The Year I Committed to Craft
What Writing Meant to me in 2023
A Fresh Start
The end of 2022 provided an opportunity: projects with the clients of my public relations firm were drawing to a close. I had a choice: I could devote my time to drumming up new business, or I could pursue a lifelong dream and commit to my creative writing pursuits. I chose the writing.
Creating a New Practice
I spent the previous six months engaged in a rigorous online writing workshop through Smokelong Quarterly. I started with Smokelong Summer, which I heard about through a fellow participant in an online workshop through Cleaver Magazine. I loved it so much, I continued with Smokelong Fitness. (I am currently in my second year of Smokelong Fitness.) Being in a structured workshop with weekly tasks and with feedback from fellow writers has kept me creating and submitting and been the core structure of my new writing life.
In addition, I participate in workshops at the local writing nonprofit WriterHouse, finding that there’s still no substitute for engaging in person with my local writing community, to fill my borderline extrovert cup.
Welcome Readers and Fellow Writers
I am delighted to have found some success with my writing. I submit to publications regularly and frequently. (Ask me about my use of Duotrope, Submittable, Chill Subs, and more.) I put in the work to try to find the right home for the pieces I write. One reason for creating this newsletter is to share what I learn about that process, and to share the pieces that I publish, as they appear online. If you’re into that, I thank you!
Quarterly, at most
I don’t intend to start blogging again with a lot of frequency here, and my publishing isn’t frequent enough to warrant anything more often than quarterly, so that’s the deal: an update for every season, hopefully with a handful of my own publications to share, some workshop and submitting advice I found helpful, and what I’m reading in the flash fiction and creative nonfiction spaces.
There’s a line in my bio that not everyone catches the first time: “Marijean once held the Guinness Book World Record for creating the world’s largest bouquet of flowers.” That’s me, above, with the creation of the bouquet under way in 1998. I like a challenge, and I hope to share some similar triumphs in the seasons to come.
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