LIFESTYLE WRITING TIPS

7 Things I Learned About WRITING In 2017 (PLUS: Writing Goals I Actually Reached – YAY!)

WOW, GUYS. THE YEAR IS ALMOST OVER. I feel like I say this every year (and with more bitter enthusiasm each time) but I can’t believe how fast time flies!! It’s really remarkable, in a disheartening and horrifying and stressful way. Let’s all stand in awe of it, shall we? AS WE CRY INTO PILLOWS BECAUSE WE DON’T WANT 2017 TO BE OVER???

 
But in all seriousness*, I’m excited for the New Year. I’m excited for new plans and secret projects yet to be revealed and THE OTHER THINGS I HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT YET. The approaching of a new year is always an electrifying thing, because it just somehow feels like ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. And I love that feeling more than anything in the world.
 
So, in honor of 2017, I’m kicking off a miniseries on the blog: 7 THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT ____ IN 2017. Today it’s about writing and next week…it will be about something else. Haha. WAIT AND SEE. But I thought this would be a fun way to open up some new discussions! As the year draws to a close, I love to look back and see how much I’ve learned, changed, and improved throughout the course of twelve crazy months. AND I WANT TO TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU LEARNED IN 2017 TOO. It can be about writing or ANYTHING UNDER THE SUN. But let’s chat about it in the comments! Because my favorite thing about blogging is um… YOU, MY FRIEND. (No surprises there.) So let’s make this a conversation!! AND NOW, ONTO THE POST.
 
*not that the previous paragraph WASN’T serious…i totally am crying into a pillow over here IS NOBODY WITH ME?? UH
 
 
 

2017 was an epic year for writing. I think I achieved more of my writing goals this year than I have any other year?? WHAAAAAT. PRETTY COOL STUFF, SON. This was also the first year I actually wrote down “writing goals” in a document and tried my hardest to stick with them. SO LET’S SEE WHAT I ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISHED:

 
 
 

2017 WRITING GOALS – REACHED

 
– Developmental edited and line edited The Head Games  
– Added more edits to Port Orange 
– Wrote the second draft of co-write YA rom-com book I haven’t told y’all about yet, which turned out to be 76,000 words 
– Wrote the second draft of other co-write MG comedy book I haven’t told y’all about yet, which turned out to be 44,000 words 
– Outlined and prepared for NaNoWriMo (which was a feat in and of itself, since my outline was 20,000 words long *nervous laughter*) 
– Wrote the first draft of One Hundred Days (!!!) which turned out to be 73,000 words 
– Took a nap 
– Wait that’s not an accomplishment?? 
 
 
Needless to say, I’M PRETTY DARN PLEASED with the amount of writing I did this year. All in all, I wrote about 200,000 words this year. I have no idea how I still have things to say on this blog but…I GUESS I CAN’T SHUT UP?? You’re stuck with me, bro. :””’)
 
2018 is going to be FULL OF EDITING, EDITING, EDITING. Which is kind of terrifying and exciting at the same time. *nervous laughter* I haven’t actually written out my 2018 writing goals yet,* but I know that next year is going to include WRITING NEW BOOKS, plus maybe some preparation for self-publishing! (WHAAAAT. *excited screaming*) BUT WE SHALL CROSS THAT BRIDGE WHEN WE BURN IT.
 
*maybe I’ll do a post about my writing goals?? AND WE CAN ALL SHARE OUR GOALS FOR 2018?? idk what do you think tell me in the comments!!
 
 
OKAY ENOUGH ABOUT GOALS. Let’s talk about what I learned in 2017 when it comes to the captivating, horrifying, daunting, exciting, complex, intimidating, beautiful, indescribable topic of: WRITING.
 

WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT WRITING IN 2017

 

 

#1: I’M A PLOTTER

 
If I didn’t already know this like the back of my hand, I am a HARDCORE PLOTTER. So, yes: I kind of already knew this about myself. Flying by the seat of my pants does NOT work for me when it comes to writing (or anything, for that matter.) I’m a plotter through and through – I knew this. But I didn’t know how much EASIER writing would be until I tried hardcore plotting.
 
