Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December IWSG & Looking into the Future


Happy IWSG day! The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of host Alex J. Cavanaugh and meets the first Wednesday of every month. To join the group, view the list of current members, and learn about Alex's co-hosts for the month, visit the IWSG page here. 

For the last several months the IWSG team has been providing us with a monthly question to answer as part of our post if we choose. This month's question is:

 "In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?"

This question resonated with me because it's something I've been thinking about quite a bit over the past year. And as 2016 ends, I've decided to change my focus and make some big changes in my writing goals and activities in 2017. 

As anyone who visits this blog regularly knows, I love animals and advocate for animal causes whenever I can. When I first started blogging six years ago, my plan was to blog about this interest and develop a freelance writing career around it. It's safe to say I got sidetracked, but in a great way because of my novels and stories. 

It's been a thrill and a dream to see my stories out in the world and I've loved every second of it. But for now I've decided to focus the majority of my writing time on writing non-fiction pieces about animals and advocacy. I also plan to continue writing children's books that allow me to showcase animal rescues as I did with Baby Moo's Great Escape


Within the next few weeks I'm going to set up a blog on Wordpress called All In For Animals. It's going to be about animal care, wildlife, environmental issues, and, of course, rescues and sanctuaries. I also plan to do book reviews, share cute animal pics or videos, and post other fun things as they arise. I'm taking a course right now on professional blogging and hope to apply what I'm learning to this new venture. 

I'm very excited about these plans and while I know the new site will be hard work, I don't think it will feel too much like it since I'll be doing something I'm passionate about. I'm not shutting this blog down though, and still plan to participate in this group and the weekly Celebrate hop. I'll also always be open to helping spread the word about new book releases from blogger friends. 

Since I skipped last month's IWSG due to NaNoWriMo I wanted to add a quick note to this about my NaNo experience. I was a total NaNo dropout! But I don't regret signing up, because doing so proved to me that the story I wanted to write was better suited to a short story or novella than to a novel. Trying to turn it into a novel made that crystal clear! 

Even though it didn't turn out the way I wanted, I'm still glad I signed up and gave it a try. I now have an idea for a short story collection and I plan to work on that in the year to come. I'm excited to have lots of varied ideas and projects and it feels great to be excited about writing again. 

Hope this month finds all of you well! 



37 comments:

  1. I think writing animal books is the perfect niche for you. It's a win-win for everyone.
    Sorry NaNo wasn't a stellar success, although if you know what you need to do now, then maybe it was.

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  2. Great idea to write about what you are passionate about.

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  3. I love that you're taking a class on professional blogging. Good for you! Can't wait to see your other blog. I'm excited to see you pursuing your true passion for animal rescue. When I started pursuing my true passion, that's when my writing really became a ton of fun. And I give you a ton of credit for joining NaNo. It's a tough challenge. Have a wonderful holiday!

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  4. Yeh for being excited about writing again! I love the title of the new blog, too. :)

    The professional blogging course sounds really interesting. Maybe something to check out for myself....

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  5. Excited for you, Julie. I look forward to seeing what you write about animals.

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  6. The clarity NaNoWriMo can bring is awesome - and sometimes a little painful. Good luck with your new blog :-)

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  7. How exciting that you're excited for writing again! And the new blog for next year sounds wonderful. NaNo wasn't a loss if you learned something. :)

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  8. I think that setting up a blog based on a personal interest of yours is a great idea. That's the kind of thing that makes you stand out in a crowd. And it's so much easier to maintain a website like that when you're passionate about it. Good luck with the new site.

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  9. I love your non-fiction goals. And I can't wait to see your website once it's up and running. That's a wonderful idea.

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  10. Hurrah for animals and animal advocates. I'm doing what I can to keep everyone fed and sheltered, but it can have odd side effects. Yesterday I looked out to check how the herd of house sparrows were doing and was met by the steely gaze of a very large hawk perched on my deck railing. Handsome fellow. Unfortunately for him, I think all the sparrows escaped in time. Maybe next time, bud.

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  11. If you're passionate about what you write, then it can't go wrong. Good luck with the non-fiction projects! Sounds exciting, Julie!
    Happy IWSG Day!

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  12. I'm glad to see you aren't beating yourself up for not "winning" NaNo. I think that's missing the point, but I see a lot of writers do that. There have been a couple of years when I dropped out, too. But, like you, I was glad I wrote that month and I learned from it. I think that's a healthier attitude, over all. Isn't there some quote about how success actually comes from "failing forward"? To me, the real failure is when you don't even try!

    Love that cat pic! Here's to a wonderful 2017! :)

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  13. All is not lost when you're writing short stories or novels! I bet you're glad you signed up anyway.

