As much as I like being a writer, it’s super hard work. To add insult to injury, I tend to measure my own successes by what I see others accomplish, and this is neither a healthy attitude nor a way to get anything accomplished. In my personal experience, measuring your own successes, or lack thereof, by what others have accomplished is a sure-fire way to get discouraged. Nothing will make you want to give up quicker than thinking you have to do the same thing and accomplish the same things that everyone else is doing. The reason for this is simple: you are not everyone else, you are you, and you have to do and measure your own successes by what works best for you. It took me a really long time to realize that, so today I am celebrating my successes and what I am looking forward to getting accomplished in 2015.
I have always heard that you should write down what your idea of “success” is. My list changes often, and I have different lists of “successes” for myself, from the small ones that I want to accomplish in the short-term, to the long term goals like hitting the NYT bestselling list. Some of my goals are not achievable and I understand that, but I am not going to give up just because they seem out of reach. So before I start on my list of things I have accomplished in my writing career, I need to back up to also include what I have accomplished in my personal life as well.
In 2009 I had only a few short stories and one anthology published. My youngest child, Dade, was barely three years old, my middle child was just starting school, and I was once again looking for a full-time job that would help pay all those bills that were steadily piling up. That’s when I decided that I wanted to go back to college to finish up the nursing degree that I had not completed the first time around back in the mid-nineties. After two semesters of absolute misery in nursing school, I changed majors and ultimately graduated in May of 2011 with my business management degree. During those four semesters I finished up The Red Fang and also wrote Vindictus, The Dark Lord, both of which were published in early 2011.
In June of 2011 I landed a job working for a multi-million dollar technology firm as a sales representative, a job that I absolutely loathed. For fourteen months I didn’t write, couldn’t concentrate on anything but the misery that was my Evil Day Job. In August of 2012, however, I requested a transfer to a different position within the same department and was thankfully able to change jobs. It was rough going for a while, but everything eventually smoothed out, and while it’s not the career I really want, I actually am not nearly as miserable as I was – except when I’m in the mood to write and I’m stuck answering emails.
In July 0f 2012, after spending seven years saving up every spare penny we could and watching the real estate market like maniacs, my husband and I finally found a nice little fixer-upper home in our price range and in the same school districts that we currently resided. We sat on pins and needles until we finally closed the deal on the house in late September. For the next eighteen months, my entire family’s lives were put on hold as we single-handedly ripped that old house apart and painstakingly put it back together again. Finally, right before Christmas of 2013, we were able to get our family moved out of the old house that Hurricane Katrina had ruined and into the new one. I spent the first four months of 2014 just trying to get everything unpacked and everyone settled into a new routine.
By May of 2014 I had not done any real writing in nearly three years. I was determined to start on the BEFORE THE SUN RISES SERIES again, so I took to my computer and began penning book 2 in the series, Immortal Sins, which was published in late November of 2014. I decided to release book 3, Clan of the Claw, in episode form, and so the first three chapters were published in December of 2014. I then switched gears and wrote a novella under a different pseudonym which was published in late January of 2015.
In the meantime, I had been knocking around an idea in the back of my mind for another series. The urge to write this novel was overwhelming, so I decided that I wanted to get Put it in Red: Hell’s Ballad written before going back to the BEFORE THE SUN RISES SERIES.
So this brings me to what I hope to accomplish this year. I have already had one novella published, something that was completely unplanned. I have two books slated to be published this year, Hell’s Ballad is slated for a late June/July release, and Clan of the Claw will hopefully follow suit with a late November/early December release date. That will be a total of 3 books this year, not bad for someone who also works a 40 hour a week job on top of three kids and a husband.
But what does the future hold for me? Exactly what am I looking to accomplish long-term? My goals are not unlike all other writers. I would love to ultimately be picked up by a large publisher that offers enough in advancements that would allow me to write full time. Past that, I would like to hit the NYT bestseller list at least once. Short term, I would like to find a nice, small press that would be willing to publish some of the books I already have out and help market those jokers so I can spend more time writing.
For now, however, I would settle for getting these two books finished, edited, and released. Oh, and seeing Black Veil Brides in concert would be a really nice bonus too 😉 And one day, if all goes according to my master plan, I will finally get to meet my mentor, Bret Michaels…..or at least toss my latest book at his head. You know, cause I like to keep things interesting.