 
 
As I mentioned a moment ago, I wrote a 20,000-word outline for my NaNoWriMo novel this year. AND NONE OF THOSE WORDS CONTRIBUTED TO MY FINAL WORD COUNT.* I just wrote that much outline because I LIKE TO KNOW WHERE I’M GOING. I’m that person who plans out their route on a GPS, days before they hit the road – and they know exactly how many hours, minutes, and seconds their journey is going to take. MAYBE THIS SOUNDS HORRIBLY DULL AND STUFFY TO YOU, but to me it feels like “ahhh, I can just relax and enjoy the ride because I know exactly where I’m going.” AND I DISCOVERED HOW MUCH I LOVE OUTLINING IN GREAT DETAIL. It’s certainly not for everyone (I don’t subscribe to “one size fits all” systems of writing) but IT’S DEFINITELY FOR ME and I’m happy to know that.
 
*except for little bits of dialogue here and there that I thought of wayyy in advance??? idk my brain is weird hahahaaa
 
 

#2: YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A GOOD WRITER TO BE A GOOD STORYTELLER

 
THIS. GUYS. THIS. I learned about storytelling this year – the true hidden ART of storytelling – and, bro…my life will never be the same again. See, most people buy the common myth that “in order to be a good writer, you have to be a good writer.” IT SEEMS PRETTY OBVIOUS, RIGHT? But it’s actually wrong. In order to be a good writer, you have to make your reader feel something. They have to connect with your story on an emotional level. More often than not, “good writing” hides your story (or even worse: replaces it) and all you have is pretty words and a disconnected experience for your reader. aaaand… you lost me.
 
 
 
NOT TO SAY YOU CAN’T BE BOTH. Because you can be. I’ve read works by authors who are both good storytellers and good writers. But if you’re going to be one or the other, BE A GOOD STORYTELLER. Because where “good writing” provokes thought, “good storytelling” provokes feeling. I’d rather my readers FEEL SOMETHING than think about how good my writing is. And understanding how important storytelling is, THAT’S REALLY ENCOURAGING FOR ME. Because I, like every other writer out there, have doubts about my work. Sometimes I feel like I’m not good with words – I can’t craft them as beautifully as the next writer. BUT THAT DOESN’T ACTUALLY MATTER. All that matters is…you’re going to smack me if I say it again so I’m just going to shut up now. You get the point.
 
All that matters is that you feel something!!
(sorry)
 
 

 

 

#3: IT’S OKAY TO TAKE WRITING ADVICE (WITH A GRAIN OF SALT)

 
For the first time in my life, I read a book about writing. YES! I KNOW. Me, the person who is always shouting about “non-writing advice” and how you SHOULD NOT PUT YOURSELF IN A BOX. But allow me to explain myself. There’s this book called Wired For Story by Lisa Cron and IT IS AWESOME. I usually don’t pick up books about “how to write a novel” because I don’t believe in one-size-fits-all methods, like I said before. But here’s what intrigued me about this book: Lisa Cron is a psychologist, and she writes about story from a neurological viewpoint. There is, in fact, an exact response your brain has to a well-told story – it’s not just based on your various likes and dislikes. YOUR BRAIN IS HUNGRY FOR A GOOD STORY. It’s science.
 
That made me curious. Because I’m a sucker for neuroscience (heyo) and learning cool new things about the human brain. ADD WRITING TO THE MIX? I’M SOLD. Wired For Story really opened my eyes to the world of storytelling – and separating the words from the emotions. This book is just LOADED and I want to read it again…and again and again and again.
 
 
So this year I learned that it’s okay to take advice (with a grain of salt.) I didn’t agree with EVERYTHING I read in Wired For Story, but I was pleasantly surprised by the new world of intriguing ideas it opened up for me. HOWEVER, I’m still a firm believer in blazing your own trail with your art. As Hans Zimmer says, “When you find a rule, break it.” (Hans Zimmer, guys. NEED I SAY MORE.)
 
