2013 and I have a love hate relationship.
It had it's moment's of absolute greatness and the lowest of suck. You know what though, that's life.
The highest point in 2013, as most of you can probably guess, is that I self-published my first book Sapphire Universe. I wrote this book on a whim. I've always loved writing lyrics and sayings, and I kept a journal my whole life, but I never knew I could write a whole book. I've always been a bit of a daydreamer, and loved creating stories in my head, so it should have been a given, but sometimes the best things in life sneak up on you. My heart was in my stomach when I finally decided to self-publish SU, and I never expected to sell more than a few copies. I could have had only ten people read it and I would have been tickled pink. Really, who would buy a book from some no name author in Wyoming. I mean, most people don't even know where Wyoming is on the map, and if they do, they think that we all ride around on horses and our streets are made of dirt. There aren't computers or internet there!!
...No seriously, I was actually asked all those things once.
Every High has it's low.
The low to that high is that I learned how naiive I was about the literary world. I went about it all the wrong way, because I really didn't know any better. I researched my little fingers off, but in the end, I guess it's all a matter of experience. I didn't have the budget to pay a cover artist or an editor, but I thought, meh...how hard can it be to edit your own work and make a decent cover. Well...let's just say that from now on I'll let the professionals handle it. I know that there are some amazingly talented authors out there who can whip out a bestselling cover and edit their own work to literary perfection with no sweat at all-I'm not one of them. I mean...I just want to write.
Yea, I was a Noobie...I made Noobie oopsies, but I have no regrets.
I will say this much, despite the mistakes I made in the beginning, I was genuine about my writing and my goals. I wrote a story that came to me authentically, I fell in love with my characters and I wanted to share their story with others. I had no grand notions of becoming a best-selling author with my first book. I didn't expect to sell 15k copies every week, but I also didn't care either way. At some point, after all three books in the Universe Series are finished, I'll make Sapphire Universe free forever.
My only goal was to have at least one person connect with my characters. I wanted to bring out someone's emotions. If I could just capture the heart of one person, and teach them a few small lessons on life and love, then I would be happy. I like to think I reached that goal.
I've grown a lot as an author and a person in the last year. I had the immense pleasure to meet and befriend some truly incredible people who have changed my life in so many ways.
Where there is heartbreak, there is love. Where there is strife, there is strength.
On the other side of that coin, I've experienced a lot of heartbreak and some very large bumps in the road. My family has been through the ringer this year. It's no secret that I'm extremely close to my family. My sister and I married twins, we live two blocks apart, and my parent's house is just one more street away. Between legal issues, health problems, divorce, and deployments overseas each and every person in my life has been tried and tested at every turn. Their pain is my pain, and we've definitely had our share. Maybe it was just our turn since we've always been so blessed. Either way, it's happened, and I'm happy to say that we're on our way back up. I think 2014 is going to bring a lot of good things to my clan of people :)
Due to all the challenges I faced this last year, writing was forced to the backseat. I still managed-barely-to write and publish two books, but I didn't get to experience it the way I wanted. I didn't have time to put 100% of my focus on writing, marketing, and connecting with my readers like I wanted to. Writing is very personal to me, so it's important to that I have the time and freedom to give it the love and attention it needs. That's all going to change in 2014.
What's coming in 2014, and my long term goals.
I'm currently writing Hard of Heart, a love story about a young war veteran with "PTSD." This story is my favorite so far, and very near and dear to my heart. I know that it's risky considering that the market right now is alpha male millionaires and tatted up rockers, but it's a story that needs to be told. Despite all of that, I still think that people will love this book. I'm nervous and excited and challenged-and that's the rush that every author strives towards, so in a way, I'm already successful.
I still work my full time job with the State of Wyoming, but I don't see that changing any time soon. My goal is that within ten years or after I've published a good 15-20 books, I will be able to quit my job and write full time. I got a little girl with a giant's appetite to feed, so I can't do the poor writer's gig. :P
I'm one lucky SOB. Well...actually I guess it's DOB, but people usually acquaint that with Date Of Birth, not Daughter of a B**ch...and my mom's not a B word...never mind, you get my point. I'm doing what I love to do, and it's something that I never in my wildest dreams would have thought possible. I have an amazing family who loves and supports me even when their world is collapsing around them. I have the most amazing readers who continue to buy my books even though they are a bit off the radar and don't fit into the popular mold. This is the most wonderful feeling. I'm a bit of a rebel, and even though I love to read the books that are currently taking the literary world by storm, I like to write a bit against the grain. SU and DU weren't exactly revelations or anything, but I got to share a few of my deep seated ideals and perspectives on people, life and love. It doesn't get any better than that.
Keep reading, writing, loving, and living. That's my motto for 2014.