So it’s 2016.
Now, I’m not saying that to be smart, so keep your Sherlock comments to yourself. It’s really a reflection.
There was a time when a new year came round and I fell into depression. It marked yet another mile marker where I should’ve come so far as a writer, yet there I sat, with nothing to show for the effort.
Sure, in the pensiveness of the moment, I find the temptation to fall into that again. But at the same time, 2015 taught me things. Lessons I needed to learn long ago. Really it all boiled down to one simple concept…
It’s not about the destination so much as the journey.
Before, I’d watch each year go by and say, “There’s another year gone and I’m still not published. Yep! I’m a failure.”
It took my husband (and writing friends) to remind me that’s not the case. Maybe some of you can relate.
You see, I was in the midst of one of THOSE days. Self pity and seasonal depression playing tag team on me in the ring. The prior week was a stressful one. Everything began building to a head and all I wanted to do was go hide in our bedroom and cry…block out the world.
Before bed, I vented about it to my husband…and he called me out.
“Why do you write?”
It was a simple question. But it wasn’t meant to drudge up an immediate response. It was meant to get me reflecting on truth. Just being published wasn’t my ultimate goal. I mean, seriously, we live in a day and age where anybody and their dog can be published. Just write a story (quality doesn’t matter) and save up enough money to whip out an eBook on Amazon. Voila! You’re published.
Dishing out an eBook that sells on Amazon is great, don’t get me wrong. But it takes more than that to be an author of substance. It’s about the quality. It’s about the process. It’s about growing and learning.
When my husband posed that question to me, I realized I needed to focus on the journey. All the other things would fall into place in God’s timing. Preconceived notions be damned!
So December rolled around and I decided to give writing a break to focus on family and rejuvenation. Then Christmas came and my husband surprised me with the best gift I could receive at the time.
You see it up there, don’t you?
A handmade journal and Viking knife. My husband hand-forged the knife from a section of re-bar and I thought it very good for his first attempt. Of course, the sentimental value far exceeds the craftsmanship.
The journal he bought online. But it is entirely handmade, right down to the uneven set pages within. And it’s beautiful. I cannot begin to tell you how glorious those cloth-like pages feel! I’m afraid to write on them.
To some it might seem a simple gift. But for me it was a reminder of the journey I began back in 2002. All the wondrous things that inspired me in the first place. It reminded me that there are stories I am meant to write.
The knife represents that ancient era I’m trying to recreate. The empty journal an open book waiting to be written.
So I continue forward…confident that this year will produce new ventures. Maybe publication, maybe not. Even though the road has been long, I’m definitely closer than I was last year.
Oh! You know, that’s not to say there aren’t wonderful developments going on. In fact, there are three. Unfortunately, I can’t talk about all of them. One, because I’m sworn to secrecy.
The other will come out soon enough. I’m giving said development a trial run. If it proves fruitful, then you’ll hear about it in a month or two.
The third thing you already know. I’m nearly finished with my second novel. The creating process is so fun and freeing. The characters are really starting to come to life. It’s a kick to flesh them out. And, of course, there’s always a load of research to keep me enthralled…yes, busy too.
So how is your 2016 shaping up? Let’s catch up and encourage one another.
I’d love to hear from you!