 

#4: THE PLOT BUNNY STRUGGLE IS REAL

 
I MAY HAVE A TINY PROBLEM WITH PLOT BUNNIES. Translation? I have 30+ plot bunnies CASUALLY SCREAMING at me from the back burner. Not that I’m cooking them, or anything. They’re just…sitting there? ARE THE BACK BURNERS EVEN ON, WHEN WE SAY “BACK BURNER”?? That’s what I want to know, Rodney.
 
ANYWAY, MY WRITING STOVE HAS 27307320 BACK BURNERS and they are filling up fast. I don’t know why I think of so many story ideas?? And I don’t know why I want to write literally all of them (because I’m sure some of them are rubbish, I just can’t face it yet *distant sobbing*) BUT I LOVE MY PLOT BUNNIES. THEY KEEP ME COMPANY DURING MY 2AM EXISTENTIAL CRISES. :””)
 
 
 ^ actual footage of me with my plot bunnies
 
 

#5: THE FIRST PAGE IS EVERYTHING

 
We all know this. You want to grab someone’s attention with the first page (or better yet: first line) of your book. BUT HOW DO YOU WRITE AN AWESOME OPENING SCENE???? < I still don’t really have the answer to that one hahaHAHAHA but you love me anyway, right? I’M STILL LEARNING. I’M HUMAN. WOOOOOO. But this year I’ve definitely learned A LOT about writing an opening scene.
 
First, NEVER OPEN WITH A “DAY IN THE LIFE” SCENARIO…unless something is cosmically off. The one thing that captures anyone’s attention is curiosity. If you don’t have curiosity on page one, you better have some secret weapon. BECAUSE CURIOSITY IS SO IMPORTANT. And also: action. Opening with action >>>>>> opening with anything else. BUT LIKE I SAID, I HAVE NO FORMULA. I’m still learning. Whatup.
 
 

#6: I CAN WRITE 70K IN ONE MONTH

 
This might not seem like a super awesome feat for some of you lightning-fast writers out there, but IT’S A BIG DEAL FOR ME. I was barely able to reach my goal of 50,000 words in 2016’s NaNoWriMo. This year, I reached my 50,000-word goal in two weeks. SO THAT WAS A BIG IMPROVEMENT AND IT MADE ME HAPPY. It was a relief to discover that I’m capable of devoting myself to a writing project and actually surpassing my expectations. IT JUST…IT HAS NEVER HAPPENED TO ME BEFORE. So I was really really really pumped to learn that about myself. Like, pumped beyond words.
 

 

 
 
 

#7: THE WRITING COMMUNITY IS FREAKING AWESOME

 
Seriously. I have no idea what I would do without you guys. The encouragement and inspiration and kindness I receive from this community of bloggers and writers and fellow creatives is BEYOND MY WILDEST DREAMS. The comments I get on this blog alone…that’s enough to keep me going. I PROMISE TO NOT GIVE UP ON MY DREAMS – because you, my friend, inspire me to keep going strong. You inspire me to create the next thing and pour my heart and soul into it. You give me hope for the world. AND I WANT TO THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART FOR BEING HERE, READING MY WORDS. It means so much to me.

 

 

TALK, BRO

 
What have you learned this year? Any important lessons about writing?? Or just Life™ in general??? Give me your best piece of writing advice! Oh, and how many plot bunnies are sitting on your back burner?!? LET’S TALK WRITING.
 
rock on,
abbiee
 
 
 
 

BEHOLD! THE BEST WRITING-RELATED POSTS OF THE YEAR:

 
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37 Comments

  • Reply Mi Universo Literario Writer

    Hii Abbie!!
    This looks amazing!! I'm so glad you learned so much about writing in 2017. And i'm sure you'll keep on learning. It's the magic of storytelling.
    I'm learned pretty much the same recently. Like, I've discovered a lot of my writing self because of this years NaNoWriMos, both Camp NaNo and NaNo. I'm a mixture of a panster and a plotter hahah. Don't know how, but it's true. Regarding the writing advice thing, I agree with you. Many people say you shouldn't take anyone's writing advice because someone's tips won't necessarily help you. I disagree. Personally, tons of writing advice and experiences have helped me and have inspired me hugely. As long as you're aware of the fact that you're not those people who are giving the advice and you take it wisely, I believe getting writing tips is awesome. I always get inspired by them. You have to know your inner author to accept it wisely, I think. I don't know. Just saying things here xD Nevermind. And, yes, i agree with you when you say that the first page is everything. IT IISSSSS.
    GREAT POST!! <3 I love reading your posts, Abbie. Sorry this is the first time I leave a comment :3
    xoxo

