A letter to myself for the Dear Me 2016 contest
Word Count: 803
You know, I'm not sure how to talk to you as we've never spoken before. You've got lots of things going on in your head and I'm not sure where to start so I'm going to talk about your writing goals.
You've been serious about your writing for at least the last two years. I'm proud of the work you've done to get where you're at right now. You've worked hard and did your best to learn as much as possible. I know you sometimes feel incompetent but it's truly inexperience that you're feeling. Many times you pass up the opportunity to participate in a contest because you feel inadequate. You've got to find a way to get past that and jump the hurdle. You may trip and fall, but I know you'll get back up again. You can't be kept down, your drive to write is pretty strong.
Case in point, you took two New Horizon's classes and learned about grammar and commas. It was tough to re-learn about sentence structure with nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs, not to mention participles. Comma placement was a little difficult but you learned a lot. It's keeping what you learned in mind that's the challenge. A few things I know you remember are the rules about FANBOYS, independent clauses and coordinating conjunctions.
You've entered writing contests and even won some. You've done well with your non-fiction writing. Maybe that's something you should look into writing more of. It's not easy to write something and enter it into competition with other writers. But if you read what others have entered, you can learn from them, too.
You've registered to begin the Spotlight on Character class beginning this month through New Horizons and I know you'll learn a lot from Ms. Katz.
Reading books is another goal to be set. You should read at least one book a month to get yourself reading on a regular basis. There are lots of books on writing to read, but you also want to read books like you want to write. This will increase your understanding of what you want to write and how you want to write it. Practice, practice, read, read, and practice some more.
Speaking of practicing, it would be a good idea to participate in at least one contest per month. It's hard for you to come up with ideas or things to write about so let the prompts help you. Soon your creativity will flourish.
Writing your memoir is helpful to your writing as well. This gives you something to write about and helps you to work on your writing style. I'm surprised that you've taken on this feat, but I'm also proud of you. It's a big step and I think you'll learn a lot not only about your writing, but about yourself as well.
You will also learn a lot by reviewing. I know it's difficult for you to write reviews and I know it takes you a long time, but it's one of the best ways to learn how to write. Reviewing makes you think about writing in a different light, a reader as opposed to a writer.
This past year you participated in NaNoWriMo and did well. Although you didn't write 50,000 words you made it to 35,269 words, 70% of your goal. That's not a bad job. You'll have another opportunity this November so start thinking about what kind of story you want to write.
You began and maintained the No Dialogue Contest this past year and it's done pretty well. It's challenging to write a story with no dialogue and I think many people have had fun tackling that challenge. You might want to think about writing another no dialogue story for yourself as that would be excellent practice.
Helping out another WDC member with judging their contest entries is something else you began this past year. The Write Me a Lipogram Contest is interesting in that you write leaving out a specific letter of the alphabet. For example, the first round began with the letter c. The letter c could not show up in the story anywhere. Now, I think that's challenging. Maybe you should give that a try, too. Even though you couldn't submit or win, it would be good practice.
Although I know you feel like your writing isn't as up to par as other members, you should enter the member writing contests as that will move you out of your comfort zone and help you to grow.
As I end this letter I want you to know that I'm proud of you. You've accomplished more than you thought you would and I expect you'll do the same this year.
Until next year, I wish you a happy, healthy, and successful 2017.