Another year-end blog post? Yes, my friends.
This is my year-end blog post. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
2014 was a big year for me: a year of growth, a year of challenges, a year of small disappointments and bigger triumphs. At first glance, it might seem that not much happened this year. I started the year an unpublished writer, and here I am, twelve months later, still an unpublished writer. But I am much, much closer to my goal than I was 360-some days ago when I decided that New Year’s Day 2014 was the day I would begin writing my new novel.
I’ve attempted such a feat several times before, but each time, I got bogged down somewhere along the way and never saw the process through to the end. A year ago, I vowed that this time would be different. This time, I would not only finish my novel, but I would rework it, refine it, and do whatever I had to so I would be able to present my manuscript to the world as a work worthy of publication.
Of course, I’m not quite there yet, but I’m well on my way. The novel I started to write on New Year’s morning, The Road Back From Broken, has been written, critiqued, edited, rewritten and thoroughly worked over during the course of 2014. The first lesson of being a writer is to learn that the first draft is just the beginning. I finished my first draft on April 4th, and spent the balance of the year reworking Road to make it leaner, tighter, smoother, and more polished.
Now, a year later, I am preparing to query literary agents, to see if I can find someone who believes in this book as I do and who will be able to help me find a home for it. I’m writing two other books: one a sequel to Road and the other a prequel. The next year will present challenges of its own, as I brace myself for the inevitable rejection letters that come with the agent-querying process. But I remain positive. I believe that the book I wrote is important, and that the story I told matters. As I venture into this next phase of the process, I will keep my chin up. I’ve got a crowd of friends and fellow writers I’ve come to know over the last couple of years, all of them cheering me on as I plow forward.
A year ago, the book I’m querying was a sketchy outline, bullet points on a page in Google Docs. Now it’s an actual novel, a complete manuscript that ready to go. A lot can happen in a year.
Where will I be this time next year? What successes will I be able to celebrate? What lessons will I have learned along the way?
Only time will tell.