    December 9, 2017 at 1:24 pm
    • Reply Abbiee

      AHHH THANK YOU SO MUCH 💛✨ I'm so glad you enjoyed this post!! AND YES I AGREE 1000% there is no end to what you can learn about storytelling! It's awesome. 😊 AND YES AMEN I'M TOTALLY WITH YOU ON TAKING ADVICE. A lot of times you can get AWESOME inspiration from different writing tips! And in my experience, I've found some writing tips super helpful. *HIGH FIVES* TOTALLY ON THE SAME PAGE. (no pun intended..ha ha. ahem. 😂) BUT EEP YES THANK YOUFOR READING AND COMMENTING YOU ARE AWESOME *hugs and waffles*

      December 10, 2017 at 8:13 pm
  • Reply Riley Rawls

    *cries with you because 2017 cannot BE ALMOST OVER*

    LEARNING YOU CAN WRITE 70K IN A MONTH IS KIND OF THE BOMB!!! Like, I'm still getting there?? But CONGRATS THAT'S SO AWESOME. And YESS PLOTTER. Haha, I say that. At this point, I can't imagine writing a book without a plan or outline…but that's kind of what happened with my first book, and it *somehow* found its ending?

    So, I literally learned ABOUT WRITING. *cringes* *whispers* I used writing books… But seriously, I published my first book back in July, and then BOOM. August came and was like "haha, now how about you learn how to write a book before you try publishing again."

    I only have THREE stories at the moment, two of which I am currently writing. But the ONE ON THE BACKBURNER (AND THIS IS JUST SINCE NANO MIND YOU) IS. KILLING. ME. I'm dying to write it, and I likely will in April (because I don't have enough on my plate already to be adding another book to the mix). But yeah.

    I loved this post, Abbie!! I can't wait to read the rest of the series!

    December 9, 2017 at 1:47 pm
    • Reply Abbiee

      I KNOW RIGHT?? WHERE ON EARTH DID THE TIME GO. smh @ time and all other laws of physics. 😂 AHH THANK YOU SO MUCH !! I was pretty pumped to learn that I can write so much in a month. 💛✨ YAY PLOTTERS UNITE. *high fives* I was a total pantser with my first book too!! haha. THAT'S SO COOL YOU LEARNED ABOUT WRITING THOUGH. good for you! I mean, everyone has their own process. 😉 but that's also super awesome that you published! 😍 *more high fives* EEEP I CAN TOTALLY RELATE. Plot bunnies come at the most inconvenient times and then DEMAND attention! it's CHAOTIC. but I hope you get a chance to write that book soon!! THANK YOU AGAIN DEAR. :')

      December 10, 2017 at 8:21 pm
  • Reply Charis Rae

    WOW Abbiee, you accomplished so much this year! I'm so proud of everything you did and hope you have an amazing 2018!! I personally joined an awesome online writing workshop and discovered that I, too, am a plotter, and that I need a really in-depth plot for everything. I also started listening to music while writing and created a playlist for my novel (!!!), opened a self-hosted blog, wrote 50K for NaNo, as well as just being empowered and excited for everything to come. Not mention I'm plagued by plot bunnies as you are! XD
    Best of luck this 2018! ❤
    Charis Rae

    P.S. If you don't mind, I have a couple questions for you about email list stuff. Your email list is #perf so I thought you could help me out. 🙂
    Right now, I'm really struggling with my email list. I post twice a week, but I only send my email list once a week. I want to defer completely from WordPress notification and stick solely to my email list, but if I send out my email list once a week and post twice, my posts won't get seen until the end of the week.
    I asked my readers if they were okay if I sent my email list twice a week, but they said it would clog their inbox and be a lot to read twice a week. Do you have any ideas? I'm toying around with the idea of sending one every time I post (but making it short) OR just posting once a week, but making it more lengthy and packed with more info. Still, I have a lot to say, collabs and things I'd like to share more than once.
    Abbiee, do you have any ideas or tips for my dilemma? Thanks so much, and lmk if that didn't make sense. ❤❤

