Winter Writing Festival check in #5

This is really Kate Parker hiding behind Elisa’s better photo.

Only two weeks to go! Can you believe it? This is the warning bell for all the procrastinators out there. If  you’ve been moving steadily along, you’ve not only been amassing points, you’ve been amassing words in your work in progress. That’s what it’s all about. Putting one word in front of the other, trying out new images and techniques, practicing craft tips you’ve picked up. In other words, growing as a writer.

Have you seen growth in your writing over the last several Winter Writing Festivals? I have, and I suspect many others have, too. That’s what trying over and over again, over time, does to our writing. Have I seen failures? Scenes that should never see the light of day? Characters that deserve the delete key? Absolutely. But every failure has brought learning.  It has for me and I bet it has for you, too. When you tell us if you’ve made your goals this week, tell us about changes you’ve seen in your writing in the past Winter Writing Festivals. 

The Ruby sisters want to hear how everyone has been doing. Some have been going it alone, and I understand that. I have to write in silence. Others have been taking advantage of the support of other writers in the chat room. Go to to join in the sprints. We have them at all sorts of times and days. However you are doing it, you should be at 36 points now, or 37 if you signed in the day we started Winter Writing Festival 2019.

If you have, put I made my goal first. Then let us know how your writing has been impacted by your years of participation in the Winter Writing Festival, or if this is your first year, have you seen an improvement in your writing craft?

Prizes this week are:

from Kate Parker – $10 Amazon gift card

from Hope Ramsay – autographed copy of The Cottage on Rose Lane (US only)

from Anne Marie Becker – critique of the first 3 chapters or help writing back cover copy (winner’s choice)

We’re looking forward to hearing from you! And keep writing!

23 responses to “Winter Writing Festival check in #5”

  1. Lenee M. Anderson says:

    I made my goal.
    I’ve really resent going to work lately. Even though I have an order of events problem at the very beginning of the story, I would still rather be home writing. So I’ve been feeling a lot like the 1990’s. Angry, bitter, disillusioned, cynical, resentful.
    Disgust can be motivational, right?

    • Kate Parker says:

      Yes, it can. I couldn’t wait to retire, and then it was another 7 years before I got a publishing contract. I completed 18 manuscripts before I wrote one New York wanted.

      I’m not the best example. One of the other Rubies quit on the spot after an assistant manager chewed her out for something that was not her fault in front of other employees, customers, and a supplier. She had only published in a couple of anthologies before that day, and she was terrified for her finances, but she’s stuck with it and now she’s multi-published and doing better. She said it was the best decision she has ever made.

      I don’t know what the right answer is for you, but I wish you luck. Keep writing. Your day will come.

  2. Michelle says:

    I made my goal! I sent off my revised ms to my critique partners…and then I crashed. It’s hard for my Type-A, Capricorn self to recognize that when I hit a milestone, I need to celebrate and assess. But this time, I did! I’m taking a couple of days off to refresh and reset. This weekend, I’ll start a new project while I wait for feedback.

    • Kate Parker says:

      That’s great, Michelle. Always keeping something going is important, both for developing that writing every day muscle and for when you’re published. While you’re waiting on your editor to send you the marked up manuscript, you will need to be working on your next book. Good for you for getting into the habit early.

    • Woot! Congrats, Michelle! And congratulations on reminding yourself to unwind too!

  3. Brenda Lowder says:


    I’ve definitely seen an improvement in my commitment and mindfulness in showing up every day to keep up with the Winter Writing Festival. I think my writing may be getting better because I’m pushing forward and doing it instead of just talking about it and procrastinating. Many thanks to the Rubies!

  4. I have rocked this week! Making great progress on my new project. Now to keep it rolling!

  5. Jennifer Jung says:

    Yay, good job everyone! I didn’t hit my goal for the week, but thanks to a bunch of days with 2 points I’m still on target. Loving this festival and chatting with everyone!

    I also am growing frustrated with this not being my full-time job. Being a stay-at-home mom with only one kid home during the day, I’m hoping I can make it into a full-ish time job (albeit unpaid) with better time management tho. Damn ADD. 😉

    Congrats again everyone!!! So glad to be doing this with you all 🙂

    • Kate Parker says:

      We’re glad you’re doing this with us, Jennifer. Remember that all the work you put in while the little one is home all day will pay off when he or she gets a bit older. You’ll have learned some craft and experienced some problems we all hit with our manuscripts. The trick is to roll with the setbacks and keep on writing.

  6. Hywela Lyn says:

    MADE MY GOAL (but only just this week), Not as good as previous weeks, due to several other committments, but when I’ve not been writing on the screen I’ve been writing in my head, and am still ahead on points. I am beginning to develop a routine and learning to stop trying to finish everything else before I start writing, and mark out at least an hour a day to work on the M.S. I’ve solved two problems that were stopping me moving forward with the story and hope to have this first draft completely rewritten and finished by the end of the WWF.

  7. Meghan Bennett says:

    Met my goal. This is my second year in participating. Between working full time and parenting, it is hard to focus in to write. I am competitive by nature. Forums like this help me to prioritize what free time I have and compete with myself to making my word/writing goals. I love the sprint chat room. I like feeling a part of something bigger. Here, a bunch of women with the passion for writing come together to encourage each other with their craft. With a lot of negativity in the press and social media lately, being a part of something so positive is definitely something worth participating in.

  8. Rachel Kolodziej says:


    It was a busy week but I made lots of progress. This is my third or fourth year doing RSSWWF (I’ve lost count!) and it always helps me get through the winter hump. I look forward to it every year and it has helped keep me motivated in the bleak cold months that follow Christmas. I can’t imagine Jan/Feb without the Rubies!!

    • Kate Parker says:

      Rachel, I’m glad the winter writing festival helps get you through the bleak months. I imagine after 3 or 4 wwfs that you can see improvement in your writing craft and in your drive to write, and not just during the winter. I find hot tea helps.

  9. Susan Craig says:

    And for the first time, I successfully plotted a story. I’ve tried before, but couldn’t make it work. This time, with lots of support from Rubies, especially HopeR, I can actually write toward it. Now, this pantser has a choice!

  10. Elisa Beatty says:

    Forgot to check in on Thursday, but I MADE MY GOAL!!

    I’m off school all next week, so I’m looking forward to lots of time in the chat room and making BIG progress!!!

  11. Kate Parker says:

    The fifth week winners in the Winter Writing Festival giveaway are:
    Susan Craig
    Lenee Anderson
    Brenda Lowder

    Congratulations, ladies!


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