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A Reflective Writing Inventory on the 12th Day of the 12th Month of the 12th Year

A Reflective Writing Inventory2012 has been my finest year regards creativity and writing. I’d promised myself as a New Year’s resolution that this was to be my year and that vow hasn’t wavered.

I started the year determined to gain membership to the Romantic Novelists’ Associations’ New Writers’ Scheme.  Application is via a simple email sent on 2nd January – one simple rule applies – no emails

are to be sent before 12:01am. Wow!

Research in previous years had informed me that any vacant positions are normally filled by five past midnight.  I kid you not, when I say my competitive nature surfaced – I was prepared to take on the rest of the world in this game – the fastest index finger Olympics.

At twenty to midnight my computer sparks into life, I wrote my email and switched the TV to Sky News – the only clock that I can bet my life upon.  I wasn’t prepared to wait another year to join the RNA writing scheme.  Oh no – it was now or never.

Hubby went to bed, shaking his head at the crazed woman in the lounge, her finger poised over the mouse button, the mouse curser poised over the send button, her eyes locked upon the Sky News clock. 12:01 send.

That was just the start of my fabulous year.  I secured my place on the New Writers’ Scheme at 12:01 – purely for information, all places were filled by 12:02!  From that point I haven’t looked back.

My greatest achievement was completing my first novel “Her” which had taken six years to write, but was finally completed and sent to RNA in August – receiving a wonderfully positive review.  I have since started my second novel “Weigh to go!” and have planned novels three and four – with ideas for five and six!

In January and July, I published two short stories onto Kindle eBooks – surprisingly both have brought me a little income this year.

In March, my poem “Jutt” was officially unveiled on the Polesworth Poetry Trail in Pooley Heritage Park in Warwickshire.

In July, I attended the RNA Summer conference in Penrith, Cumbria and met a throng of new friends and contacts within the writing world.  I submerged myself in their wonderful talks and workshops absorbing their advice.  I came home ready to take on the world via Twitter – I literally went from a hundred followers to over a thousand in a matter of weeks.

Following the conference I also rejigged my blog page offering more scope to potential followers.  I also narrowed the range of topics so I focused purely on my writing – again more advice from conference.

In November, I completed National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) – a global challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days.  Back in 2009 I had attempted the challenge but gave up during the second week.  This year I was determined – I didn’t write for 12 days and still managed to clock up 50,213 words of “Pooch Parade” – so another first draft to edit and rewrite.

Throughout the year I have attended two writers’ groups and RNA Birmingham Chapter group – enabling me to share my work and critique their work.

In between the day job, degree study and the home, I have also managed to write five short stories, several letters, of which three have been published receiving a small prize and, thanks to daily dog walking, a staggering 41 poems.  Yep, you read that correctly 41 poems!  They aren’t grand masterpieces but I do believe that my faithful line “… I don’t really do poetry” needs to die a death in 2012.

And so now to 2013 – the momentum continues.  I’ve already renewed my membership for the RNA New Writers’ Scheme so I won’t have to repeat the stake out drama at midnight.  My focus remains upon becoming a published author.

On 4th April I completed draft one of my novel TFD – it has taken just 99 days to write the 86,500 words, of which 40,000 I have completed in 13 days whilst on Easter holiday from school.

I’ve written it using a very different manner/method to my previous novel “Her” – which took six years to do, so in comparison 99 days (so far) is pretty good going for me!

So, all being well I can now have a few days off to complete other long over due work.

How has your writing progress been?  What do you do to motivate yourself in order to write more?  Let me know in the comments below.

About Bernadette ODwyer

Bernadette O’Dwyer is an author based in Warwickshire, UK currently honing her second novel, whilst submitting her debut novel to literary agents. In her spare time she creates short stories for fiction magazines and some poetry.

A founding member of The Mad Hatter’s Writers’ Group of Atherstone, she regularly attends the Grace Dieu Writers’ Circle in Coalville.

Bernadette works full-time as an English teacher in a local secondary school.

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