2021: The Year of Dramatic, Unfinished Change

20 Dec

Every year, I take time to reflect on where I am, where I’ve been, and where I’m going. Last year was deemed The Strangest Writing Year (Hopefully?), and this year, I’ve decided to call it The Year of Dramatic, Unfinished Change. (Though, that may be too dramatic in itself.) Onto why that is (and also unfinished)… 

At the beginning of this year, my agent was taking my young-adult-turned-adult sci-fi novel out on submission. I was rewriting a different adult science fiction novel and halfway through writing an adult fantasy novel. At work, I had just been chosen to attend the Doniphan Leadership Institute at William Jewell College, and in my personal life, my fiance and I were considering buying a house. 

I end the year in a very different place. For one, I’m no longer agented. My agent decided to leave agenting back in the fall, so I’m now free to query. That said, I haven’t yet begun. Mostly because I’ve had a lot of other things going on. 

  1. I attended and graduated from the Doniphan Leadership Institute at William Jewell. 
  2. I was chosen to mentor in Pitch Wars with my longtime critique partner and friend, Sandra Proudman. We’re now mentoring D.S. Allen, a middle grade writer, on her horror until the agent showcase next year!
  3. SCBWI KS/MO also hired me to teach at the Middle of the Map conference in November. I taught How to Write a Series, and it was so much fun! I offered critiques to writers, and I will be mentoring a young adult writer in 2022. Announcements go up in January. 

Did I mention my personal life?

In 2021, I got married, and we bought our first home together. We’ve been renovating, too. And traveling a bit more. (My favorite trip was when we went ziplining through the Ozarks.) I also turned the big 3-0. 

It truly has been a joyous year. 

Writing-wise, I finished rewriting that adult science fiction book…only to shelve it. I also added 30,000 words to that adult fantasy book…only to put it on pause at 77k. I switched gears to re-read one of my old adult fantasies, made a plan to revise, and then…put it down. Between all that, I worked on a dozen other ideas and outlined a few of them in full, which is exciting. But mostly, it was the year of the unfinished piece. Not that I can’t finish something. I totally can. What happened was that so many life changes made me redirect my path that I ended up half-traveling down a few opportunities to try to make the best decision about which one to commit to. 

Overall, I estimate that I wrote over 100,000 brand-new words, rewrote 50,000, and outlined 30,000. (And that’s not including this blog or other platforms.) Now, at the end of 2021, I can safely say that I’ve made a decision. 

I am focusing on a middle grade verse novel that is super close to my heart, and I hope to query it in 2022 once I finish revising. (Please send me ALL the good luck and well wishes.) 

Maybe I’ll find the perfect agent to champion my work. Maybe I won’t. But I’ll never know if I don’t try! 

There are so many dreams I am already chasing going into 2022. Hence why I’m calling this year unfinished. I still have so much to do. 

Other than what is to come, my trusted almost-eight-year-old laptop died in November, so I had to say goodbye to it. After all the projects I’d completed on that computer, it was hard! But now, it’s the era of Rosie, my new laptop. I also finished uploading Took Me Yesterday to Wattpad and guest spoke at Kearney High School’s creative writing class and at the Lake Waukomis Women’s Club. I created a Teachers & Book Clubs page for readers to use, and it’s been utilized a handful of times. One of my favorite moments this year was when I was interviewed by Austin Gragg for Space and Time Magazine. It is so incredibly neat to hold a printed interview in my hands—and in such an incredible magazine. 

I was also lucky enough to teach Starting a Writing Project for Mid-Continent Public Library (twice)! For those of you who are interested, I’m teaching it again on January 12, 2022. You can learn more here. It’s virtual, open to anyone in the world, and free.

2021 was not what I expected. But then again, neither are any of my past years. 

Publishing is an unpredictable game. Maybe that’s why I like to roll the dice. I never know what’s going to happen, but I know something will as long as I keep trying. 

Here’s to all the surprises to come in 2022. 

~SAT

Want to see what’s happened throughout my years of blogging?

12 Responses to “2021: The Year of Dramatic, Unfinished Change”

  1. josiesvoice December 20, 2021 at 9:36 am #

    Congratulatons, Shannon on your wedding and what a year you had. Be thankful and grateful as this may have been how your life in 2021 was meant to be. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!🎄🎄

    • Shannon A Thompson December 20, 2021 at 9:39 am #

      Thank you 💜 💜 💜 I am feeling all kinds of thankful & grateful for this past year. I hope you had a fabulous 2021, too. (And more good to come.)
      ~SAT

  2. Jason December 21, 2021 at 1:03 am #

    Congratulations Shannon on getting married.
    Also on being a successful author.

    2022 can be a great year for me because I’ll be making cash with the Blogging with Rory system after I modify all pages to 100 percent original content.

    • Shannon A Thompson December 21, 2021 at 7:39 am #

      Thank you! And your plan sounds so exciting! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for you in 2022 with your original content.
      ~SAT

      • Jason January 1, 2022 at 3:18 pm #

        The blogging with Rory is a successful system that vast persons use.
        I’m very excited because I’ll can make money online 24 hours a day.

        I’ll be making enough cash that I can go on a Cruise vacation, and Las Vegas in the same month.

        I’ll have a high amount of finical freedom.
        I’ll be making enough cash that I can buy a 2021 Chevy Camero.

        I can also buy all the clothes, and team Hats including Bulls hats that I want, and other stuff.

  3. frasersherman December 21, 2021 at 5:15 am #

    Congratulations on the wedding.

  4. DebyFredericks December 21, 2021 at 10:40 am #

    That’s a bummer, to have your agent walk away from the industry. But, now that you’ve chosen a project, I know you’ll see it through. Congrats on your marriage, too!

    • Shannon A Thompson December 21, 2021 at 12:17 pm #

      It was! But I totally understood and she was awesome to work with while it lasted. Excited to move forward
      💪 Thank you for your kind words.
      ~SAT

  5. Isa A December 27, 2021 at 1:45 pm #

    It’s the end of the year and I’m seeing some posts on year round ups. It’s been a journey. Best of luck to your querying. Good on the house and settling down. To the unfinished we have 2022 to look forward to. Xx
    Isa A. Blogger
    https://www.lifestyleprism.com/

    • Shannon A Thompson December 29, 2021 at 7:27 am #

      Thank you!!! I appreciate all the lucky wishes I can get ❤
      Happy New Year!
      ~SAT

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