an intensive demonstration of creating a poetry revision process and revising a poem. There are eight parts and it starts with Revising Poetry: Creating a process.

The final post in that series came out in June and then I took July off. In August I had some fun photographing and drawing flowers and I discovered the Changing Focus Challenge and made my first multi-media video with bokeh, music, and poetry. My piece is called Pathways.

In September Experience Writing had a guest post from author, poet, bioethicist, physician, lawyer and social critic, Jacob M. Appel called Vision and Revision. I attempted to do another multi-media video for the theme Reflections, but it didn’t come together.

October was October Poetry Writing Month OctPoWriMo, and Writober (flash fiction) and I found Tourmaline.’s Halloween Challenge which got me started with daily photography prompts.

In November, I made up my own daily photography prompts and continued daily photos and poetry, participating in Writer’s Digest’s November Poem a Day Challenge. I also won National Novel Writing Month attempting a rewrite of the novel I started in 2019. I wrote 50,000 words but the draft is far from complete. Guess what I’ll be working on in 2022.

And this month I made another daily photo prompt calendar, continued to write a poem every day, and made a multi-media project for the Changing Focus Challenge prompt Rest, Sleep and Hibernation.

That was a busy year. Looking back, I did a pretty good job of sticking with my revision theme. Though I did not complete as many revisions as I would have liked, I explored my process and have a better understanding of the steps I need to take to succeed. So here’s to a year of motivated revision!

If Snow Could Talk by Maria L. Berg 2021

New Poem

New Year’s Resolution

And the cycle continues
but something has to change
the barefoot and bicycles
will arrive too soon
coming or going
they will circle
and what will I have finished
what sweet delight
prepared to serve
the gibberish and frothing
fills pressed pulp
like teeth in a shark’s
wicked grin and yet
I continue to chum
the dark waters
and the dollars and itches circle
coming and going
when will the attention rapt
be enough to keep me in my seat
carving to the revealed
that is supposed to be inside
but I find never finished
and we cycle again
the spokes bent
the tire always needing air
the road uphill both ways
the music and stars
will arrive too soon
and any interest in taming the gibberish
will float on the froth
and effervesce

Snowflakes by Maria L. Berg 2021
The Ball Drops by Maria L. Berg 2021

The New Year

Tomorrow all day The Poetry Project is having its 48th annual poetry marathon. Hundreds of poets will be reading their poems. What a great way to enjoy the first day of the new year.

I signed up for Sarah Selecky’s Six Weeks, Six Senses writing program to jump start some short stories this year. I get my first prompts tomorrow.

I was planning on taking a little time off, maybe switching to once a week for a while, but today, the final day of 2021, I will have posted new photos and poems every day for 92 days straight. It feels silly to stop 8 days short of 100, so I’ll keep it up through the first week of January.

Instead of creating a new photography prompt calendar, I will use Of Maria Antonia’s 2022 Weekly Photo Challenge Bingo Card:

So come back tomorrow and join me for some photography and poetry for the new year, and maybe I’ll have some ideas of how we can stay motivated to revise our work.

Rushing In by Maria L. Berg 2021

Happy Reading and Writing!

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