Happy New Year! Instead of resolutions this year, we decided to share each of our rose, thorn and bud. Katy suggested the awesome idea, which seemed like a cool reflective exercise for us to look back on the old year and look forward to the new.
Rose = the highlight of 2017. Thorn = the low point of 2017. Bud = what we’re excited for in 2018.
Melody’s Rose: I signed with literary agent, JL Stermer of New Leaf Literary on an #ownvoices project.
Melody’s Thorn: Typical of me but I always have my hands in too many jars and I am my own worst enemy, always. So just trying to not get in my own way is a daily battle. There wasn’t any one thing that stood out this year, as overall I was just a complete hot mess.
Melody’s Bud: I’m really excited to see my writing grow, my new relationship with my agent flourish, and my career as an author really take shape.
Meg’s Rose: I’ve been lucky this year to do some traveling with my friends–the BookCon, the Boston Teen Author Festival where I moderated a panel, and our lovely retreat!
Meg’s Thorn: I didn’t finish the draft of my current novel, and I guess you win some, you lose some.
Meg’s Bud: Hopefully in 2018 I’ll finish my draft and get moving with revisions! Maybe query… But I don’t want to get too ahead of myself!
Mara’s Rose: I promise I’m not trying to suck up when I say the highlight of my year is the wonderful ladies at Writer’s Block Party! I’ve discovered firsthand that having writer friends who believe in you when you’re finding it hard to believe in yourself is literally invaluable. This year I got to meet up with them on my first official writer’s retreat, and even though I almost burned our house down trying to make tea, a good time was had by all! (I think).
Mara’s Thorn: Every year, I go farther in my journey of pursuing publication, and ever year, it’s the most difficult year yet. Over the course of 2017, I had to reckon with a lot of personal obstacles. I’ve reckoned with myself about the quality of my writing a lot, but for the first time, I found myself reckoning with the idea of whether I wanted to be a published author at all and whether this (often) unrewarding, winding career path is really for me.
Mara’s Bud: For better or for worse, I can’t seem to give up on writing! I’ve learned so much this year–much of it from the ladies here at WBP. I have a manuscript I want to finish and a new one I’m excited to start. I’m ready to work, and 2018 is going to be the perfect year for it!
Katy’s Rose: Honestly my Rose this year was Writer’s Block Party, as cheesy as that is. I’m really proud of all of us for starting this blog and keeping it consistently running, even when many of us are super busy with writing, work, and other life stuff. I’m just super glad we were able to create something together that hopefully brings value to other writers.
Katy’s Thorn: Most of this year felt like a thorn, to be perfectly honest. My revisions really took a lot out of me, and I found myself with much less time and mental energy to create anything new. I’m proud of myself for getting through my revisions, but a little sad I wasn’t able to really get going with any new projects.
Katy’s Bud: I’m excited and terrified to go on my first round of submission. I can’t really say when this is happening (because I don’t even know), but I know it will be some time in 2018. I’m sure whenever it happens it will be harrowing and awful and all the things my friends who’ve been through it say. But like I felt when I was querying, regardless of the outcome I’m really excited to take that next step in my career.
Kat’s Rose: I was able to mentor an amazingly talented writer in this year’s Pitch Wars event. It was so rewarding to be on the other side of the revision/querying process and to cheer while my mentee created a beautiful story and received requests during the agent round!
Kat’s Thorn: It took me longer than normal to revise my Manuscript with my agent. But I do believe the process took that amount of time because it required it. I am just a naturally impatient person (Plus, I’ve been in a bit of a writing drought, blegh) >.<
Kat’s Bud: I have a brand new WiP that I am very motivated to write. It took me a few months to find this idea, but I’m so excited to finish this first draft and spend 2018 revising it with my agent! (Ironic since my thorn was all about time it took to revise my last MS and now I’m excited to revise a new one). Another bud is that I am an intern at a literary agency and I’m hoping this is a first step in a new career in the amazing world of publishing!
Foody’s Rose: Celebrating the release of Daughter of the Burning City and connecting with so many fantastic, passionate readers and new friends. On top of this, I revised the hell out of my next book, wrote two more, graduated from my masters program, and signed a deal for the rest of my series. This was a good year for the hustle. On a corny note, moving in with my SO! I’m tired in a good way, and I feel fulfilled and happy. If you asked me two years ago, I never thought I’d be in this good of a place by now.
