Monday, January 4, 2016

2015 in a Nutshell

Kats Beach

As it happened in 2014, I started the year of 2015 with a commitment, to write 500 words a day. Establishing a writing routine proved to be extremely important in terms of creating a solid body of work.

The difference between 2015 and the previous years is the fact that, more and more, my writing is becoming less visible. As I move forth towards long fiction and spend more time doing research and plotting, the amount of stories I post in my blog becomes smaller, resulting in the impression that less is being done. That is not true.

So, what happened in 2015?

*For the Virtual Writers Inc. website, A Story Waiting to Happen (monthly non-fiction articles with suggestions for stories and virtual inspiration drawn from sims in Second Life)

2. Roche

*100 Word Stories Weekly Challenge (fiction drabbles; this challenge continues to be an invaluable creative opportunity that pushes me to think about the micro-world of a sentence and the value of each word)

*500 Word Stories (fiction)

*I ventured into writing an Erotica short-story. It’s now at 11.396 words, but miserably unfinished and unpublished.

*A short-story called "Sonya Electrified" (fiction)

*Writing resources for my own blog (non-fiction about the writing process)

*An opinion article about Second Life’s SL12B, “So, What’s the Problem?

*I took these MOOC to collect information that would eventually help me with character building:
  1. May 11 - June 7 - Heart Health (University of Reading) - a Beginner's Guide to Cardiovascular Disease
  2. April 20 - May 31 - Psychology and Mental Health (University of Liverpool) - How a psychological understanding of emotions and behavior provides new ways to improve mental health and well-being
  3. April 20 - June 14 - Introduction to Cyber Security (The Open University) - Essential cyber security knowledge and skills
  4. April 13 - May 15 - Forensic Science and Criminal Justice (University of Leicester) - The use of science in criminal investigations and its role in the criminal justice system
  5. March 9 - 27 - How to Succeed at Interviews (The University of Sheffield) - Tools to succeed at interviews and land a dream job or course place
  6. March 2 - April 10 - Dysphagia: Swallowing Difficulties and Medicines (University of East Anglia) - The administration of medicines to patients with dysphagia
  7. March 2 - 20 - Introduction to Dutch (University of Groningen) – Introductory
  8. January 5 - February 13 - Introduction to Forensic Science (University of Strathclyde) - Methods and scientific underpinning of forensic science, from crime scene investigation to reporting evidential value within a case
* I continued to host the weekly write-in in the virtual world of Second Life within the context of the 500 Word Writing Challenge, Saturdays at noon SLT/8pm Lisbon PT - 30 minutes of writing.

* In July, I started hosting a daily write-in, Monday-Thursday at 2am SLT/10am Lisbon PT because a few participants of the weekly writing sessions were interested in having a daily schedule. After a pause for summer vacation, it is interesting to observe that a fairly stable group of writers now attends the morning events on a regular basis – 2x 30 minutes of writing.

*Throughout November, I hosted the morning write-in daily, Monday-Sunday at 2am SLT/10am Lisbon PT– 2x 30 minutes of writing.

*The novel The Unspoken Footnote written during the NaNoWriMo (fiction, mystery, to be completed and revised). I spent more time plotting the story and it ended up becoming longer than the planned 50k words (at the end of the year, 74.913 words and about five or six chapters from conclusion). It will be fun to revise it.

*Writing Workshop “Boost Your Writing Using Second Life”. I hosted this event in the first week of November as part of the events organized by the Virtual Writers. It was my first experience of this type in Second Life. Those who attended enjoyed and found it useful.

*NaNoWriMo Pep Talk for the Virtual Writers website and in-world group, Week 3.

Of the 182.500 word target for this year (500 words X 365 days), I managed to write 163.284. I was 38 days short of reaching the goal. This average increased (from 29 days in 2014), which means I wrote less than in last year. Yet, considering that there are 104 weekend days in the year, I think I still did a pretty good job.

Looking back, I realize I achieved the major goals I had established for 2015 – writing a novel in a more structured way, continuing to write short-fiction - a great learning sandbox for higher flights, and motivating and helping other writers.

I feel I didn’t achieve my goal of writing more short-stories.

One aspect I failed miserably in once again was in revising last year's NaNoWriMo novel. I now have TWO novels to revise and ONE to finish and revise before November.

The advantage of being an active member of a writing community is the fact that everyone pushes for everyone else. As a result, the Virtual Writers are planning to organize the necessary logistical settings for anyone who wishes to take part in the Camp NaNoWriMo in April and July.

For this event, writers set their own goals, writing or revising/editing. I’m choosing the latter which means that I must have The Unspoken Footnote ready by April. My goal is to finally be successful in revising/editing one of the three novels I will have written by then.

All in all, it was a good year. And I’m happy to say that, more and more, I volunteer and rely on peer support. Routine, perseverance and peer support are vital. These were the most valuable lessons I have learned this year.

"Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens.” 
Ray Bradbury


  1. excellent Lizzie!! Wishing you all the best in your writing goals. You will succeed!!- if your prolific flash fiction is any indication!! Thank you for sharing your stories!

    1. Thank you, Cybele! I appreciate your words. :)