    December 9, 2017 at 3:01 pm
    • Reply Abbiee

      AHHH THANK YOU SO MUCH CHARIS!! 💛✨ that means so much to me!! 🙂 Oooh that writing workshop sounds awesome! AND HATS OFF TO YOU BECAUSE WOW YOU ACCOMPLISHED SO MUCH!! *awards you many waffles* AAH GOOD LUCK KEEPING THOSE PLOT BUNNIES IN CHECK. 😂 I hope you have a fabulous 2018 too!!

      About email list stuff: I think you're definitely in the right place! I always try to err on the side of too much promotion. So I would totally send out an email more than once a week! I once heard an epic blogger say that blogging should be 20% writing content and 80% promoting it. (Which I'm still working on haha…I tend to spend much more time actually writing/styling the content.) Not to say "be obnoxious" but…KIND OF?? a percentage of your email subscribers will want to see ALL of your content and those who don't can simply not open the email. Also, don't be disconcerted if you lose subscribers…I do all the time and I like to remember what my dad says: "losing a subscriber is like someone leaving your party who doesn't even want to be there…you don't want them at your party if they don't want to be at your party." SO HAHA YES I'M RAMBLING BUT I GUESS MY POINT IS: go with whatever you feel in your gut! I think twice a week isn't too much and I for one would definitely be interested in seeing all of your content. 😉 Never be afraid to promote! A lot of people also miss emails (I know I do all the time) and I'm often grateful for a reminder. 💛 I hope that helps! AND THANK YOU FOR ASKING MY ADVICE I AM HONORED :''')

      December 10, 2017 at 8:35 pm
    • Reply Charis Rae

      AGH Abbiee you are legit so sweet. You're very welcome, and thank YOU!

      Oh yes, that makes so much sense! I especially love what your dad says… So true. thank you Thank you Thank You ThAnK yOu THANK YOU for all of this advice! You're like my blogging idol so it means a lot. 💛💛

      December 10, 2017 at 8:47 pm
    • Reply Abbiee

      ASDFGHJKL THANK YOU SO MUCH CHARIS OMG THAT JUST PUT A SMILE ON MY FACE 😊 I'm so glad I could help!! *hugs*

      December 11, 2017 at 1:52 pm
    • Reply Charis Rae

      You're welcome!!! Thanks again, dear. *hugs back*

      December 11, 2017 at 2:04 pm
  • Reply Amelia Ruth

    Super awesome post. I can so tell you are a great writer because your posts just drag me in and shove me into a chair and I read like I'm a zombie or something. xDDD
    Also, I didn't know if you saw my reply to your comment on the last post — but I can't give you the link here because it's private, so I NEED your email to invite you cause it's a private blog (I'm allowed to get a public one when I'm fourteen you know cyber-stalking and stuff). I've been wanting to invite you for a while, I just need a way to keep in contact. Any ideas???
    And wonderful post. I think this year has really been a learning-curve year for me in writing, which means I didn't get a lot accomplished techincally speaking except for recalling finding myself in my writing and my style. However, that part about storytelling really got me!!! CAN YOU TEACH ME!!! I can tell you write now that I have a unique writing style that I've never heard any other author use, which makes me feel proud and also a little worried as if there's a reason for that. I think I still need to find a balance between being a good writer and being a good storyteller….
    LOVE YOU GIRLIE <3 <3 <3 <3

    December 9, 2017 at 3:41 pm
    • Reply Amelia Ruth

      REALLY finding myself in my writing sorry UGH TYPOS I HATE THOSE GUYS
      AND YES I WANT TO SEE A POST ON YOUR WRITING GOALS

      December 9, 2017 at 3:42 pm
    • Reply Abbiee

      ALJKKLJSFSDKLJSF WOW THANK YOU SO MUCH AMELIA RUTH THAT MEANS SO MUCH TO ME <3333 EEEP YAY I just saw and replied to your comment on the other post (I'm late haha) bUT HERE IS MY EMAIL: abbieemusic@gmail.com ✨💛 Thank you for inviting me, dear!! I FEEL HONORED. :")

