A for effort?

Continuing with the Best of 2009 Challenge

December 21 Project. What did you start this year that you’re proud of?

Hmm. I’m waffling on how to define “project” here. Maybe I’ll just list “efforts” that I’m proud of. They are:

  • Using “waffling” in a blog post.
  • Using a lot of quotation marks in same post.
  • Making it to the quarterfinals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest. But I probably could have gotten farther had my manuscript really been ready, so that’s a little bittersweet…
  • Earning my first royalties by experimenting with Amazon’s Kindle publishing platform. A total of like $25, lol, but hey, getting paid to write is getting paid to write!
  • Realizing I would probably be better suited (and happier) writing for people in their teens and twenties. This doesn’t sound like an “effort,” but believe me, it wasn’t an easy thing to put away the notions I’d carried about my literary career for over 15 years.
  • Writing Twenty-Somewhere for fun — and then having it attract the attention of St. Martin’s Press! Completely unexpected and wonderful, even though its chances of getting published are about as good as my chances of… ending this sentence with something clever and amusing.
  • Reading all of Kiersten White’s blog archives. Well technically I’ve only read 60%, but at the rate I’ve been devouring her words, it will almost certainly be done before the end of the year. Or maybe even before I finish writing this post…

All right, maybe it hasn’t been such a good-for-nothing year. In fact, maybe it’s been a pretty decent one. But I’m hoping 2010 will be even better. At least in terms of “projects to be proud of,” and specifically for my writing career. I guess you’ll just have to check back in a year to see how I fare! ;)

But enough about me. Seriously. What projects (or “efforts”) from this past year are you proud of?

16 responses to “A for effort?”

  1. Jill Wheeler Avatar

    2009 projects I’m proud of:

    1. My Masters thesis
    2. My daughter

    (not in that order) ; )

  2. Mike Chen Avatar

    Completely unexpected and wonderful, even though its chances of getting published are about as good as my chances of… ending this sentence with something clever and amusing.

    Now, now, let’s stay positive!

    I’m proud of:

    1) Giving our beloved greyhound Indy a spoiled and pain-free life during her final months, despite the decreased productivity and lack of sleep the whole ordeal caused.
    2) Putting up 51,000+ words since September on my new MS.
    3) Getting more involved with the writing community and entering both fiction and non-fiction contests for the first time. Nowhere to go but up!
    .-= • Recent post by Mike Chen: Published vs. Agented =-.

  3. Todd Newton Avatar

    I am soooo boycotting the ABNA this year! ;)
    Just kidding, I actually don’t have a completed project to submit to it, and I’m not planning on using it as motivation to finish a project (as I did last year). I will have my eyes open for authors on it, however, because that’s how I found your MS (which was, like, THE highlight).

    Waffling is good, sort of. You’re doing well, and it’s fun to watch.
    .-= • Recent post by Todd Newton: Initial Draft open to review self-published Fantasy titles =-.

  4. Kristan Avatar


    Well, I’m hopeful, but I like to be humble/realistic too…?

    1) I’ve commented on that, but :\ and :)
    2) !!!
    3) “Nowhere to go but up!” Agreed!

    Yeah, I’m thinking about observing again this year… We’ll see how far I get with my current manuscript, though. Never say never?

    And aww, thank you so much! I need to revisit that MS, lol… The parts you didn’t see needed a lot of work.

  5. Margot Avatar

    I think 2009 was a great year for you. You forgot to mention that Amazon contest you were in and how far you made it! That’s still pretty amazing!

  6. Sonja Avatar

    The only thing that I can think of that I started and finished, as far as big projects go, is putting a green roof on my garden shed. That was pretty cool. I’ve also written quite a few haiku and tanka in the last couple of months, some of which I like. :) And I feel a new story brewing in my mind, a novel length story. But that will definitely be a 2010 thing (if even then).

    I feel like 2009 was a pretty important year for me. I feel like my life has pointed itself in some directions that I’m really excited about. Kind of like with you realizing you want to write YA. Not exactly a “project” but (perhaps) a very important turning point in your life.

