By Laura Drake
Christmas is over. Wrapping paper is put away, tarnished tinsel flashes on the Christmas trees at the curb, awaiting trash pickup. I don’t want to hear a Christmas carol for at least another eleven months.
Now everyone is looking ahead, to 2012. You’re not going to be able to avoid thinking about resolutions, whether you made them or not.
You’ve already read blogs, even a few here at WITS, about setting goals for the upcoming year. Hopefully you’ll set some for yourself.
This blog isn’t about that. Instead, I urge you to look back.
But we don’t have time for that… *whining* We have things to do! Plotting, butt-time, queries, revisions, classes. You know, STUFF!
I get that. As you may have heard, I tend to be a bit compulsive, in writing as well as the rest of my life. I don’t take breaks often. Even my vacations are challenges – 5,000 mile motorcycle trips, bicycling trips across New Mexico, things like that.
This Christmas, we had a quiet week in Texas, hanging out with Alpha Dog’s 82 year-old mother. Life here is slow, and I had time for introspection. I looked back over my writing career to date and the memories swamped me.
- I remember sitting in front of a blank computer screen, a story in my head, trying to beat its way past my insecurity to get on the page.
- I remember my first RWA meeting – amazed at how many other people did this crazy thing!
- The pride of typing “The End” on my first book
- My first National Conference – one of the most exhausting and exciting three days of my life
- Getting a judge’s sheet back from the Orange Rose Contest, and seeing the name Debbie Macomber written at the bottom! And she was even complimentary and encouraging!
- Getting the opportunity to meet Debbie, and knit with her when she visited our chapter
- Meeting Sue Grimshaw, Editor for Random House, who gave me a big hand up
- Winning my first contest
- The day I signed with my agent
Why stroll down memory lane?
Because writing is hard, and getting published is harder. Even if you choose to self-publish, it’s no walk in the park – ask someone who’s done it. Everything takes a LOT longer than you think it will, and the failures are legion.
When you’re discouraged, all you see are little things that don’t seem to add up to much. But if you look back, you can see that they have.
You may not be moving as fast as you like, but you ARE moving. That’s instant inspiration!
Where did you start? What were your signposts along the way? Here’s your chance to inspire others as we start the new year – we want to hear about it!
Happy 2012 from all of us here at WITS. May all your resolutions come true!