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  14. I don't think NaNo is about winning. It's about getting words down as world-wide group. Good luck with the new site. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  15. Hi, Julie, I did NaNo too, but only made it half way which was a good start for me. Enjoy the new blog.

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  16. It's so nice to hear taht you will be refocusing on a passion. We do get side-tracked along our journeys - quite normal and usually we learn a lot too - but when we find our way back, good things happen :) Wishing you lots of luck with your focus and I really do hope you continue to write animal kids books. Children adore stories with animals and gain so much from them. Keep up the good work!I adored Baby Moo. Happy December.

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  17. Your new blog idea sounds like a natural fit for you. Good luck with it.

    Your NaNo experience was a good one if it clarified your thinking on what to do with that piece of work. I salute you for even attempting the challenge. It's way too daunting for me.

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  18. I think it's awesome that you're moving forward with your animal passions! I'm looking forward to it. And I feel ya on NaNo, since I was right there with you. :)

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  19. I love your animal advocacy idea. I look forward to seeing what you write, Julie.

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  20. Julie, good luck with your short story idea and here's to a healthy and prosperous 2017!

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  21. That's awesome about the new blog you're planning! And to me it sounds like you won NaNo. It's not about the 50k words. It's about writing something and figuring out what works best for you and the story. :)

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  22. Julie - I loved reading your news this month. I missed you last month. :) I'm so glad you have a new plan, new goals, and that Nano gave you insights. I'm celebrating all that with you. (Many festive cheers!) Please link the new blog on this one at some point, I would love to check it out.
    Happy December and 2017!

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  23. This is my first time here. I've joined your blog. I will connect with you online, too. Good luck with your short story collection and new blogging adventure. All the best for a wonderful holiday season.

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  24. I was a Nano drop out too. But at least I realized that my novel idea is better suited for NA than YA. I will be making some notes then putting it on the back burner for a while. I already have a horror NA series I want to release in 2018 and 2017 is YA focused for me. Glad to see you are setting your priorities Julie. Want to discuss animals and go full on activist? Go for it! We are with you.

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  25. Good luck with the new blog! I'm a big animal and environmental advocate myself.

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  26. I think it's a great decision for you. I remember when we met on the AtoZ forever ago and your blog was about animals. Do what you love. Life is short.

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  27. Awesome, Julie!!! About starting you new blog about animals.

    Wishing you much success!!!

    I could never do NaNo because I write like a snail and with watching my grand babies, I wouldn't find the time.

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  28. Hi Julie - that sounds an awesome plan for the future ... and I'm so pleased you've found your direction with your passion. That's fantastic and I have a feeling your story writing will return too in due course ... great to read this - and good luck - cheers Hilary

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  29. Love your new idea for the blog! Congratulations, doing it on something you're passionate about is perfect!
    Wishing you the best of luck in everything!

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  30. Loved your upbeat post, Julie. BTW, I ordered Baby Moo for my toddler g'daughter. Can't wait to read it to her. Your new blog sounds like the perfect niche for you. Let us know when it's live.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family.

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  31. Very exciting! I have often thought about putting my thoughts down on paper regarding how it feels to be at the sanctuary as the sun goes down and nighttime comes to life. It is a really wonderful experience that you can only realize if you are staying the night at BF. Can't wait to learn more about your new writings.

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  32. It sounds like a great idea to follow your passion for animal welfare and what a great cause. All the very best, I'm glad you'll still be around this blog too!

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  33. That sounds really cool. Wishing you lots of success with the new blog.
    Happy Holidays
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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  34. Hi, Julie!

    YAY, YOU! I haven't read so much excitement in your 'voice' in AGES.. SOOOO happy to see/read it! I hope it rubs off... I need something to 'jolt' me back into loving writing again. Just can't seem to pull it together.

    Life is just too hard an crazy.... you know how that is.

    EXCITED about your new blog. I LOVE the fact that it will help so many animals. I get SO UPSET with their the cruelty they receive at the hands of monsters....

    I had hoped to write something amazing so I could have done something incredible and amazing to help them, but alas, I haven't hit pay dirt on anything yet. But who knows what will trigger next in life.

    KEEP HAPPY... KEEP MOTIVATED.... and KEEP YOUR EXCITEMENT! I LOVE Seeing it!

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  35. Doing what you love is great. Good luck with your new blog.

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  36. Often there's a lot to be gained in simply participating NaNo. Doesn't matter if you finish it or not. Best wishes for the New Year.

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  37. Your new blog sounds amazing. I will share this info with my mom. She is passionate about animals too.

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Thank you for your comments!