Another year has come and gone, and what a challenging year it’s been. 2015’s story was full of hardship, for so many loved ones as well as for me; full of derailments and heartbreak and doubts. There were moments where I felt a bit like Bilbo and the dwarves standing in the midst of Mirkwood, just this side of despair, thinking, “There is no end to these dark woods!”
But there’s a light outside every forest, and looking back, I think this quote by Douglas Adam best sums up 2015:
Even if real life did occasionally take the heart out of my quest to make 2015 the Big Writing Year, a few awesome things did happen. I read through the entirety of my Dragon Novel draft and fell in love all over again. (I cannot WAIT to dive into revision this year.) I participated in several pitch contests, and while none of them amounted to anything serious, I got some valuable feedback and made great friends in the Twitter writing community. I finished the third draft of my YA Project Warhorse novel. And then a fourth. And there might be a fifth in the works? In related news, I’ve admitted that I really love editing. I sent my first query letter. (And got my first rejections! Woohoo!) I also learned how to take an adequate query and make it sing. I finished a final edit on a middle grade project. I’m also co-writing a children’s book. (Both involve ponies, but not the supernatural kind!) I won NaNoWriMo for the eight consecutive year, with an idea that didn’t arrive until October. As you might expect, the NaNo novel is an incoherent mess, but there’s an interesting story in there, sort of a GRACELING meets SIX OF CROWS. I’ll come back to this one. I read a lot of books, and discovered some new favorites.
Going forward, I think my goals for 2016 can be expressed in a single sentence:
It is not always easy, in the dark, at the end of a long and tiring day, to push yourself out of your comfort zone. I know that I’ve hovered on the verge of some creative and professional goals simply because I was afraid. I’ve found myself asking, “What if no one loves this unmarketable book but me?”, coming up with backup plans for my backup plans. This year I want to take chances. Fail spectacularly. Get back up and keep on trying.
I want to write what I love, and keep faith that someday, the right person will love it, too.