2009 turned out to be a year of changes and growth for me. Obviously my writing is a major factor, but my “real” life has had a lot to do with it as well. I wasn’t sure if I should try to compact 12 months of life into a post, but I’m going to attempt it.
The beginning of the year wasn’t looking all that great. I was stuck in a dead-end job, not seeing how it could improve though I’d been assured by the powers that be, that I was going to be moving along. It wasn’t until March that my hopes became reality. By April I had a promotion and an office move. It hasn’t been easy to learn the duties, but it was the best thing for me. I’ve never been happier in my professional life. It’s taken me nearly 10 years after college to get here, but it was a learning process. Honestly.
Spring came and I knew I needed to get back to the manuscript I’d started in August. I began writing again, seeing the end of my first novel in sight. I joined FF&P and suddenly I had a group of people struggling with my problems and dreams. It was the best decision I could’ve made, I think. By July 4th, my first manuscript, Ruby: Uncut and on the Loose was finished. I danced around the house, shouting “Dudditz!” because I’d finally, finally finished my first novel.
September saw me at my first conference, pitching to editors for the first time ever. Meh. I was scared witless, but I came through the fire with two requests for fulls. At the same time, I was getting rejections, requests for partials, with more rejections from agents, but something was finally happening.
I began my second manuscript, Succubus-in-Waiting late September and finished it in mid-October. What a feat! It was so much better than Ruby that I instantly felt disloyal to my first manuscript. I couldn’t let that stop me though and began editing. Then, I came across a critique partner who has the means to help me make Succubus even better. We’re still editing and revising, but it’s okay. I’m not going to rush it.
November was NaNoWriMo and I decided the story that had been plaguing me since September needed to be written. I started Lifestyles of the Fey and Dangerous on November 1, fulfilling the required 50k words with four days to spare. What I didn’t expect, was for Lifestyles to become my best story yet. I’m attributing this to Jessa Slade’s plotting workshop. I’m still working on the story, but it’s so emotionally charged with dark and light elements, I couldn’t be happier.
December sees me still pounding away at the novel, with the hopes that I’ll have it completed by midnight on December 31st. Will that happen? I don’t know yet. I hope so. I couldn’t think of a better way to end this astonishing year than to write “The End” on my 3rd manuscript.
So what has the year taught me? That perseverance does have its rewards. I’ve learned that rejection isn’t the end of anything, merely a beginning. It’s a cycle, the torturous pleasure of writing, the pain of rejection, the joy of acceptance that repeats constantly with every manuscript you write, but it can’t stop you from fulfilling your dreams. There’s always another book to be written, another story to tell, other characters to fall in love with, you just have to put your head down and forge ahead. I also learned that supporting and being supported by fellow writers is a necessary part of the writing process. Share your pains and joys with others. Your mistakes/triumphs can only help someone else.
I just wanted to say “Thank you” for everyone who visits this blog. I write this blog for myself, but I hope that you take away some information that can be useful to you somehow. Thank you.
What did 2009 teach you?