New year, new goals.

Happy New Year to you, dear reader!
I hope you spent the last moments of 2017 and the first moments of 2018 with your loved ones and friends and had the most amazing time. I certainly did. Now, I am looking forward to 2018 for there are some changes ahead.

As the beginning of a new year usually prompts some resolutions and for me one of those for 2018 is to get my blogging routine up to a new level, here I am, posting the first of hopefully many entries on the very first day of the new year.
Fear not, however, I won’t bore you with a list of good intentions (just now). Instead, I’ll review the last “bucket list” I wrote – amazingly, this post dates back to December 2015 and was targeting my plans for 2016. Oops.

Back then, I came up with 8 points for me to strive for and I didn’t do so bad. Here’s the list again:

  1. Get a critique buddy.
  2. Check for German chapter of SCBWI – if there is one, sign up.
  3. Decide on the basic structural frame for WIP
  4. Find something else than MS word for a writing environment.
  5. Stop or at least minimise procrastination.
  6. Find a way to carve out daily writing hours.
  7. Write some more blog posts.
  8. Review this list at least once a month. Maybe the … 14th each month would be an idea and add all things that came up eventually.

So, I did quite well with items 1, 2, 4, and 6.
Yes, there is a SCBWI chapter here in Germany (it’s the Germany/Austria chapter, to be precise) and I’m lucky to have a group of ladies who meet up once a month in the Stadtbibliothek Stuttgart, just an hour from home. They basically are my critique buddies now and the group has grown considerably during 2017. This is truly amazing and I very lucky to be part of it.
Yes, I did find something else than MS Word – I chose Scrivener in early 2016 and never looked back.
Yes, I did carve out writing hours, even if this turned out to be the hardest part of the game. Hello there, #5amwritersclub. If you are unfamiliar with the hashtag, I recommend you head over to twitter and see for yourself. Or better yet, join us!

For the other four items on the list however – it’s not so easily determined if I succeeded – in the best case, I’m still on it.
I obviously did not live up to item 8, given that I only just now review this list again…
I did not write as many blog posts as I was aiming for. If I reflect on it, I was probably buried in craft books and stepping up my game in the art of writing and did not feel I had much to say.
I did not stop procrastination. Not entirely. But, I am proud of the progress I made and I’m still working on avoiding distractions and better organisation. Some days that works better than other days – I’m sure it’s not only me who feels that way.

And the decision on the structure of my WIP? Ha Ha Ha … yeah, no. I’ve since moved on from the manuscript I was working on in early 2016. I had to admit to myself that I did (and still do) lack the skill level to manage such a huge project. It’s not dead – but it’s sitting, resting, simmering in *the drawer* for now. I still love the world and the characters and the ideas about it but it’ll have to wait. I will come back to this particular story when I got some more experience under my belt.

I’m going to draw up a new bucket list for 2018 in the next days – just to write down some task and goals I want to achieve in the upcoming year.

Without a goal, there’s no direction for your efforts, right?




What? Why is it German _and_ English? An Introduction.

I am German – so naturally one would think I would write in my native language. But I do not – or at least not always. In this blog I will mostly write in English but there will be posts or texts in German as well. If you wonder why, let me explain it like this:
I think in English. Not when I am going about my day-to-day business or while grocery shopping. But often when I am in this place in my head where the stories are – I do think in English. At the moment. For the story I picked a while ago to be the one story I really want to tell.

I believe that to be a consequence of the literary choices I made in the past ten years. Maybe 85 percent of the books I read were in English. Once I realized how much of the authors voice and phrasing gets – literally – lost in translation of a book, I started reading the novels and stories I was intrigued with in the original language. Most times that was English.

Maybe for another text or story I will choose German. I will depend on the topic and the setting. Right now, the storyline I am pursuing comes up in English. I tried to “translate” it to German– but that felt wrong and sounded totally off. I could never find the right German word to express what I wanted to write. So I went ahead and started over. In English. Which is still a touchy subject for me. For I am aware that I am far from perfect and believe me, I am concerned that what I write sounds just a little weird. I do have a master-plan to address this issue in the near future. I will keep you all updated.

Meanwhile – when I will post something I wrote just for the sake of exercise, like writing challenges or writing prompts, it will most likely be German. I guess it will depend on the topic and setting. Makes no sense to write in English if the story is set in rural Bavaria, don’t you think?