I’ve officially passed the one year mark since starting this blog. What a year it has been!
In just over 12 months, over 2,000 people have followed my journey and cheered for me, between this blog, Facebook and Twitter. I opened my heart and mind to more incredible characters with stories I’m elated to tell. I’ve met amazing folks from all across the globe who I consider my friends, even though we’ve never met in person. I’ve interacted with published authors I admire, agents I have the utmost respect for, and writers who are just as passionate about the craft as I am. I’ve discovered parts of myself emotionally and mentally that I never knew existed, and I’ve found out just how far I can push myself before my brain overheats and shuts down (for the record, I lapsed into a mental coma last week after a project that nearly killed me, but that same project pushed me to find even more potential in my writing, so I consider it well worth it—even if I could barely function for a week after submitting it).
On a personal note, I’ve been on a tidal wave. This blog started after I lost my job, so I mourned that, spent the year watching my son grow and develop in amazement and cheered my husband on as he took a chance and went for his dream career path. I learned that sometimes I have to open my eyes a little more to the world (and people) around me, got pregnant, suffered a devastating miscarriage, re-evaluated the support system I had in place, dealt with rejection and my own self-deprecation—all while putting myself out here for you to see—and swallowed my pride when the time was right. This past year, I’ve grown.
The one word I use to describe it? Insanity.
Are there things I would love to go back and change? Of course there are, but the past is the past and its best left there. Each negative experience has taught me patience and rewarded me with strength while each positive experience has taught me appreciation, motivated me and rewarded me with confidence and belief. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I believe everything happens for a reason. Life isn’t easy, but it gives us invaluable lessons we’ll take with us as we grow. Applying those lessons makes the road ahead easier to navigate.
Now it’s November and my birthday is just around the corner. To my dismay, I’m hitting a milestone this year. There was so much I wanted to accomplish before hitting this milestone, so naturally I wallowed a bit when this month began. Then I thought about all the things I have accomplished. I’ve done a lot in my life I should be proud of. There are things I’d like to do and wish I’d done already (like visit
Europe and be in NYC for New Year’s Eve), but I realize now that setting a timestamp is actually counterproductive. In the grand scheme of it all, fate plays a big role (and so do the people and events needed to complete some of my goals). All I can do—and have ever done—is to do my best and remain determined. So instead of bumping up my to-do list up to the next milestone, I’m going to keep working towards the real goal: Accomplishing the things on the actual list. With that resolution, I welcome my *gulp* 30th birthday with open arms.
Speaking of goals and accomplishments, I’ve signed up for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this year. It’s an annual challenge in which writers attempt to write a novel in one month. In order to be considered a winner, you have to have written at least 50,000 words. *Pauses for reaction* A bit ambitious, I know, considering my current workload, but I’ve been kicking around a new book idea and figured this may be a good challenge for me to write it. I’m going into it relaxed with no self-induced pressure or high expectations. I wrote my very first book in six weeks, and that was 154,000 words at first draft. Yes, back then I had much less going on in my life, but what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? *Laughs deliriously*
So let’s see. I’ve got 6 novels in the works now, 7 ideas in development. I’ve recently opened my blog for monthly critiques sessions. I’m timidly planning query submissions. I’m hoping to poll my readers and finally settle the name dispute for my most demanding protagonist. Everyday life is just as demanding; the holidays are around the corner, my son is keeping me busier than ever, managing family and friends feels like juggling chainsaws and trying to find time for my husband has become, well, not so easy. If I were to list everything going on in my life, you wouldn’t believe it. I always get things done, though, and I multitask best in mayhem.
I’m a crazy over-achiever, remember? I refuse to think about any chance of failure.
How are my characters handling the crowded space in my head? The same way the Brady Bunch kids may have reacted had their parents decided to add twins to the brood. Emotions are running high, not everyone is playing nice, and there has definitely been some “acting out” from the newer albeit younger characters, not to mention the divas of the group. All I can do is promise them that once they tell me their stories, they’re free to move out. That quiets them down. I expect to referee more of their fights, sooth wounded egos and placate the protagonists who insist they should have their own room. But since they refuse to come up with a system to share my time fairly, they’ll just have to deal.
I love my imagination. I can’t wait to see what the next year of my journey brings for me and my characters.
Thanks to each of you who’ve come to follow my journey. I hope I’m keeping things interesting enough and that you’ll stay on this crazy ride with me. Any successes will be more rewarding with you there to share them with.
Bring on the next 365 days.