Spreading Writerly Wings

2016 was  a year of experimentation for me, writing and publishing wise. (yes, this post is a bit of a ME post…)

  1. I’ve branched into new areas of publishing by interning for a literary agency I have massive amounts of respect for. Yes, I’m doing this specifically to become a lit agent, but I’m taking my time, which is very unlike me.
  2. I finished my first MG novel.
  3. I wrote my first horror novel.
  4. I turned a historical I wrote 5 years ago into a romantic suspense, something I’d have NEVER taken the time to do if I hadn’t forced myself to keep these characters on my computer.
  5. I read books of ALLLL genres. Non-fic. Fiction. Historical. Magical. MG, Picture, YA, Adult…
  6. I said YES when asked to co-chair the Storymakers Conference.
  7. I’ve talked multiple authors through their WIPs.
  8. I’ve followed book sales closer than I ever have.

Even some of the simple things were harder than I imagined. Taking what I know about writing and shifting those things into different genres felt a bit like learning to ride a bike all over again – some things were there, and some things made me feel like a bumbling idiot. It’s ok. I’ve always believed that we should do at least one thing a year that makes us feel like a kid again – and not in the good way 😉

In a conversation about drafting, Kim Vanderhorst came up with this little gem:


I’ve learned a few things:

I can do hard things. I mean, I already knew this, but I don’t think we can be reminded enough.

Not everything (writing related) translates between genres, but SO much does.

I can write bigger things than I imagined. DON’T BE SCARED OF THAT PROJECT YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO WRITE.

The importance of reading across genres. I knew this before, but now I KNOWWWW this.

Character is still key for me in finding motivation to finish something, and the more I talk to writerly friends, the more I see that everyone has that KEY thing to help them finish projects. Find yours.

I love, LOVE, LOVE talking authors through publication problems, careers, contract issues, and doing my best to work plotmajik – even more than I thought I would. (WHY is this so much easier to do for someone else?)

Whether or not I find homes for my new projects/genres doesn’t matter. As I’ve said before, I don’t believe in wasted words. I’ve learned SO much about myself. I’ve gained new levels of writerly confidence, and felt new levels of hopelessness, wondering if I’ll ever be as good as I want to be.

The most important thing I’ve learned? Keep pushing, keep learning, keep moving forward.

Anyone else try something new last year?

~ Jo

P.S. Is it weird that I’m kinda excited for 2020 just because I think it’ll be fun to write and type?


Published by Jolene Perry

Hiker. Occasional Yogi. Equestrian. Couch potato. Music lover. Mediocre guitar player. Sailor. Tailor. Home body. Traveler. Enjoys suffering from being interested in everything. Co-founder and instructor at Waypoint Author Academy. Rep'd by Amy Bishop of Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret.

3 thoughts on “Spreading Writerly Wings

  1. Your “Me” post is so damn inspirational I now want to superglue myself to my laptop and write ALL THE BOOKS.

    I know you can’t help it, but thanks for being awesome. And I am SO excited to get my hands on your newest creations! ❤

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