2018 achievements and 2019 goals
2018 was a good year for me. I feel like this is one of the years I’ve grown the most as a writer. While I still have a long road to go, I want to take a moment to reflect on some of my writing growth spurts, and then share some of my goals for 2019.
1. Graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing Nonfiction
At the end of August 2018, I graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with my Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing, with a focus in nonfiction. It was a huge personal achievement for me and, though the road was long and rough, I’m glad I finally closed that chapter in my life. Studying creative writing, particularly nonfiction, was not my original goal. It wasn’t until after I took a class at Folsom Lake College in 2012 that the first seed of creative nonfiction was planted.
I took the class by mistake. I was in a hurry to get classes I needed (along with classes I wanted), so I didn’t read the description of the class. I just saw “Creative Writing” in the title, so I signed up. Gotta have at least one fun elective, right?
It wasn’t until the class drew nearer and reading up more about it did I realize: it was a nonfiction writing class, not fiction.
Drat. How boring. Should I drop it then? I asked myself, and then decided against it. I’ll take the class. It’ll just make my writing better.
My opinion changed after my first day. After we went around the room introducing ourselves and sharing a bit about ourselves, my professor nodded slowly and grinned.
“Can’t you hear all the stories?” she asked with wonder, and I realized she was right. We all had stories to tell.
I did some of my best writing in that class. I never knew how much fun writing nonfiction could be, or how much easier it came to me than writing fiction—any kind of fiction. It had its challenges for sure, but it really stretched my writing muscles. How can I tell this true story without listing a bunch of facts, but rather incorporate them into a narrative? How can I write my own story?
I never forgot how much I loved that class, and it is easily still one of my favorites.
The idea of getting a degree in nonfiction writing didn’t come to me until 2017. I had graduated in spring that year with my associates in English and was simply perusing a variety of online colleges to see what kinds of degrees they offered. As I explored SNHU’s list of degrees, there it was: Creative Writing, with a nonfiction focus. I couldn’t believe it.
As I read over the course list, I saw that I could complete the degree within a year. Thanks to the creative nonfiction writing class I took prior, I was able to skip the beginner workshop and only had to take the intermediate and advanced workshops.
Those classes reignited my love for writing nonfiction. It is, by far, one of my proudest achievements.
2. Participated in my first editorial internship
Shortly after graduating from SNHU, I was accepted into a remote editorial internship with BHC Press, a medium-sized independent book publishing company based in Michigan. It was my second internship application and I was terrified but determined.
Along with writing, I’m highly interested in learning about a variety of avenues in the book publishing industry: editing, graphic design, eBook conversion, book reviews, etc. Everything that goes into making a book, whether it be a physical or digital copy really fascinates me.
I learn best by doing, so becoming an intern seemed like the next logical step. On top of that, I could expand my resume and get my foot through the industry’s door. The only requirement was that it had to be a remote internship; leaving work and my cats to attend an internship was out of the question.
My first internship application was a flop, so I was quite nervous when I applied for my next. My nerves changed to excitement when I got the email announcing I had been accepted. I quickly texted a bunch of people sharing my exciting news.
My older sister became concerned.
“Michigan? It’s a remote internship, right?” she texted.
“Yes, it’s remote haha,” I replied.
“Ok, phew, I was worried I was going to have to sit the kids down and tell them that Auntie Becca is moving to Michigan.”
So, no, I am not moving to Michigan. I am learning about getting a book ready to be published, from editing to proofreading to evaluating manuscripts, the list goes on. It’s been a wonderful and valuable experience.
1. Write, write, write!
I want to make progress on my works-in-progress, “Dear Gen: A Love Letter” and “The Lilac Bottle”. Especially Dear Gen. I don’t know how much more progress exactly, but significant enough to be considered progress. Oh, and continue to write this blog consistently.
2. Intern, intern, intern!
Along with continuing my internship with BHC Press, I’d like to possibly do another internship, maybe one that includes graphic design and interior layout. Anything (well, almost anything) to expand my resume.
I’m grateful that 2018 afforded me some amazing opportunities, and I’m hopeful that 2019 is just as productive. Happy 2019, folks!