It’s my first Blogoversary on Wrestling the Muse!
It’s also my Anniversary on quitting the day job and going full time writing!
It is a double anniversary for this writer!!
So how would I sum up this first year of full time writing…
- A journey…this first year is only the first step on the ladder to success.
- I held my first published fiction under my own name in my hands – my first short story.
- I finished the full first draft of my manuscript and I am submitting my novel this month.
- I took the bull by the horns, gathered my nerves and pitched my novel in a face-to-face session with a top agent. (Though nerve-wracking I realised that agents are just people like you and I and this particular agent was lovely and very encouraging as well as giving me some great advice.)
- I plotted out Book 2 and Book 3 in The Cursed trilogy.
- I plotted out the second trilogy and am busy working on the first draft.
- I strengthened many friendships with other writers and started new friendships…too numerous to mention everyone by name but you all know who you are.
- I have learnt a lot about the publishing process, and the options we writers have available to us.
- I found and commissioned a brilliant cover artist.
- I was asked to host a weekly writing chat on twitter – #storycraft
What have I learnt or found challenging this year?
- I have learnt that writing is a marathon not a race and we set our own pace.
- I have learnt that although I thought I would be able to write a full 8 hours a day, it is more like 4-5 hours a day in practice.
- I have learnt that there is no absolute right choice when looking at publishing options, there is only the right choice for me.
- I miss a steady paycheque but am also happier than ever.
- I work 7 days a week every week and there are no weekends for me but because this is the path I CHOOSE, it enriches me and fulfills me.
- I feel constantly challenged and never bored.
All in all this first year has been a huge learning curve as I found my feet in the world of full-time writing. I realised that I am hardest on myself. This is something that has always been an issue in my day job but in writing it has become a monster that I am slowly learning to cage. I have found support and encouragement in people who believe in me. I have also come across the naysayers and the scoffers who wonder when I will get a whack from the reality stick and stop this “hobby” of writing.
Well in response to my friends, supporters and encouragers: Thank you and please continue in your encouraging because this is one year and counting. I will still need your support and your encouragement. You don’t know how much it has meant to me and how much it has bolstered me on those days or weeks when my writing was fighting me.
In response to the naysayers and the scoffers: This is not a hobby, this is my career. I don’t need a whack from the reality stick because for the first time I am being ME by following and committing to my goals and dreams. I don’t plan on stopping because this is the path that feels most right to me. I don’t need your permission to do what I need and what I want to do with my life. I am happy and I am in control of my own future, how many people can say that. I am my own boss and I work harder at this role of full time writer than I have ever done in any day job.
I cannot wait for Year 2 of this adventure I am on. I know I am on the right track and I am ready to take the next rungs on the ladder to my success. This first year I took a slower beat because I believe I needed to know more about the publishing industry and also more about where I wanted to truly go in my writing. I also took this first year to learn about author branding and online presence. I don’t regret anything from this first year and feel that my life is the richer for taking the plunge into the adventure of full-time writing.
So thank you to my 170 blog followers, my 1155 twitter followers and my 669 facebook friends. Each one of you has been there through this first year and have cheered and supported me. You all ROCK!
Now Raise your glass with me and let’s drink to fighting for your dreams and living life with no regrets because at the end of the day we have one life to lead – I am not wasting mine.