Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Do We Celebrate Enough?

This little blog is all about a dream I'm chasing, and as we move into a new year, I have to be honest: I'm not where I want to be just yet. I imagine many of you are in the same boat, since my audience is mostly other writers, and many of you dream of discussing your genius at length with Oprah, just like me.

So I wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate how far I've come and give everyone else the chance to do the same. I have my ritual for rejections: I get sloppy drunk and complain to my husband and cat about how that fifty shades bitch can't even structure a paragraph. I have a one-night pity party, then I resubmit elsewhere.

I don't have a similar ritual for my successes. Actually, when I have successes, I think I get sloppy drunk and summarize my soon-to-be published story to my husband and cat.

I started chasing this dream in 2008, and I've never really taken a minute to appreciate the new places it has taken me and the new people it forced me to meet.

In 2009, I joined my first writing group and mustered the courage to earn my first rejection.

In December of 2010, I enjoyed my first accepted story.

In 2011 I convinced an agent to help me sell my first novel.

Later in 2011, I lost my first agent, but it was the same time as my second published short story. Sometimes, the devious fate angels toss you some charity.

I earned my third and fourth publishing credits in 2012, and was nominated for my first award.

I earned a fifth publishing credit in 2013 and my first paid story in 2014. I also finished the first draft of my second novel.

I've found four supportive writing groups and two great places to read. (Ivanhoe in Paterson and Reststop Rejuvinate in Rockaway.) I'm lucky enough to be a regular contributor at a great literary festival with supportive editors. (Saints and Sinners down in Nawlins.)

I've learned, very slowly, to take longer to be sure a piece is done before sending it out into the world.

I just passed the 10,000-word mark on the first draft of my third novel.

If you share my dream, you may be likely to share my tendency not to stop and appreciate the progress you've already made. Do it. Take a minute to take inventory of your own dream and celebrate the progress you've made towards it, even if that fifty shades bitch didn't leave you any room on Oprah's couch.

No comments:

Post a Comment