I can’t believe 2016 is not only here, but is a little over a week old. One thing I really don’t like about getting older is the time warp phenomenon. Morgan, I know you know what I mean. I have a lot to do this year so let me get right to the point.
Most years I pick a word that summarizes where and how I want to focus my attention for the next twelve months. I didn’t bother for the last two years. One of my favorite authors published a post after Christmas about her word for 2016. Inspired by her story, I decided to choose a word.
Yep, that’s my word and it’s perfect for me.
Back in 2012, I started researching and planning for my first novel, The Fire-Pit. I wasn’t thinking small either. This would be the first book in a series with at least four books.I had to create a small town and compelling characters that would resonate with readers, leaving them eagerly waiting for the next installment in the series. My story ideas had to evolve until they reached out and yanked readers into the books’ world.
I’m alternately embarrassed and proud that I’ve worked on The Fire-Pit for four years! Last summer I took a break from it and wrote a Valentine’s Day novella, The Set Up, and started on a Christmas novel, UnScrooged. For three years now, I’ve announced that The Fire-Pit would be available in November. Thanksgiving has come and gone three times without a book with my name on it on Kindle, Nook, or a single bookshelf anywhere. I felt like the boy who cried wolf one too many times. No one was listening.
When I looked out the window of my laptop at the grand universe of the internet I saw a line of picketers. They shouted ‘pretender’, ‘wanna be’, ‘not gonna happen’, and their signs with the words ‘EPIC FAILURE’ scrawled in red confirmed the fear in my heart. I couldn’t actually finish what I’d started. I wasn’t good enough.
I banged my head against those words and gave myself a headache.
This year’s word is my way past the moat of What If and the walls of Self-doubt. This word is my armor against the arrows the scoffers launched at me.
When Knowledge and Hard Work Collide
Four years is a long time to work on something without seeing the payoff. It’s more than enough time to second guess every single minute I’ve worked instead of had fun and to perfect my Monday morning quarterbacking skills. Have I wasted four years?
The thing is–I want this!
Over the course of a lifetime, four years is nothing. I’ve learned a lot and with each word I write I get better. This is the year that all the false starts, the studying, the hours spent writing different versions of the same story, the harsh critiques and the thoughtful critiques, the refusal to give up, and the desire to succeed will come to fruition.
This is the year all the drops of sweat I’ve poured into making my dream a reality will smash into the thousands of hours of practice and preparation. I will REAP the rewards in 2016.
Congrats! Time for a Drink – <3 Morgan
Seriously, Morgan? I can’t open my eyes in 2016 and magically have published books for sale at bookstores. That’d be cool, though. ;-)Nope, there are still To-Do lists that need items checked off. But I know that publishing
Nope, there are still To-Do lists that need items checked off. But I know that publishing The Fire-Pit and The Set Up this year is totally doable because for the first time everything is ready. There are no more missing pieces.
This year looks pretty good from where I sit. Head held high and a smile on my face I’m walking confidently toward my dream. I will reap what I’ve sowed and it will be good.
P.S. Did you choose a word for 2016? Share what it is and why you chose it in the comments.