My two year anniversary here at MSW falls in between this blog post and my next, so I’ll stretch out the celebration over the next couple of weeks. 🙂 This week, one commenter will win an autographed ARC of Shayla Black’s upcoming ENTICE ME AT TWILIGHT, the fourth title in her Doomsday Brethren series.
This past MSW year (Oct-Oct) has been a pivotal one for me. After three years of insanely writing every waking moment, I crashed and burned in 2009, which led to me being unproductive for most of the year. By the time I dug myself out of the hole I’d collapsed into, I realized my forward momentum had skid to a halt when I stopped pushing. I still had contracts to fulfill, so I knew I would still be releasing books, but I’d lost a beloved editor at one house and negotiations with my other house had come to a standstill. The projects I had left on my plate weren’t ones I expected the publisher to seriously get behind, which meant there was nothing for me to get behind either. I worked on a couple proposals, but they didn’t go anywhere. I feared I’d lost my salability along with my writing mojo. I was left facing a choice that would have been inconceivable to me just a year before–put aside my ambitions and leave the business when my contracts were up, or keep trying to get back on my feet.
It wasn’t an easy decision to make. Both choices looked vastly appealing depending on the day and how well (or not) my writing was progressing. Financial pressures at home and my son’s diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome added to the mix. My friends and agent got me through that rough time, inspiring me to keep taking baby steps forward. By some mad twist of fate (and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears) I’ll be ending 2010 with three new editors and multiple new series in the works, one of which went to auction. I went from feeling cursed to feeling blessed in the span of this past year, but really it’s not so black and white. The road ahead is still an uphill climb and I’m still limping along, recovering my lost passion for writing slowly but surely.
So this past year has been a transition year for me, one in which I released no new books. I received galleys in the mail the other day and it was such a joy to see them. It’s been a long time. The whole process of nurturing a book through production feels almost brand new to me. I’ve decided that’s what this last year was meant to be–a wake up call of sorts. An admonition to enjoy the gift of doing what I love for a living. A kick in the ass meant to remind me that things were a little too easy for me in the beginning and this career isn’t meant to be easy. It’s meant to be damn hard, with terrible lows and astonishing highs, and lots of dues to pay. You have to hit the lows to really grasp the beauty of the highs.
I’m still working on taking better care of myself so I don’t burn out again. I eat better and exercise more. I make it a point to read more. I rewarded myself with a new Kindle, which arrives tomorrow. I can’t wait. I have a backlog of digital books and manuscripts to read. I also have a brand new year ahead of me. Looking forward to next October, I wonder how I’ll be summing up this year and what I’ll be sharing with you then. Where will I be? Where will you be?
How have the last twelve months been for you? Are you having a golden year or building up to one? Thank you for spending part of your days here at MSW. It’s a wonderful corner of cyberspace because of you.