I hope the holiday break is treating everyone alright. This is a reflective time of year, which means a reflective post is in order.
Here's the highlights from my 2013:
This year has been crazy busy. Unfortunately, that meant that my writing went to the wayside much of the time. I did manage to devote summer break and winter break to editing my MS, but obviously that isn't enough.
What I did in the mean time is finish some coursework for my jobs. It is such a relief to be done with those classes. I also tried my hand at writing copy for a marketing firm--and loved it.
Writers, if you get a chance to do this, give it a go. Writing copy challenged me in ways that improved my writing in both the fiction and nonfiction spheres. Nonfiction writing can be just as exciting to work on as fiction. I was just as stoked when I sold a nonfiction article on education this year as I would've been if I'd sold a short story.
Although I wasn't able to do much fiction writing or editing, some of my work was published this year. I was honored to have four short stories published in 2013. I was thrilled to have three more accepted for publication in 2014.
The icing on the cake for me was being able to participate in my community of writers in new and exciting ways. This year I was elected to serve on the Space Coast Writer's Guild board. I have no words for how cool it was to have this opportunity.
This summer, I was asked to speak about writing at the Empower 500 Symposium. Meeting and talking to local educators about their writing aspirations over coffee is the next best thing to writing itself.
So that leaves me pounding away at my keys over the holiday break--which is exactly where I want to be. My hope is that 2014 is a quieter year, and the year I start submitting my MS to agents. Last night I finished another round of edits, after this cup of coffee my red pen and I are going back to page one.
When I look back at this year, I feel overwhelmed by how many incredibly cool things I was able to experience. I also get the urge to go take a nap. 2013 was a whirlwind that blew threw without ever letting up a bit. It was also the year that I started to believe in myself as a writer. For that I will never forget this crazy year.
My hope is that if you don't already believe in yourself as a writer, that 2014 is your year. We set up hurdles we believe we must leap to reach our goals. These hurdles are usually imaginary. I've read over thirty writing guides, and none of them has delivered an official decree on what one must do to earn the coveted title, author.
For me, I had to have a short story published in print--that was the threshold to cross. Get a short story published and--boom--I'm a writer. Others may believe in a certain sales number, a certain distinguished award--you get the idea.
I don't know what line you believe you have to cross to get there, but I hope you slide over it in this coming year. In the mean time, you should know that I already know you're a writer. I already know you have a book in you. I'm just waiting on you to figure it out.
I also happen to know that 2014 is YOUR year.