2013 was a big year for me. And not in the least because my dream of become a published author finally came true. More accurately, I finally got enough courage to actually submit something for consideration. That was the biggest thing of all. If Worth It hadn’t been accepted, I would have been beyond disappointed, but I still would have been proud of myself. Because I’ve been writing for more than half my life and I’ve always wanted to be not just a writer, but an author. But I never felt like I had written anything that was worthy of being out there for public consumption.
The first draft of Worth It was actually written over three days right after Christmas last year. I only had one truly false start when I went to put the words on the page. It had a different premise when I originally conceived the story. But then that opening scene–the prologue–jumped into my brain. I could see, with absolute clarity, Jack and Ryan standing in their special spot saying good-bye. And once I got those words on the page, the rest of the story fell into place. Don’t get me wrong; there was much agonizing and tweaking over the next few months. For all that it was less that 9,000 words, it was my baby and I wanted it to be as good as I could make it. And then, of course, there were several more weeks of not being able to bring myself to actually send it in to Dreamspinner. I was scared and nervous; half of me certain it would be rejected and the other half brimming with confidence that it would be accepted. It was quite a roller coaster ride.
And while I was waiting for news, I wrote Hero Worship. The submission call had been rattling around in my head for a couple of weeks and then suddenly, bam!, the beginning scene hit me out of nowhere. Literally. I was standing in the kitchen one morning before work, drinking my coffee, and I just saw it. By the time I felt that that story was as ready as I could make it and was going to submit it, I heard back from Dreamspinner that they were going to publish Worth It in the Advent Calendar. That by no means made it easier to send to the publisher, though. But Hero Worship with be out in February, as part of the Dr. Feelgood anthology.
I participated in NaNoWriMo and successfully wrote 50,000 words in about ten days. But what I learned from that experience is that I don’t work well with that method. Even though Postcards needs to be rewritten, pretty much entirely, I have the bones of story to work with. And I learned a great deal about the way I work as a writer. And what I need to craft a story that I think is worth telling. It’s on the back burner for now, but I will revisit it. I will rewrite and polish and improve it.
But for now, I’m working on something new. And that feels incredibly good. The boys are talking to me, they are telling me their story, and I’m getting it on the page.
I’ve learned a lot this year. About myself as a writer. About the publishing process. About edits and blurbs and just how much work goes into the whole thing. I’ve grown as a person and as a writer. I hope to continue to grow and change and learn and improve. I’ll work hard to make sure that I do.
2013 was a good year for me. I hope all of you out there can say the same.
Here’s wishing you a lovely and prosperous 2014!