another year over…

And what have I done?

I started writing seriously (with the intent to publish) just after Christmas 2012, which makes this a good time to reflect, I think. So…what have I done in 2013?

I’ve written pretty aggressively (over 300,000 words!) I Self-published 9 novellas, submitted one novel (still waiting, not optimistic), and am currently working on another novel. I’ve made a little money (not much, when all is said and done, but a little is better than none). And I’ve learned a lot. Mainly:

  • I’m no cooler or more likely to make friends online than I am in real life.
  • People who think they are great writers usually aren’t any such thing. Great writers keep learning and are rarely satisfied with their work.
  • There are nice people out here “on the internet”. If you look hard enough, you’ll find them.
  • There are assholes out here, too. They’ll probably find you.
  • Writing is lonely, and at the same time massively public. It’s like walking around naked with a blindfold on.
  • I can do this.

The best thing that has happened to me all year was a subtle thing, a small gradual change. I started out in hiding, keeping my entire life secret, creating a sort of “online persona”. That lasted about a month. (I am not a liar by nature, it seems) So slowly, I grew more honest. After a few months I was basically me, with a fake name. I guess what I feel now is much more confidence (in myself) and trust (in others).

I’ve done a few things I never thought I’d do. I gave out my real name to total strangers, because I am in a crit group with them and I trust they are not psychos. I talked on the phone to a writer friend. I submitted a story to a publisher. I signed up to do a guest blog post. Scary stuff, all that.

There’s still a lot I haven’t done. I haven’t told anyone in my life (except my hubs, of course) that I write. I haven’t really done any effective self-promotion, mostly because I lack the nerve. I haven’t written any non-romance. So, some goals, still.

But when I think about the past year, I’m pretty happy. I’m proud of myself, even if I have a lot to be ashamed of. And I’m hopeful, even if I should probably be nervous. And most of all, I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met. So goodbye and thank you 2013! It’s been great 🙂

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