The Road So Far and Giving Thanks

leyendecker_1928_thanksgivingsmallHello all! 2012 is nearly gone, and what a year it's been! As most folks do, I put a lot of pressure on myself. My motto is, if you're going to do something, do it to the best of your ability. In my case, I'm always pushing myself to do better than what I can, and quite frankly, it can be exhausting, and harsh. It's the reason I take so damned long to write, but I'm working on that. Of course this way of thinking is a part of me. I can't change it, and quite frankly I don't think I want to.

The last couple of months have been pretty tough writing-wise. I've had trouble focusing, and getting the words out. Julius's book should have been finished ages ago. I remind myself I had pretty rough dental surgery in September--when I had wanted to finish his book-- which pretty much put me out of commission for the month, but even so, I spent a lot of time being hard on myself. Being surrounded by so many authors who write much quicker, with new releases coming out every week, it made things even tougher. As an author, everything we write comes from inside our heads and hearts, and when your head is fighting you every step of the way, it can kill your mojo. So what do you do? You find a way to get through it. With Thanksgiving this week, I took a moment to have a little think about this year, and what I've accomplished.

Keep Calm Carry OnIt's hard for me to believe how this time last year, I was anxiously waiting to hear back from both Torquere Press and Dreamspinner Press after submitting my very first two stories, The Amethyst Cat Caper and The Auspicious Troubles of Chance. I was a newer than new Newbie. My knowledge on publishing was very limited, despite a good deal of research. There's only so much you can learn without having experienced it yourself. Then I think about the three or so years previously, the ones that lead me here. I had started writing again because I remembered how much I loved it, and missed it. I also needed an escape. Certain aspects of my life were going from bad to worse. I was miserable at my job. There were closures and redundancies, changes in my personal life which had me confused and scared. After spending eleven years in a city, and country I loved, I knew it was time to come back home, for my own good. I had made up my mind about what I wanted to do with my life by then, finally.

compass smallSome of us are born knowing what we want. We see our path and we follow it. It's not always smooth sailing, and there are obstacles, but we know we're heading in the right direction. Then there's the rest of us. The ones who stand before various paths not knowing which one to take or where it will lead, and where the hell were we when they were passing out the maps and compasses? A lot of times it doesn't matter where those paths lead, because we don't know where the hell it is we want to go. So we wander for a while, and after a certain amount of time, we either turn back and start again, or veer off in a totally different direction. I would be of the latter variety.

I was published in February of this year. I forget that a lot. 9 months ago. That's it. In that time I've had every story I submitted published. 1 long novella, 3 novellas,  and 4 short stories, with 1 full length novel near completion, and 3 other stories in various stages of development. I've got a slowly growing, and wonderful readership, have made some amazing friends, have been to GRL as an author and met folks who have not only read my stories, but enjoyed them. I've had many wonderful reviews from folks who took the time to give me feedback about my work-- whether reviewers or readers, of what they liked, what I could do better, all of which I am grateful for. My very first review for my first story was four stars. I started off on a high note. I'm being helped by some pretty amazing folks who at times see more in me than I see in myself, and help pick me up when I'm feeling down. The biggest thing is I'm getting to do what I love, which is what I've been striving to do for many years. I have wonderfully supportive family, and friends, who've helped me get to where I am. All in all, this Thanksgiving, I have a huge amount to be thankful for. 2012 has been an incredible year, a life-changing year, and I'm looking forward to 2013.

It's taken me a good while to figure out what I want to accomplish, at least partly, and even if at times I feel like I'm taking three steps back after taking one forward, I'll keep at it, and try not to forget all the little things I have to be thankful of. And for those of you reading this, thank you. Thank you for taking the time to be here. I know you probably have loads going on in your own life, your own worries, fears, and frustrations. Thank you for all the folks you support by simply being there. Even if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I'm no less thankful for you.

Have a Happy Thursday!

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