First Year Tally – Aheïla

One year ago, almost to the day, I decided I had enough. Enough of the story sleeping in a buried folder on my computer. Enough of wanting to write but never finding time. Most of all, enough to be all talk and get nothing done; at some point, I had to stop saying I wanted to be an author and just do it.
So last year, my New Year resolution was to find time for writing and develop the necessary discipline to do it consistently. In order to force myself into that objective, I started a blog – this blog – thinking that if I promised people to steadily deliver 1,000 words of a story, I wouldn’t bear to fail them. Even if there were just two or three of them.

Now a year has gone by and when I look at all I have accomplished, I am completely stunned. I never aimed for that much. Not at all.
In the course of year, I didn’t only complete the story that had been sleeping – The One Who Sees (or TOWS) – but two more novels. TOWS came back from its first round of beta and received only critics I “expected”, meaning only small tweaking and no major changes that completely threw me off. The second one, Unforeseen Dives, has gathered more and more readers throughout the year and more positives critics than I hoped for. The third one, Oil and Boiling Water, was written alongside thousands of other novels during NaNoWriMo and will soon be polished enough to go out on beta.
Besides those huge accomplishment, I wrote several drabbles, short stories, poems and whatnots, bringing my word count to about 350k for the year. The number surprises me since it’s a big change from the almost zero of the previous years. One of the story, Coffee, even got published in My First Time and is my first paid story.

There is one secret behind all the accomplishments… readers and fellow writers.

I have followers on various networks and I’m still not quite sure why that is. *laughs* I certainly never thought my blog would draw over 17,000 page views in a year. Nor did I expect to meet so many nice people, make friends and find support for my writing. All of you, dear readers and fellow writers, have played a tremendous role in my first year’s accomplishment. You’ve pushed me forward without even realizing it.
You’ve pushed me forward because I always wish to bring you better stories, better articles, and more enjoyable reading. I don’t want to disappoint you. And it’s not just about the blog; I suspect some of you will be disappointed if I never get published. 😉

So thanks to you all for following my journey and helping me become a better writer. It seems only fair to repay you with the First Year Tally celebration and the gift that goes along with it.  And who better to kick off the guest author’s of the month than Faith Hunter!
Swing by on Friday to read her and I hope you enjoy my new story, Killing Time OST, in the meantime. Because yes, last year’s accomplishment are just the beginning. My target for this year is to sign an agent. If I go “overachiever” like I did last year, I might even have a publishing deal signed by next year. *laughs*

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About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

20 responses to “First Year Tally – Aheïla

  • Jenn

    Why to go on meeting your goals! I can’t wait to see what comes next.

  • Melanie

    Congratulations on blowing your goals out of the water! I find accountability to others really keeps me on track. I think the only reason I finished my first draft this weekend is because I wrote today’s blog post in advance and I said there that it was already done.

    I can’t wait to see what 2011 in store for you!

    • Aheïla

      I agree; accountability helps a lot. I partnered up with my friend and fellow blogger Alyssa a while back and we keep each other in line. Just a little weekly report is enough.
      I’m sure 2011 has wonders in store for you as well!

  • mish

    When I read your post and the wonderful success you have achieved during the first year , it brought to mind a quote which I felt would be appropriate to share : “Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion . You must set yourself on fire .”
    And that’s easier said than done ! It’s the ultimate challenge !!
    Though I sense that this is exactly what you have managed to accomplish . You have become your own “arsonist” .
    And you know how a fire can burn uncontrollably … and spread … take on a life of its own …
    So congratulations Madame A ~~ and here’s to the raging fires of 2011 !!

    • Aheïla

      What an amazing quote! It sums up the road to success exactly; you have to make the first move and you have to endure the pain. Nothing comes for free.
      My stories have definitely taken a life of their own. Who knows maybe the fires of 2011 will spark fireworks! 😉

  • Re Gypsy

    Out of the water, fireworks and then some! Congrats A, and i think i will soon find out what accountabilty means …Sigh (i think i’ll end up agreeing with you). Here’s to starting a blogging revolution in 2011 with all the elements; fire, water air and earth ;o)

  • Lectin Gaezat

    I see the words epic fantasy.

    Is it true? Is it possible? 😛 I would love to read THAT :). We could do accountabilty in that case -laughs- from one fantasy writer to another!

    Happy new year A! I’ll be polishing my own post for a while and probably submitting it soon. A holiday overseas brings good perspective.

    • Aheïla

      *laughs* There nothing sure about that yet. I just have one weird character in my mind. And it’s shaping more to be a blend of Fantasy and Mystery genres. We’ll see.

      Happy New Year to you too! I’ll wait for your participation!

      • Lectin Gaezat

        Well, it looks like from my first draft- it looks like I’ve chalked up 1k words. Would it be bad if I went over the word limit? 😛 I’ll get right on trying to cutting words now.

      • Aheïla

        With the introduction I’m adding, you really should try to stick to 800 words max. Readers are harder to hook on longer post than 1,000 words.
        But that’s my experience. If you think your post is better at 1k, I’m not going to object.

      • Lectin Gaezat

        Alrighty… did some shaving and it is a whisker or two over 900 words.

        I’ll be sending it over to that mail to supplied me.

  • Tiffany

    Whoo hooo!! Way to go on exceeding all the goals you set for yourself, and congrats on the progress you’ve made! Also, thanks, for writing this inspiring post. 🙂

  • Suzanne

    I started a fiction blog with the goal of getting more writing down on paper (or on screen). Seeing what you have accomplished on your blog is encouraging to me.

    • Aheïla

      I’m glad my personal experience encourages others to take steps to write more. If you’re determined, I’m sure you’ll rack up amazing accomplishments too! 😉

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