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2024 is My Year To Grow

January 12, 2024 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby tagged as , ,

Happy New Year! I’m super excited for all this year will be. You see, 2024 is going to be my year to GROW. Last year was all about change and I found a fabulous quote that illustrates the connection between last year’s word and this year’s word.

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”

Gail Sherry
Blog header with book, flowers, glasses and words titled My Year to Grow by Denise M. Colby

What does it mean to grow?

I love looking up synonyms for my word of the year. For grow, there are several other words that help communicate what I’m thinking. Those include evolve, build, cultivate, develop, product, sprout, thrive, and stretch. Each word jumps out at me at different times. Right now the one that makes me laugh is sprout. My plan for 2024 is to sprout out of my little seed as a writer and bloom into something more.

Growing as a writer

My goals this year include learning new things. Most of these will be related to publishing my first book. When Plans Go Awry will be launched into the world June 4, 2024 and there are many steps to finish this story’s journey. To support the launch, I’m interested in growing my newsletter list, building a launch team (more to come about that), and all the other things needed to ultimately grow sales. There are a lot of new things to learn about all of this!

Growing in my relationships

In my personal life I hope to grow as well. First, our family dynamics will change. We are growing as a family when my son gets married this year and we gain a daughter-in-law. I’m also wanting to grow in my walk with Jesus, and grow in my relationships with friends and family by spending more time in these areas. I’m also looking to continue to grow in better health. I spent a lot of time in 2023 working on things to make changes and I hope to continue in this area as well.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

2 Peter 3:18

All in all, I’m excited about 2024 and what it will bring. You’ll see all sorts of reminders for my word throughout the year. I made a mug with all my words on it, so I could be reminded of the magical journey picking words to focus on takes me. Here’s my first reel I made about my mug, which was too large for me to post here. Instead I’ll share a pic of me using my mug!

Denise M. Colby holding her handmade mug with all her words of the year on it with GROW, her 2024 word, the largest.

I love choosing a new word every year. It is by far one of my favorite new years traditions. If you have a word for 2024, I’d love to hear what it is. Just make comments below. Here’s to growing in our word we’ve chosen for this year.

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Celebrating Where I Am

April 12, 2017 by in category The Writing Journey by Denise Colby, Writing tagged as ,

The Writing JourneySometimes I look at my manuscript and feel I have so much to learn still, so much to do before my work is print worthy, and this awful feeling of hopelessness overcomes me.  What am I really doing?  Will I ever get it right?  And then I start telling myself other authors don’t run into this same problem, do they?  Maybe I’m not cut out for this.

And then I go to one of my writing group meetings and realize I’m not the only one to feel this way.  Writing is such a solitary experience, yet when you get together with other writers you share all the same questions, concerns, and thoughts.

I love the writing groups I’m a part of. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and my local chapter (OCCRWA) and an online chapter called Faith, Hope & Love (FHLRWA).  I’m also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and my local chapter (OCACFW).  It’s a lot to keep track of but it’s so important to stay connected with other writers in your genre.  In person and online, I’ve met so many wonderful people and learned so much. When I think about the meetings, online classes, and notes I’ve taken over the last three years, I’ve come a long way.

It also makes me realize how important it is to take time to reflect back from where I started and see just how far I’ve come.

I knew nothing of the writing world terminology, yet I now can have a conversation and understand most of the lingo, spouting off terms such as ms, dialogue tags and GMC. I know now, authors don’t get it perfect the first time, sometimes writing through three, four or even more edits after the rough draft.

I’ve learned about understanding your characters more, figuring out what the hero/heroine goals, conflicts and motivations are. I can throw stuff at my characters to see how they will respond. I’ve seen a character take a life of their own and get themselves into a whole heap of trouble. And how fun it is to watch it evolve on the page.

I’ve learned how to set up my website, social media accounts and write my author profile.  I’ve figured out my author brand, audience and the genre I prefer to write.  I’ve read several new authors, expanding my knowledge both as a reader and a writer.

I’ve entered contests and learned what “on the nose” dialogue is, that passive voice does not mean the same thing as past tense, and to be really careful not to tell but show action and how hard it is to do. I’ve learned my initial writing is full of data dumps and I now can delete words without panicking. I’ve survived receiving constructive feedback and now know, it’s not the end of the world.

As I reflect back, I realize, even though I have so much still to learn, I have come so far and that is something to be really proud of.  It’s nice to know I have made many new friends who are rooting for me each step of the way.

I am so thankful for these writing groups and all the wonderful writers who have opened their hearts and minds to share what they’ve learned to us newbies.  I look forward to someday being able to do the same in return.

And if you are not a part of a writing group, I encourage you to come visit one of our meetings.

Denise M. Colby

Denise Colby |The Writing Journey


Denise M. Colby loves learning about history and reading fun, uplifting, encouraging stories that cherish and warm the heart.  Combining two of her loves, she is working on her first inspirational historical romance, featuring Olivia Carmichael, a young lady who loses everything, including her faith, travels to California to teach and finds love in many different forms along the way.  Passionate about all types of stories – whether they are from songs, theatre, movies or novels, Denise loves sharing these passions with her husband and their three boys.  You can follow along with Denise on her writing journey at www.denisemcolby.com


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