There’s a special significance to December 16th, though. Around here, anyway. Thursday will be the official anniversary of Unstressed Syllables. One year ago Thursday, I wrote my first post here.
It feels like a much longer time than that. My life has changed hugely in the last year. I’ve gone from being a professor to being a student. I’ve gone from being a writer to being a publisher. For that matter, I’ve gone from being an unpublished writer to being a published one.
And whether you know it or not, you’ve played a big part in that. I’m intensely grateful to you, my readers, for coming around (even if you never do say a word).
Through this website I’ve established important relationships, I’ve established myself in some (admittedly small) corners of the internet as a writing expert, and most importantly I’ve established that for myself. For the first time in my life, I see myself as an expert, and that has given me the confidence to do everything else I’ve done.
And that all started here. It started a year ago, when I talked about why I wanted to write a writing-advice blog and, specifically, why I wanted to write one aimed at people afraid of writing.
In the time since, we’ve wandered far and wide. These are just some of the topics we’ve discussed (in chronological order):
- Writing to a template
- Becoming a better person through writing
- Designing document structure
- Writing first drafts (and the marble statue metaphor)
- Improving rough drafts
- The value of blogging
- The structure of a story
- Audience analysis
- Reader response questions
- The power of good metaphors
- How to write a 3-act narrative
- The changing face of publishing
- The value of a writing group
- How to fit research into your writing
- How to write powerful outlines
- How copyright works (and doesn’t)
- The value of the public domain
- What’s wrong with The Da Vinci Code
- How plot points work
- Visual storytelling
- Writing what you know (you’re not too boring to tell a story)
- National Novel Writing Month
- Prewriting for NaNoWriMo
- The struggle to keep writing
- The tragic loneliness of writing
My publication schedule has changed from time to time, and I make no guarantees that the one you’re seeing now (sort of) is any kind of permanent. But I have as much commitment to Unstressed Syllables today as I did a year ago.
And I’m looking forward to the topics we’re going to discuss in 2011, including storytelling techniques (with a detailed review of what I learned in Category Fiction this fall), and an investigation of what went into publishing my novel last October and what I can share with you about that experience with regard to your own works.
In the meantime, we’ve still got a draft of a NaNo novel needing revision, so let’s get back to that, huh? Come back Thursday for cake, punch, and a discussion of what you should change in the second pass through your manuscript.