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  • Sara Braas

#WritingYearinReview2023 Post 1/10

This post is for all the writers out there hustling. I see you. Everything you are doing to make your dream of being a writer come true. The minutes you steal back to write that add up to hours. Each one of you could make a list like this #writingyearinreview2023 and I'd love to read them.

Like many of you, I’m horrible about stepping back and recognizing all the effort I’ve put into things. I’m much better at plowing forward and pushing myself as hard as I can. But I am starting to see the value in reflecting on what worked and what didn’t. Also giving myself credit for effort.


To that end, these next posts are my top 10 list for 2023 – released one per day for the next 10 days. It’s a list of my writing accomplishments this year. An author friend, Ann Garvin, told me last weekend that you need 3 things to succeed in publishing: patience, perseverance, and story. All three are a work in progress for me.

10. I finished a first draft of novel #2, working title GOOD WOMAN DOWN. This one scares me in so many ways. It’s about tough stuff. It hits very close to home, has an historic component, and is loosely based on a true story. All of these things scare me. It starts in the 1960s and goes through the decades (Firefly Lane-style) following two cousins (frenemies?). It contains stories from my own family’s past. For all these reasons, I’m still puttering around with draft 2. My goal for 2024 is to finish it, but today I'm giving myself credit for the 85K word first draft I have to work with.

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5/10 #Writingyearinreview2023

In 2023 I got up the nerve to pitch my novel at PitchFest (Part of ThrillerFest). I pitched 13 agents. The first one I talked to flat out turned me down. It stung, but I kind of knew he wasn’t for me.


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