      I can totally relate to that feeling! And honestly that's a huge accomplishment to find your writing style! Like, SUPER IMPORTANT STUFF RIGHT THERE. 😉 aaah THANK YOU!! Storytelling is just something I've been thinking about so much lately. AND TBH THAT IS SO COOL THAT YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE A UNIQUE WRITING STYLE DIFFERENT FROM EVERYONE ELSE!!! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH I WANT TO READ YOUR WRITING NOW???? *smashes pre-order button on all your future books* AAAH THANK YOU DEAR 💛💛💛 I might just post about that! 😉

      December 10, 2017 at 8:43 pm
  • Reply Ivie Brooks

    Girl, this post… your posts are so inspiring and I look forward to them for my Saturday mornings. And the fact that you want to self-publish next year, that is awesome. I've been hoping to self-publish next year, too. And I hope it all goes well for you! This year, I've learned my writing is actually good. Like, my alpha reader told me (much to my disbelief) that I'm a really great writer. I'm hoping that I'm a good storyteller, too. *crosses fingers*

    I'm excited to see where God takes you on your writing journey! <3

    ~Ivie
    iviewrites.blogspot.com

    December 9, 2017 at 4:14 pm
    • Reply Abbiee

      IVIE THIS COMMENT JUST PUT A BIG SMILE ON MY FACE 💛😊 LIKE OMG THAT MEANS SO MUCH TO ME THANK YOU!! *hugs* oooh yay!! YOU'RE GOING TO SELF-PUBLISH! *high fives* and asdfghjkl that is AWESOME. I know how wonderful a feeling it is to get positive feedback on your writing like that!! I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOU. ✨ *tosses confetti* I'm stoked to see where God takes YOU on your writing journey!! 🙂 Thank you so much for the kind words of encouragement, dear!

      December 10, 2017 at 8:52 pm
  • Reply Evangeline Yackel

    I don't know about you, but I DEFINITELY consider taking a nap an accomplishment. XD

    That's so cool to be able to have a post that really just spells out all you've done and learned, and HOLY HECK, GIRL, you have done a lot. Congrats on being a super amazing writing machine!!! 😉

    December 9, 2017 at 4:18 pm
    • Reply Abbiee

      HAHA YES 💛 Naps are a necessity of life!! 😉 ASDFGHJAKS;DKSL THIS COMMENT JUST BRIGHTENED MY DAY THANK YOU EVANGELINE 😊 *many hugs*

      December 11, 2017 at 2:29 pm
  • Reply Lydia S

    Thank you thank you! Especially for #2. So encouraging!!
    Lydia

    December 9, 2017 at 5:10 pm
    • Reply Abbiee

      EEEP I'M SO HAPPY THIS POST INSPIRED YOU, LYDIA <3333

      December 11, 2017 at 2:29 pm
  • Reply Micaiah Saldaña

    Wow, it's so cool to see all that you've accomplished and learned this year! I learned this year that I'm a plotter too, which is funny, because I used to think that I was a hardcore panster. OH MY GOODNESS THE PLOT BUNNIES THEY NEVER STOP. That gif… THAT IS SO ME.

    Micaiah @ Notebooks and Novels

    December 9, 2017 at 9:47 pm
    • Reply Abbiee

      AAAH THANK YOU MICAIAH! So glad you can relate!! *high fives* AND OMG YES THE PLOT BUNNIES. I'M GLAD I'M NOT ALONE. That gif was just too relatable 😂😂😂 and woooot yay plotters unite! I used to think I was a hardcore pantser too but now I definitely know that I love to hardcore plot! EEEP THANK YOU FOR READING 💛

      December 11, 2017 at 2:32 pm
  • Reply Ella Marie

    I'm so stoked for this series! Seriously, though, how is it almost 2018? I think my brain is exploding. But plot bunnies, they're everywhere and I can't seem to go a day without thinking of a new one. I've tried to start writing them all down, and now my journal is fully of things like, "villain who when their invention is ruined hides in a corner and cries, instead of running to get a better look, cause that's weird." The other day I was reading my little sister a book and legit had to ask her to wait while a wrote down a plot bunny I got from the book. Yes, I totally agree that you have to be a story teller, and not a writer. You're readers are there for the characters, not the fancy words.

