(Author’s note: I wrote this post a few weeks ago, amidst some pretty heavy duty turmoil. The waters have calmed, but I decided to leave the post as is. You know, catharsis and all.)
Recently, I’ve had some upheaval in my personal life that spilled over into my professional life. I won’t go into specifics here (honestly, who wants to read a post full of “he said, she said” nonsense) but suffice to say it was pretty bad. And, it made me question my future in publishing.
After much soul searching and coffee ingestion, along with a late-night email fest with my one friend who really understood the situation, I came to a realization: I am an author.
More, I am a published author.
Those are two pretty awesome things to be. Now, as anyone who follows me here or on my personal blog knows, my publishing road has been anything but smooth. I’ve done dumb things, sometimes the same dumb thing more than once. (I won’t list them here. That list is loooong.)
I’ve also done some really great things. Utilizing a combination of my marketing degree, corporate experience, and vivacious personality, I have enjoyed ever-growing success. I have a four book series debuting in June (Copper Girl, book one of The Copper Legacy, and it’ll be sporting an awesome Lisa Amowitz cover) that’s being put out by a rapidly growing publisher. This series will also have a spinoff duology. And, this May I’ll have a freaking signing at BEA!
You’re probably wondering where I’m going with all of this. Well, while the above paragraph points to the awesome, it’s also overshadowing some choices that may not have been wisely made. For instance, I tabled a few other projects to work on The Copper Legacy. One of them happened to be my Parthalan fantasy series, which is the project nearest and dearest to my heart. It now hangs in limbo. I also shelved a historical fantasy, and a few nonfiction projects.
Then, I took on new responsibilities in multiple areas of my life. Let me tell you, it was a good thing I’d already shelved those other projects, because I wouldn’t have had time to work on them anyway. Add these new responsibilities to my obligations to my wonderful husband, three year old twins, and assorted pets, and I didn’t even have time to sleep.
Something had to give.
Mind you, I am not laying blame. These choices were mine and mine alone. Still, cuts needed to be made. And I made them.
I walked away from a few projects that were interesting, but were in no way contributing to my happiness or success. (If only I could have left the day job. Now that’s a time suck.) I reevaluated who I am, and where I’m going. What I want to be in one year, five years, ten years. What I want to be now.
I want to be an author.
Now, I feel like I’ve been born again. I’m finishing out my Copper Legacy, and I’m working on Parthalan with renewed vigor. I’ve even done a rough outline of my historical fantasy, set up a completion timetable, and I’m already looking into appropriate agents and publishers.
I am an author.
More, I made my own renaissance. Spring had nothing to do with it; it needed doing, and I did it.
These stories needed writing, and I’m writing them.
Will I make mistakes again? Assuredly. Will I let myself get bogged down in extraneous projects? Probably. Will any of these projects that so tug at my heartstrings ever make the NYT best sellers list? Impossible to tell. But I’m writing them, and that counts for something.