Friday, February 19, 2010

Happy Six-Month Anniversary, Blog!!

This blog is officially six months old! Yay!!

Since I started this blog on the day that I started my new life, that means that exactly six months have passed since I left New York and moved to Charlotte. That is definitely a reason to celebrate, especially since the following has happened since I made that huge life-change:
  1. I finally read the Twilight saga.
  2. I moved again, this time to Montana.
  3. I finished a manuscript.
  4. I revised said manuscript.
  5. I did a lot of skiing.
  6. I connected with my fantastic agent J. (And someday, I'll stop mentioning her in every post.... :-P)
  7. I read 80 books, believe it or not. I almost don't believe it, but since I was curious about exactly how many books I read in a year, I started keeping a list in the back of my journal.
  8. And yesterday, I bought a new phone. :-D
Looking at this list, I have to admit that things are going well in my new life. Unbelievably well.

I don't know why things are going so well. I've wanted to be a writer since I was in kindergarten, but lots of people chase life-long dreams. I might just pass off my good luck as an upturn after five years of crummy life experiences, but several of my friends have faced rough times recently. I would say that I've been hard-working, but I know plenty of hardworking people who are struggling right now.

Maybe Enzo (from The Art of Racing in the Rain, one of those 80 books I read) says it best: "Your car goes where your eyes go."

When I left New York, I was already imagining what it would be like to be an author - both like and unlike the authors I knew as an editorial assistant. Once I had the contract, I was envisioning the writing and the revising of the manuscripts. When I finished the first round of revisions and began the querying process, I was already daydreaming about meeting my agent and discussing career plans with her.

I did doubt myself. Of course I did, especially early on. Quitting my job and moving was a big scary change, and nothing was certain. You may not have noticed, dear reader, but I didn't post at all during the month of September. I did other things. I read twenty-some books, almost a book a day. I started a part-time job. I planned - plotting out five books and developing career strategies. I started writing again, spending hours at the library with my headphones on and my pen in my hand (yes, I'm old school like that - handwriting my first draft - gasp!).

But especially in September, I was incredibly nervous, too wound up to fall asleep after I turned off the lights. I knew that I couldn't have made any choice besides the one I made, but what ifs in my future haunted me, especially in the nighttime quiet. I took a while for me to trust myself and my own judgment again. And so, I didn't blog, nervous that my insecurities would leak out on the screen.

In October, I started to feel confident again despite my doubts, and that's when my writing started to take off. I don't think that's a coincidence.

Confident daydreaming is important. I do recognize how lucky I am, but I don't think I would've gone very far if I wallowed on my day-to-day difficulties rather than thinking toward the next step.

Even now, at this six month mark, I'm thinking beyond the next round(s) of revisions to the day when I finish the last pre-contract revision for EAS and my wonderful agent sends it out to editors. :-D

I have a friend who believes in The Secret like whoa - she actually quit her job before she received her acceptance letter to grad school. (Both events did happen on the same day, but still, the names have been withheld to protect the innocent/eccentric.) I wouldn't go that far, but I think there's definitely something to be said for believing in yourself and believing good things to happen to you. Even if you don't know which way you need to go, you can visualize what it'll feel like to be in the right place - to have your strong will and determination headed in the right direction again.

And if you're out there, reading this and knowing that you aren't in the right place, knowing that you need to make a big change, do it. You have nothing to lose. Don't hesitate. Go for it.

You know who you are.

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