When the calendar year turns another slot, people look ahead to making a new start. They set resolutions or goals, planning to make the coming year even better than the last. I’ve got some major career goals for 2013, in both publishing and interpreting, but right now I want to take a moment to reflect. For me, it’s not just another year down, but also another year older (although I keep waiting for the birthday when I suddenly feel like an adult, lol). I don’t believe in wiping the slate clean for a new year and forgetting about whatever disappointments and failures bogged you down the last time. I believe we can learn from those let-downs and be better for it.
That isn’t to say 2012 was a bad year for me; on the contrary, it was a good one. And I can’t believe it’s over. It seems like not that long ago I was looking back on the accomplishments of 2011 and making plans for 2012, and yet it also seems like forever ago the things I did.
I published three books this past year: Dry Spell, Dreamwalker, and Earth Tones. With each one I’ve grown in my craft and I hope to continue growing, bringing you better and better stuff. One of the major ways I’ve grown is by having honest feedback. I’ll admit to you all that when I pulled Dreamwalker out of the dusty file folder to publish, I thought I’d cast this seven-year-old piece of writing to the world. Several people previewed the book beforehand, but only one person took the time to point out to me how it was so far from ready. I yanked the book and reworked it, working my butt off. If that meant embarrassing myself by not making my publishing date, so be it, because in the end everyone benefited from a better story. Honest feedback is hard to take, and equally, if not more, hard to give. But I will be forever grateful to that person.
I also attempted to write a book that failed. Some of you might remember when I talked about writing a character with all the same health problems as me. It seemed like a good idea, but after 41,000 words and coming to the edge of the climax, it flopped, or rather I did. But you know what, I don’t have to publish each and every word that I pen. Maybe someday I’ll go back to that story, when I have some emotional distance from that character’s pain and heartache I know all too well.
The experience did lead me to my current work in progress, the sequel to Dreamwalker. I’ve mostly published urban fantasy, even though I started my writing passion years ago as a straight fantasy writer, and I find my love for that angle rekindled. I’m not abandoning the Elemental Magic series, but you’re going to start seeing a little more variety from me in 2013.
Speaking of which, if you haven’t signed up for the newsletter yet, you might want to. I’ll be bringing in the new year with an exclusive sneak peek of my next book, Dreamstealer. Don’t miss it!
And you have to check this out: Dreamwalker is being featured in a Mad Libs style game over on Jen Kirchner’s blog. Go give your word suggestions and come back Friday to see how the scene plays out!
Happy New Year!