The first thing I thought of at midnight last New Year’s Eve was that 2009 would be the year that I was going to be published, something I’d dreamed of all my life. I could not believe it was finally here. I was convinced that this was going to be my year, that something – no, everything, in my life was going to change.
In some ways, it did. Because of a clerical glitch, I ended up taking a semester off from my teaching job, and so I began, last January, as a “full-time” writer for the first time in my life. I decided that my job was to write. And write I did. I revised a manuscript last winter and then wrote two new manuscripts over the course of this past year. The September Sisters came out in February, and in May I sold my first book for adults. I found myself staying up late at night doing edits on various books, writing blog posts, and responding to book-related e-mails. Although I’d been a writer for a long time, this was the year that I really felt like I became a writer.
And I learned a lot, about writing, about myself as a writer, about publishing, about publicity, about getting rejection (Yes, there was still rejection this year), and about time management, about how to be a writer and still be other things, too.
Because, yes, all these things changed, and my career had finally taken a vastly different and better turn this year, but everything else in my life did not change. I was still a full-time mom and a wife. Holding my finished book in my hands for the first time was amazing, but so was the birthday party I threw for my son around the same time. It was fun to be asked to sign a book during my son’s preschool party, but I was also thrown up on in public by my other son just a few short days later. And yes, I was ecstatic to get a great review in Publisher’s Weekly, but when I saw it for the first time, I was back in Philadelphia for my father-in-law’s funeral.
This was the year that everything changed, and nothing changed at all. It wasn’t a perfect year, but it certainly was an adventure, and isn’t that the kind of year that makes for the best stories?
Happy New Year!!