    I look forward to reading what you’re up to in 2010!
    .-= • Recent post by Sonja: Introducing Mr. Poopy-peey =-.

  7. Kimberly Franklin Avatar

    Those are some pretty big things to be proud of. Especially working in “waffling”…good job. : ) Oh, and getting paid for writing…that would be at the top of my list (if I actually got paid. [sigh] Someday).

    The thing I’m most proud of for 2009 is starting and finishing a novel (even though it’s missing a few key elements) : )

    Also, starting a blog and meeting all kinds of wonderful new people and writer friends!

    That’s my number ONE – definitely!

    Happy Holidays and Good Luck in 2010! It’s going to be a great year…I can feel it!

  8. Angie Avatar

    Moving to New York, not so much for the job as awesome as that is, but the fact I left what I was comfortable with for something new. “Project” wise, making this tiny box of a studio mine.

    So in 2010 will I get to pre-screen any potential writings? My editing services are being offered, and I’m also waiting for the next episode of 20SW, eh hem…
    .-= • Recent post by Angie: Modern Living in New York =-.

  9. […] Kristan wrote about “projects” or really efforts she was proud of, and in my response, I realized as I wrote it, I am proud of my move. The process, moving everything from Austin to Houston and then cramming my life into two suitcases for New York, was hasty. The months of summer filled with my friends and dancing, were sadly ended. Mostly the comfort of everything that I have known for the past six years in Austin were let go. I don’t know why, but I am very proud of myself for this move. It is a big change, but a good one as I keep at it. […]

  10. Eric Avatar

    Congrats on all you’ve accomplished. That’s quite a list.
    .-= • Recent post by Eric: In the Land of the Buckeye Eaters =-.

  11. Kevin Johnson Avatar

    A lot of accomplishments this year that I’m pushing into next year. I started the blog and pushing my screenwriting efforts (20 pages away from a finished full length, and 5 episodes of an animated show). I can finish the feature by Christmas, at least 3 episodes by the end of January.

    Next year should be even better, as I really push to make a more concentrated effort on the marketing screenplay front!

    Here’s to 2010!
    .-= • Recent post by Kevin Johnson: CHILDHOOD REVISITED – A GOOFY MOVIE =-.

  12. Julie Jordan Scott Avatar

    Thanks for commenting on my Best09 blog post and y’know, I meant to twitter that playground part today’s post… so I did… (not like I am begging for a retweet or anything… LOL.

    The content of this post is sooooo intune with me – I love that you are a twenty something writer and me, I am a forty almost eight year old writer and yet, the connection is so… vibrant and now I am rambling so I will simply… stop.

  13. Kristan Avatar

    “I feel like my life has pointed itself in some directions that I’m really excited about.” {nods} It’s kind of a subtle thing, you know, but when I think about it, that feeling has a greater impact than any tangible accomplishment.

    Finish a novel? That’s HUGE! Congrats! And I agree: 2010 is going to be great. :)

    My next post is for you. :P But yeah, moving to NYC seems like a pretty impressive project to me. Congrats!

    Haha, your list is pretty awesome too. ABNA, publication, a reading…! My friendship with you is always inspiring and motivating.

    Good luck with all that! I think screenwriting is even tougher to break into than “regular” writing, so I really commend you.

    Haha, rambling is fine. And yes, isn’t is amazing how sometimes, experiences & emotions are universal beyond age?

  14. Tina Avatar

    Sounds like you had a pretty good year!

    Here are some of my projects:

    1. Master’s theses. Although one of them was technically started a couple years ago, I finished it. The other one, I started and finished this year. And then I graduated. Major relief.

    2. Pictures! I’m no photographer, but back in August I started taking at least one picture a day as a way to journal something I did each day. Not each picture is very well thought out, but I’m happy that I’ve stuck with it.
    .-= • Recent post by Tina: I fell down the stairs yesterday =-.

  15. Kristan Avatar

    You know, I wanted to do something like your #2, but I never did. It’s awesome that you’ve been sticking with it!

  16. Eric Avatar

    Aw, I just saw your reply. Thank you.
    .-= • Recent post by Eric: What’s Been Going On =-.