Today is my anniversary. I started Writerdeeva a year ago. I also was married thirteen years ago. No, neither has anything to do with one another. Just happens to fall on the same day. So, before I continue, “Happy Anniversary, honey!”
Thoughts of the past year…
I finished my first novel and started to query a year ago. Honesty, it seems like it has been three years! The process is painful, time consuming, mind consuming, and continues. But, when I think back at all that I have accomplished, I guess I have to stop and pat myself on the back. But do I have anything to flaunt? I have finished two novels, querying both, both under review, and have two more being written, as well as the launching of this blog. Not bad for a year in review. But what “successes” have I had? No author should ever ask themselves that question. It only brings on the feelings of inadequacies. God knows, I get enough of those feelings from being a wife and mother! (Especially with a teenager!) But I digress….
Writing is a long, slow process. Nothing happens overnight in this industry. So, when you tell people you are writing it is hard to keep them interested in what you do when they cannot “see” any successes. People get tired of me saying, “Hey, I had someone ask for my manuscript!” Four months later they are still wondering what the punchline is? It means nothing in the process of being published to query, be asked for 100 pages, request the manuscript, then require revisions, only to be rejected. The process is long! There are no days in this industry….only months. Or for most, there is nothing but silence. I am one of the lucky ones. I actually get responses. That is progress, and progress moves towards success. That is exciting to me! But to everyone else, nothing is a sign of success unless they have a book in hand. Only then are you actually a “writer.” You cannot be considered successful until your name is in print!
They say you should be confident in writing and admit that you are a writer. But I gave that up awhile ago. When people ask what I do, and I claim, “I’m a writer,” they invariably want to know where they can buy my book. Then that awful feeling of inadequacy has to seep out with the words, “Um, I am not published yet, but working on it.” The interests wanes and you are looked at as a wannabe. Kind of like saying you are an actor and are waiting tables. Their respectability goes down a notch, and they give you that pitiful look and say, “Oh, that is nice.” No one is asking me what I am working on, or how my writing is going, or curious how my day went. Well, because, it isn’t really work. I am just writing. It is kind of like eating Bon-Bons or watching a move…something frivolous in my day.
But in the year of review, when I calculate all that I have completed, I have to admit a pride that soars through my head. Well, maybe a little in my heart too. I have done a lot. It feels good. I have written…in the free moments of the day, long lost hours of the night, stolen times waiting in the car. I have put forth a lot of time, hours, and determination, as well as joy, into my writing. I have done more than anyone could possible know, or want to know. (Except for a fellow writer.) It isn’t sexy or exciting to be a writer. It is a lonely business, with very, VERY little pats on the back, or someone admiring your work. It is something I do because I love it. I have stories in my head waiting to be written. I have words that need to be seen. I have a heart of a writer, and thus, I believe I am a writer. Whether I have something to “show for it.”
Happy Anniversary, Writerdeeva!