Friday, December 14, 2012

"Creative Habit": Looking Back at 12x12in12 & Weekend Homework

Hopefully, you are looking with anticipation to 2013 with plenty of new memories from 2012 in your pocket.  I can definitely say that this year has been a journey. 

January 2012.  It seems like ages ago. However, I vividly remember sitting down and bringing to life my first manuscript for the 12x12 Challenge.  Since then that manuscript has evolved through critiques at Gotham Writers Workshop, revisions suggested by my Critique Group, suggestions made at WriteOnCon and it has been submitted to an agent.  It to this date is one of my favorites. 

Fast forward almost a year and I have 11 total (I haven't gotten around to my 12th) manuscripts!  Now some of them were first drafts that will probably never see life outside of a file folder on my laptop.  Others are great concepts that need some more TLC before they are considered anything.  One is better suited for a wordless picture book (don't ask!  I don't illustrate!).  But each manuscript represents a step on my creative journey.

In addition to the manuscripts, I have gathered such a wonderful circle of friends on this journey...some of whom I was able to meet in person (all I can say is next time I see Julie we TOTALLY need to go to a karaoke bar!)  I have seen my blog grow from a hand-full of Followers to 128!  And I have even launched my new business creating Teacher's Guides for Picture Books!

So, as I look to 2013 I might not have 12 totally polished masterpieces.  I might not have an agent.  I might not be in Publisher's Marketplace.  But I have grown and I owe a lot of that growth to 12x12 and its amazing community. 

Thank you for the memories, but thank you also for the encouragement, confidence and support that will surely help me take even more steps in the year to come!

Speaking of memories, Twyla's Chapter 4: Harness Your Memory, has some wonderful exercises to help you do just that.  Enjoy!
  • Name that muse. Associate a series of objects with something you are familiar and with similar meaning,e.g. Urania sounds like Uranus, hence associated with astronomy. I often use this method to remember a list of facts.
  • Trust your muscle memory. Learn to train your muscle memory, your ability to retain and repeat motion.  Does "butt in chair" count here?
  • Mining your memory in a photograph. Take a family picture, any picture, and study it. What do you see in it that is indisputably similar to your life today, to the person you’ve become? What is vaguely similar? What bears no resemblance or suggests nothing memorable? The goal is to connect with something old so it becomes new. Look and imagine.


  1. I raise my glass to you for winning an exclusive invite to agent Tricia, to your growing blog, and to your teachers guide business! Thats a great accomplishment, Marcie! Not to mention training for your marathon throughout all of this and doing something great for NYC.

  2. Growth is good. Launching a new business is also good. ...So good for you!

  3. Marcie,

    I haven't been able to get to your Twyla posts yet, but I will! It'll be a treat over the holidays. :-)

    I'm so proud of you and your manuscripts, and meeting you a NJ-SCBWI was definitely one of the highlights of my year. Your enthusiasm is contagious and you've brought so much to this writing community.

    And if you remove the word "karaoke" before bar, then we'll definitely go. Believe it or not, I've always been too shy to do karaoke live. I guess I'd rather put it up in a video before the world over having to look people in the face - LOL.

    To 2013!

  4. Marcie- Congratulations on all your 2012 accomplishments, and I'm raising my glass to many more in 2013!

  5. And don't forget your fabulous business writing teachers' guides for those books. I know you'll have much more fabulous success in 2013.

  6. Congratulations on all your accomplishments this year! You've been an important, vibrant part of the 12x12!

  7. Congrats on your 12 x 12 success! Sounds like it was a great year for you!

  8. Congratulations on your accomplishments to date -- here's to a fabulous 2013!

  9. Yes, our 12x12 community is blessing. I've enjoyed your posts throughout the challenge. Congrats on your manuscripts, Marcie! Looking forward to 2013...see you then!