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  • Writer's pictureLinnea Archibald

January/February 2024 writing recap: A season for planning

I wrote in my first blog post of the year that something that didn’t work for me in 2023 was my lack of scheduling so that’s something I’m working on this year. 

Though January/February weren’t months for a ton of progress, it was a season for planning. As Emily P. Freeman said, “January is the new week between Christmas and New Years.” Let’s just expand that to February, shall we? 

In the life of this blog, I published four new posts in January/February, not including the one you’re reading now: 

In addition to the posts I actually published, I also planned the rhythms for the rest of the winter and spring and penciled in a few post ideas to give myself guidance and limit decision fatigue later on. You can expect to hear from me on the blog every Friday, except for the day before newsletter day (the first Saturday of the month) as I’ll be busily working on the latest Literary Letter for you then. If there’s any particular topic you’d like me to tackle, or you’re looking for a particular type of book, food, or writing recommendation, let me know in the comments!

For non-fiction writing not on the blog or in my newsletter, one of my goals this year is to submit a few pitches/stories to magazines and journals, mainly in the food writing space. I spent some time these last couple of months reading the publications I’m interested in writing for and making note of their submission deadlines on my calendar. Hopefully, more to come on that as the year progresses!

When it comes to my current novel project, the progress feels a bit more nebulous. Late last year, I participated in MWPA’s PITCH event and had a great conversation with an agent there. She asked to see more of my manuscript when it was ready, which of course made me immediately realize I needed to do some additional work before letting her see it. These past couple of months, I’ve been chipping away at my structural outline and making note of what needs to change so I can do a focused edit before sending it off. 

Honestly, I think a lot of new writers underestimate just how much time editing takes, particularly if you’re a bit of a pantser like I am. Though I worked through a structural edit/rewrite last year, I still need to do another pass to change a couple of key points and tighten things up. Unfortunately, this process just takes as long as it takes. While I’m working through this third edit/rewrite, I’m going to revisit Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott for some in-process motivation and guidance. (You can read about a few of my other favorite writing books here.)

Tentatively, I’m aiming to have this whole revision done by the time I travel for work in early April. That may be ambitious, but I need a target and that seems as good a time as any. Plus, then I can give the whole thing to my husband and leave for several so I don’t have to be in the house agonizing about what his reading facial expressions mean. 

As we get ready to enter a new month, my goals are as follows: 

  • Keep up with a consistent schedule here on the blog and publish the newsletter on time (check your inboxes on Saturday, March 2!)

  • Work through the third revision of my novel to be completed by April 5

  • Submit one article or pitch 

And that about does it for my January/February writing recap! Here’s to a productive March! 

Happy writing, everyone!

How has your writing been going this year? What are you hoping to accomplish this next month? 



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Image by Susan Q Yin


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