    ~ Ella Marie

    December 9, 2017 at 10:49 pm
    • Reply Abbiee

      EEEEP YAY I'M SO STOKED THAT YOU'RE STOKED FOR THIS SERIES 💛😊 and aaaaaahhhhhhh yes gfhskldjsjaklj the plot bunny struggle is real!!!! THAT'S AWESOME THAT YOU WRITE THEM ALL DOWN THOUGH *high fives* Don't let those brilliant ideas slip away!! (ALSO I LOVE THAT PREMISE OF THE CRYING VILLAIN OMG PLEASE WRITE IT) ahahaaa yes new ideas can strike at the most inconvenient moment! AND I AGREE 10000% CHARACTERS ARE EVERYTHINGGGGG ❤️ you know what up. 😉 Thank you so much for reading, Ella Marie!!

      December 11, 2017 at 2:35 pm
  • Reply Musicgirl121

    HANS ZIMMERRRR!!!!!!! *flails forever* UGH HE'S TOO AMAZING. But I'm sorry, James Horner is my all-time favorite movie score composer strictly because of the Titanic movie score. IT'S MY FAVORITE THING EVER!!

    December 10, 2017 at 3:08 am
    • Reply Abbiee

      YESSSS!!!!!!! JAMES HORNER OH MY GOODNESS MMMHMMMM YES HONEY 💛💛💛 and the Apocalypto soundtrack omg…and A Beautiful Mind. And The Amazing Spider-Man… AND ALL OF THEMMM. AFKSLJDLKJDSLJ *ok must calm down* I will spontaneously fangirl over soundtracks anytime, anyplace. :')

      December 11, 2017 at 2:38 pm
    • Reply Musicgirl121

      JAMES HORNER IS THE BEST AND IF ANYONE SAYS OTHERWISE I WILL FIGHT THEM TO THE DEATH. Yassss, a beautiful mind, that movie!! *heart clutch* I'M SO SAD THAT JAMES HORNER IS GONE (R.I.P.) HE BLESSED MY HEART AND I WILL NEVER FORGET HIM. MAY HIS LEGACY LIVE ON FOREVER IN HIS MUSIC. <3 <3 <3

      December 11, 2017 at 8:54 pm
  • Reply Abby M.

    YOU GO GIRL!! You're a bundle of sunshine who never ceases to inspire me x) also that bunny gif omg i can't decide if i want to be the lady or one of the bunnies xD

    December 10, 2017 at 10:23 pm
    • Reply Abbiee

      FALSJDKSAJ'DSDKLS'C WHAAAAAT ❤️😭 YOU INSPIRE ME, ABBY !! thank you so much oh my goodness. :'''') AND I KNOW RIGHT?? Looks like a lot of fun haha!!

      December 11, 2017 at 2:39 pm
  • Reply Hannah Deno

    It's always so great to look back on the year and seeing how much you have grown and what all you have learned. It's amazing how much you have done with your writing this year. I'm sure you'll continue to accomplish more in the future years. I've loved hearing about all your writing, Abbie, and I can't wait to see what else you've learned in 2017!

    December 10, 2017 at 10:28 pm
    • Reply Abbiee

      I AGREE. I love making new goals, but I also love to look back and see which goals I really met and how I have improved. Because sometimes I get too caught up in the future and the things I HAVEN'T done yet, and I forget to look at all the things I have done. 😊💛 THANK YOU SO MUCH, HANNAH. I SO APPRECIATE YOUR KIND WORDS!! ✨

      December 11, 2017 at 2:45 pm
  • Reply Keira

    The greatest piece of writing advice I learned this year was: the importance of writing honestly, and that writing is an act of listening, not making things up.

    Those two things – although I haven't found out exactly how I'm going to use them – are going to do wonders for my writing life. It takes the pressure off, ya know? I don't have to worry about "making things up," I just have to show up to the page and listen to whatever it is that wants to be written. I think that's just another way of saying that good storytelling > good writing. Because storytelling is honest.

