See what’s become of me: My 2011 Writing Timeline

Time, time, time

See what’s become of me,

while I look around

for my possibilities…


It’s the springtime of my life.

I’m not sure I felt that way before doing this retrospective exercise of creating a 2011 writing timeline. I wasn’t looking for moments of success, necessarily—instead I focused on moments that seemed important in some way, to see if, as for Steve Jobs, I can begin to trust that the dots will somehow connect in the end.

What insight did I gain from the month-by-month summary, below, of my 2011 writing life?

The dots are connecting.

Be sure to visit Lea’s 2011 in review – a writing perspective on her Thumbnail blog, and the blog Love Out Loud, which will also look back on 2011 in the coming days.

Time, time, time…See what’s become of me:


Began a Ph.D. level course in Developmental Psychology, in preparation for applying to an interdisciplinary doctoral program. My goals? 1) To get a higher degree so as to boost my non-fiction writing career and write with more credibility, and 2) To put to rest once and for all the nagging regret about having pulled out of the Ph.D. program I was in when our son was born.

Related Post: What Is the Thing You Think You Cannot Do?


Had a post “Freshly Pressed” by WordPress! Single day views: 4,237. The best part: A big bump in blog subscriptions.

The Post: Writer Interrupted


Wrote the first of several Flash Narratives based on the diaries of my great Aunt Hattie.

Related Post: Flash Narrative: Sleeping with the Storm


Turned 47. Nuf said.

Related Post: Memory List at 47


Finished my graduate school course with an A and a professor eager to direct my dissertation, but, in the end, decided not to apply to the Ph.D. program. Why? I began to realize that going back to school was yet another way to postpone the full-time writing life I want. I don’t want to conduct research, something that four to five years of doctoral study would require. I am a writer. I want to research and write about others people’s research. Malcolm Gladwell doesn’t have a Ph.D. He’s my hero.

Related Post: My Crazy Quilt Life


On June 23rd, after encouragement from a good friend who is also a teaching colleague and a writer, I gathered the courage to query Psychology Today about an idea for a blog. I heard back that same day, and my first post was published on July 1: The Role of the Anxiety Master.


Began a rewarding and inspiring group writing blog with Christi Craig and E. Victoria FlynnWriting Up an Appetite: Wisconsin Writers in the Kitchen.


Self-published Oscar’s Gift: Planting Words with Oscar Micheaux, a work of historical fiction for middle grade readers, as both an e-book and paperback.


Rejoined Twitter after having left in June. My on-again, off-again romance with social media lives on.


Finished a new non-fiction book proposal and, in late October and early November, sent queries to targeted agents, including aiming high for some stretch agents, just because.

Related Post: If You Don’t Value Your Imaginative Life, No One Else Will


Wrote several posts on my iPad as a way to get used to using it.

Related Post: Focusing on What We Can Control


Remember those agent queries I’d sent? A few days before Christmas, an email in my inbox showed this preview, “I find your proposal quite fascinating…”

I didn’t even open it for an hour or so, so sure was I of the “but” that was coming.

It was an “and.”

“I find your proposal quite fascinating, and would love to represent it.”

From one of my “stretch” agencies, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency, Inc.

Trust that the dots will connect, my friends. Plan, yes. Work, definitely. Write, that’s a given.

But don’t forget to trust.

4 thoughts on “See what’s become of me: My 2011 Writing Timeline

  1. Wonderful Post! So many times in 2011 I found myself refusing to send a query letter to one magazine or another because I felt that it was somehow out of my league and that my lack of big time publications would keep them from saying yes. Next year I plan to throw that fear and doubt out of the window as I plan to submit, not only to those big time magazines, but to agents as well for representation on my second novel. Thank you for such a great post! Happy New Year

    • Thank you very much. Yes, toss those fears and doubts away in 2012 (or at least put in earplugs when they get too loud)! What do we have to lose? Best of luck with your writing and submissions and agent queries. Have a very happy New Year!

    • Jen, I struggle all the time with trying not to focus on the negative stuff. I was so conflicted about my decision not to pursue the Ph.D. in May. As I describe it in the post, it sounds easy, but I felt I was giving up and wondered if it was the right decision…until I looked back to see how that decision and the class I took that was part of it led to things that came after that I wouldn’t have tried otherwise.

      I look forward to seeing where the dots lead you (and your family) in 2012. 🙂

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