Foody’s Thorn: Due to a lot of life changes, I had to make a tough decision to stop taking the CPA exams. It will mean more life changes in my future, as well as abandoning the progress on exams I already passed, but ultimately, I’m good at time management, and I know it isn’t feasible anymore. It’s a bit scary, but I’d be lying if I wasn’t super relieved (Insert a joke about accounting versus accountability).
Foody’s Bud: Being able to share Ace of Shades with the world, a book I’ve been writing and dreaming about since I was seventeen, as well as the hope of seeing progress on several new projects.
Ella’s Rose: I managed to finish my latest manuscript, MIRROR WAVES, with help from my wonderful unofficial Pitch Wars mentor. I’ve already gotten some bites on the MS from #pitmad, which was a fantastic way to end the year.
Ella’s Thorn: My anxiety issues stopped me from doing something big that I really wanted to do, but the timing just wasn’t right. Maybe next time.
Ella’s Bud: I’m really looking forward to querying my newly-finished manuscript. The positive reception I’ve had so far makes me very hopeful. I’m actually excited to to throw myself into querying, this time round!
Christine’s Rose: I’ve been very lucky to have a 2017 that was jam-packed with writing news. In the last year, I’ve signed with my agent and sold my debut, THE DEVOURING GRAY, along with a planned sequel. Being a published author is my lifelong dream, so knowing that I’m finally achieving it is the best kind of surreal.
Christine’s Thorn: I hate saying no, but my schedule has finally filled up to the point where I cannot possibly take on every commitment offered to me. Unfortunately, I learned that lesson the hard way, and it was only after letting a few people down that I realized I had to cut back on what I said yes to. Although I’ve got a long way to go when it comes to balancing my mental health, my social life, and my careers, I’m finally starting to accept that I can’t do everything.
Christine’s Bud: I am so excited to finish my revisions on my debut and strap in for the lead-up to its release. Although I have a lot of work ahead of me, the end result will be more than worth it.
Axie’s Rose: My debut, REBEL SEOUL, was released this past fall to many positive reviews, including one from the New York Times calling it, “moody, explodey fun!” I also graduated from Lesley University’s MFA program with a Masters in Writing for Young People.
Axie’s Thorn: I have one ongoing project that I made progress on, but not as much as I’d hoped. It’s the sort of project where I hoped to be finished by spring, then summer, then fall, and now winter is passing and I’m far from the end. But…
Axie’s Bud: I have hope that I will finish this project in 2018! The New Year always motivates me and I’m most productive in the spring. Besides the ongoing project, I also have a new secret project in the works, dun dun dun!
Ashley’s Rose: I’m going to have to say ditto to Mara’s rose—I’ve loved being a part of Writer’s Block Party! I’ve learned so much from both reading my friends’ wonderful posts and from writing my own. Plus, I got to meet up with the WBP squad at the Boston Teen Author Festival (on my birthday!!) which was so amazing. Everyone is even more fabulous IRL, and I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings for us!
Ashley’s Thorn: I hardcore failed a revision. People who know me know I’m not the most patient person, and it really did not serve me well re: revising my book. I dove in way too soon without really taking the time to figure out what needed fixing, and more importantly, how to fix it, which led to a lot of tossed words. But, none of those words were wasted. I definitely learned how not to revise a book.
Ashley’s Bud: After taking a step back and really looking long and hard at my WIP, I feel ready for a proper revision. I’ve already started, and things feel really right. I’m excited to continue my momentum into the new year and get this thing whipped into shape!
Akshaya’s Rose: 2017 was the year I finally put some writing-ish things out into the world, and it was a terrifying but really rewarding experience. I got to pitch my WIP during #DVPit, co-write a guest post for Publishing Crawl, and contribute a short story to The Hanging Garden–not to mention all the posts & interviews I worked on for WBP!
Akshaya’s Thorn: I joke that all I’ve done this year is revise a book poorly three times but… all I did this year was revise a book poorly three times. Most of this year, revising felt like I was climbing up a wall and every time I reached the top, I would both fall down 10 feet and the wall would grow 20 feet taller.
Akshaya’s Bud: I’m really looking forward to finally reaching the top of that wall in 2018. I know it will be temporary and my book will never be Done, but I want to finally be happy enough with what I have to let it go. And hopefully, I’ll get a chance to move on to new projects I’ve been dying to work on!
To our old and new readers, thank you for all of your support, and we look forward to growing with all of you this 2018!
What are some of your roses and thorns from 2017? What are some of your buds for 2018?