2009 Reflections & 2010 Goals

I might as well write my “remembering 2009” entry now, as I may not have much time to reflect during the last days of the year. I’m currently far away from a place I used to call home, and I’ve been contemplating a lot about what this next year, 2010, has in store for me.

This year has been a good year for me, writing-wise, but of course, with any progress, there’s always a few steps taken backwards as well. I launched my domain, helenekwong.com, earlier this year to be ambitious about my writing, to get the word out. The website has drawn a decent number of viewings, but I admit that it’s pretty plain in terms of design. I’ve posted short stories on my website and through other outlets such as Scribd and GoodReads; was featured on Scribd for my story, “From Riches to Rags”, which really helped my online presence. Later in the year, I was featured on the “i live here:SF” project. I’d say these two instances were great accomplishments through the online world.

Aside from these recognitions, I’ve also kept myself busy online with contributions to Muni Diaries, blogging on “Cinnamon Juice” (my food blog; currently on hiatus), and writing reviews on Yelp!. I’d say indeed that it has been a busy year on the Internet for myself.

In terms of my writing progress: I began 2009 with a lot of vigor for editing and revising my first novel. However, as is typical of some writers, I began to get distracted with other projects (writing and non-writing related), and have put my editing on hold. I hit a dry spot in inspiration early in the year, and attempted to muster up that Muse through writing exercises found in books. I’ve written a few short stories through online prompts and daily observations, but have yet to get around to finalizing the stories for public reading. NaNoWriMo this year was difficult for me, as November was a really trying time for myself in my personal life. My novel is still unfinished, but I do not feel as sad about it as I thought I would; I understand sometimes that other priorities must take place in my life, and that, sadly, my writing has to take a backseat when it comes to these other priorities.

Do I regret not writing as much, not featuring as much, from this year? No. Life happens, and, as much as I’d like to focus more on my writing, I understand that I have other dreams and goals that must take my full concentration at times. I already have some plans for 2010 though:

  1. Really, seriously, edit and revise Novel 1 and get it ready for agents. Out of all the first drafts I have written so far, Novel 1 is the most promising for the public. The other novels are still promising as well, but they have a lot of kinks that I need to work out over time. However, ever since writing Novel 1 two years ago, the plot still holds onto me as I think about the story and how it unfolded when I first pounded out that draft. I had begun the process of editing/revising earlier this year, and I had hoped to have the book ready for agents before June. As we all know now, that didn’t happen; I will seriously focus on getting this draft ready by April 2010 at the latest. I’ll track my progress here so you all can keep me on track.
  2. Write/Edit/Revise/Post one short story per month (12 all year). It seems like too little, but it’d actually be a lot for me to do this. It’ll be something to look forward to each month, right?

There will be more goals along the way as the year starts out; for now, I hope you, my readers, will keep these two in mind and help keep me on track.

In the meantime, I wish you all a wonderful end-of-2009 and many great things in 2010.