Goodnight 2017. Thanks for the Ride

Well, we’ve made it. Another year come and gone.

There were times I thought this day would never come and other times where every second ran much too soon. Time’s funny that way though, right?

 

Regardless, the seconds passed, the minutes flew. Hours became days that filled months, and then here we are at a year.

And what a year it was. Looking back, I think it’s safe to say that 2017 had brought some of the best experiences of my life with promises of more to come. So, in the interests of reflection to spur forward motion, here is my year in review.

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January:  2017 started off with a new project! I had been following several  author games on Twitter, and  knew I wanted to try one to build my writing network. I had an idea for a game I thought might be fun and planned to implement it in January. Jan 1, t
he first #AuthorConfession question went live! It had a small, but loyal following and I loved connecting with other people over what we all loved: writing. As the month neared a close, I asked my confessioners if they would be interested in another month. I was met with a resounding YES, and so….

 

 

February:  AuthorConfession month two went live! We were joined by more people and the game began growing! The questions also helped me to personally reflect on my own work as I was knee deep in edits for Alice! We had a May release date set so I needed to get those finished! Lots of words, lots of questions, but lots of fun!

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March: After being asked by multiple people if I would PLEASE keep #AuthorConfession going, I happily agreed! Without even meaning to, #AuthorConfession has become my platform, and I am loving every minute of it. Each day, new confessioners are joining, the game is growing, and I am learning more from my new friends. In the middle of all of this, Alice’s cover reveal goes live and I get to show off the book that is coming soon! This publishing thing is getting real!

 

April: We’re getting closer and closer to release day! ARCs have gone out and reviews of Alice start trickling in. I have assembled an amazing launch team from some of my loyal AuthorConfession followers (you know who you are *Dave, K. Todd, Jessica!*), and I start getting great feedback for my work! (They like me! They really like me!)

May: ALICE: THE WANDERLAND CHRONICLES joins the book world! I am busy promoting, sharing, and basically freaking out over all the love I have been getting. In the mix, my baby girl turns 5 (I’m STILL not over that btw), and I get my first negative review. I learn a lot about myself. Honestly, I was terrified that that first negative review would break me, but I took it in stride and kept going. Look at me being all grown up and stuff! 😉

June: Still riding on the high of Alice’s release, I jump full steam ahead into editing my second novel, a SciFi retelling of Peter Pan, THE NEVERLAND TRANSMISSIONS. Between authoring, drafting, teaching, mommying, and #AuthorConfessions, I am one busy lady! My networking has really paid off and I have developed some of the best friendships of my life.  Jessica Julien, who I hadn’t known before #AuthorConfession moved from launch team member to Peter beta reader. She shares her book with me, we fangirl over each other, struggle over edits together, and encourage each other. Sometime in this transition, she also becomes one of my best friends.

July: Camp Nano time! I use this month to finish editing Peter and all the things I will need to query him. I spend a brief stint in synopsis hell, but manage to turn my life around to jump into the first of a string of Twitter pitch parties. I get some love, and put my heart and story on the line. If that’s not enough, I also undergo a major job change and a move. Between orientation, learning a new city, and all the other things, I’m not quite sure which way is up anymore.

3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

August: Querying full speed ahead! Pitch parties and rejection letters everywhere. Mostly rejection letters, but I’ve played this game before. I am also noticing that in comparison to Alice, things are comparatively, more positive. I must be getting better at this writing thing! In the midst of all this, #AuthorConfession is still growing! With everything on my plate, I reach out to Jessica to see if she would be willing to help out as a cohost. She graciously agrees. #AuthorConfession has just jumped to a whole new level.

September: Maybe not. Still facing rejection, or complete radio silence from the queries
I’ve sent out, I get a HUGE boost when I receive notification that ALICE has placed THIRD in the Reader’s Favorite International Book Awards! Feeling inspired decide to throw myself into a new project. Another connection I have made, KM Robinson has worked her way into my heart and my author squad! She is a FORCE and inspires me every day, and talks me into a super secret project that will be released NEXT MONTH. I start writing my new short story, an origin story for the villain for one of my upcoming books.

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October: After a month of INTENSE writing, KM and I drop our projects! THE RISE OF ERSYLA hits NUMBER ONE on Amazon! Looks like I’ve added a villain short story anthology to my growing project list…. (For those keeping track: Peter, Alice, Ersyla, and NOW…. an #AuthorConfession podcast). Can I please have more hours in the day???

November: My project list is growing, but I have become increasingly aware that I am running out of time to get Alice’s sequel finished. LUCKILY, it’s NaNoWriMo! I commit to a 50,000 word month to help finishing Alice early in December. Mostly, this month is a blur. My birthday happens at some point, but this month is all about Alice.

December: I survive November and am claimed a Nano winner! Alice is almost COMPLETELY finished. Feeling determined, I tuck in, and get those chapters! Deadline looming, I take a day off and then tuck into revisions. After chopping almost 10k words, I rally and get to rewrites. I have a Jan 1 deadline after all… Against all odds, things are looking good. There are just a few more things to finish and I’ll get this in on time. Then, PLOT TWIST! Some serious plot holes are revealed and new ideas are had. ALICE needs to be COMPLETELY REVAMPED. It’s December 26. My brain melts. I cry, I yell, I contemplate giving up, then I talk to my amazing friends. My publisher gives me an extension to Jan 1o. I breathe, and then jump back in. I have a deadline to meet.

***

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So there you have it. My 2017. As I type all this, I realize how much I have accomplished. It almost seems surreal. If anything, 2017 has taught me to dream big. It might be hard and really scary, but look what can be accomplished.

Thank you 2017. You threw me wins, losses, and everything in between, but you have made me stronger and shown me just what I can accomplish. I will always look back on your as ‘The Year of The Writer,’ because you’ve shown me that’s exactly what I am.

And as for 2018?

Get ready. I’m coming for you . . .

 

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