    That rabbit gif is not just an accurate description of writing, it's an accurate description of rabbits period!(Believe me – I've owned rabbits – they are fast little suckers. Once they get away, there's no stopping them)

    I can't say I've ever experience plot bunnies to the extent that I hear everyone else talking about them. I have probably twenty story ideas in my brain, but I don't feel passionate enough about them to actually sit down and write. I have maybe three that will become books, but the rest of them are just ideas that I think, "Ah, that would be cool to write about someday." Sometimes I think my imagination isn't as vibrant as a writer's should be. Or maybe I just haven't written long enough to develop that imagination.

    cheers.
    k.

    December 11, 2017 at 2:27 am
    • Reply Abbiee

      EEEEP THOSE ARE TWO VERY WONDERFUL AND TRUE LESSONS!!! LOVE THEM. 😍✨ I definitely feel that on a spiritual level…just listening to what needs to come out. I mean, when I develop a plot I will ask myself things like "how can she get from here to here?" or other random story questions…but ultimately the story itself MUST come from my heart. if not, I just can't write it. I seriously don't understand writers who are like "what's salable? ok I'll write that." LIKE ???? UM ????? haha

      BUNNIESSSSS 💛 I used to have one, but he was pretty mellow haha. I CAN IMAGINE THEY MUST BE HARD TO CONTROL. LIKE PLOT BUNNIES LOLOL 😂 but no seriously I think it all depends on the writer!! My sister Kate has like almost no plot bunnies (maybe one or two) and she just thinks of an idea, focuses totally on that one idea, and writes the book. WHICH IS KIND OF ENVY IN A WAY HAHA. But I think it all depends on the writer really. 🙂 YOU'RE AWESOME. *fist bump* thank you so much for reading!!!!!

      December 11, 2017 at 2:55 pm
  • Reply Grace Anne

    YOU ARE AMAZING AND I AM SO PROUD OF YOU

    December 12, 2017 at 2:49 am
  • Reply Jessica

    I like your enthusiasm for the new year! It's bittersweet, of course, but we can focus on the positive side. 🙂

    Your writing goals are inspiring – I'll have to give some thought to my goals for 2018. You are incredible – that's a huge amount of words to have written. And you share about projects on your blog, and then come out and tell us you've been been doing twice as much work on unannounced projects?! I'm in awe, and I realize writing is only one aspect of your life. :O

    Point number two is so important! That's something I aspire to – to be a good storyteller, because stories go places sermons can't. And I feel like in our instant gratification geared society, stories are one of the few things left that people will give time to.

    Anyway, I enjoyed this post, and I'm looking forward to hearing more of your learnings of the year. 🙂 Stay awesome! xx

    December 12, 2017 at 9:08 am
  • Reply Lauren

    200,000 words in ONE YEAR??? WOW. YOU GO. I just don't know if I would be able to write that much, so kudos to you!

    December 12, 2017 at 7:44 pm
  • Reply Meaghan Rutherford

    That plot bunny the video is everything 😀

    Also you make me curious about the writing book. This was the first year I'd ever read writing books. It was certainly an interesting experience. You really have to inhale them with great care or they'll suffocate you for sure.

    Congratulations on completing your goals!!

    December 13, 2017 at 6:55 am
  • Reply Olivia Michelle

    Yay, a miniseries! Such a great idea at the end of the year 🙂 in this post, the point you made about writing a good first page TOTALLY gels with me … its one of the biggest problems with my current manuscript and I'm lost with how to fix it. SIGH. more editing, anyone?!?!

    December 15, 2017 at 4:20 pm
  • Reply Michaila | Seventy Times Seven

    I love singing (like I've probably already mentioned *hem*). Literally, I have probably been singing something since I could talk.
    Woah, you've accomplished so much. I feel like 2017 was one of those ba-bam years, ya know?
    Anyways, toodle pip! Love the blog design, so aesthetic and pro looking.
    Michaila
    seventytimeseven.com

    December 16, 2017 at 12:40 am
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