Friday, December 31, 2010

10 Things About Sierra and 2010

I have no Google Reader Roundup for you this week because the blogosphere took a huge break and there were far fewer posts this week! (Well, for the most part. Some of you were active as ever, which I was thankful for!)

So instead of this week's Roundup, it seemed appropriate to do a 10 Things About Sierra and 2010, which I did for 2009. Call it an annual indulgence, if you will.

1. I got knocked up. Disaster struck. Then I got knocked up again.
Six months into this pregnancy, I'm healthy and well and so is the baby. This baby, another boy, is going to be born into the year of the Rabbit, which is what I am, and that seems pretty great. Other than that, I have no clue how I'll handle two kids! I'm sure I'll rally. I'll have to. And hey, there's all that reading time while nursing to look forward to.

2. I joined a professional writing group.
That's right, I joined RWA. And you know what? I'm so glad I did. I haven't even begun to take advantage of the benefits yet but I really am enjoying belonging to a professional and well-respected organization. Best yet has been my membership in the RWA-Women's Fiction chapter, which I really enjoy.

3. Rejection didn't kill me.
And it won't. I'm not so silly as to think I don't have acres more to learn about craft and stories and everything. But I put myself out there, got some bites (some of which are still nibbling) and learned a lot. And you know what? I discovered that this is the way it goes. Rejection is a regular part of the writing life.

4. I discovered that it's okay not to love your critique group.
My Toxic Critique Group post drew a ton of hits. I found out that a few trusted readers--fellow writers whom I met through blogging and tweeting--are worth 100 in-person critique groups, when the group isn't working for you. I learned that it's okay to outgrow a group and look for something that does fit what you're writing, what you want to do, and how you want to critique. (Thanks to those of you who helped me this year. Your generosity meant so much to me.)

5. The World Cup lit up my summer.
Despite the fact that the US lost (we cried) and Scotland wasn't even a contender (Scotland being the country in which my team, Hibernian FC, resides), it was a fantastic tournament with a fabulous display of talent. In particular, I rooted for Spain from the get go, and they didn't disappoint. Plus, what was not to love about the vuvuzela? My post about 5 things you can use yours for after the World Cup still draws the most hits out of any post.

6. Goodreads made logging what I read really fun.
I absolutely love Goodreads and love connecting with you on it. I used to keep a log of books I read in Excel, so this site is a great tool for keeping track of what you read, when, and getting recommendations from friends (and giving them). Way fun! According to the stats, I read 25 books this year. You might think that's low, but between mothering, wifing, working, and writing, I'm glad I got to read what I did. Now the challenge is on to see what I can read in 2011!

7. I learned that it's absolutely about community.
I mentioned this above, but the connections I'd made on Twitter and through blogging have furthered and grown my writing career. It's put me directly in touch with agents and authors, it's gotten me recommendations, and it's gotten me support I never dreamed of. Engage! Support! Communicate! That's what it's all about.

8. There's nothing like conjoined twin growing out of your neck jokes.
Man, that one had a healthy life on Twitter, didn't it? Thanks to Linda Grimes for enjoying it and running with it, with her twisted sense of humor.

9. Cupcakes.
Yeah. I started a blog called The Cupcake Quest, and while I don't add to it on a regular schedule, it has quite its own little following on Twitter. Plus, I get to eat cupcakes and post reviews of them. What could be better, really?

10. Change is good.
2010 was really a huge year of change for me, in terms of family, work, and my growth as a writer. Everything happens for a reason at the right time I think, and I look forward to a wild 2011--and I know there will be many more surprises and changes in store.

Happy New Year!

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