2011 Has been a good year.
But then, I say that every year. We either get lessons, or we are blessed with abundance. Or we get both. I think 2011 was one of those.
One of the things I want to do more this year is just accept what is. I’ve been the director all my life, raising children, running two successful businesses, now my venturing into writing. Funny how I have to do the same things to be successful in each world.
Kristen Lamb once blogged that sharp pointy people are like diamonds that polish us into the jewels we all are. That post gave me clarity, and hope, that I could see some of the circumstances that may or may not have been in my full control, had turned out to be priceless in the end. Almost like I developed a Teflon exterior. If it hurts, it will make me better. Some day.
I’ve been fortunate to run across some fans and readers who love my words. Can’t tell you what a joy that is. They aren’t in the thousands, yet. But they are growing. And the emails I’ve gotten have helped sustain me during the darkest of the nights of my year.
I’ve met new friends. I’ve disassociated with people who made me feel bad. Good friends have shown me their worth, their value. False friends have fallen off my radar. I feel relieved of the burden of having to hold my tongue, or wondering if I was doing the right thing. I’ve learned that I am enough, I have enough, I do enough, just the way I am. With a little help from my friends, I have healed some of the turmoil in my gut, and come to accept that the world is really a pretty darned nice place, and I’m lucky enough to live in a tiny slice of Heaven.
My first words were wonderful, giving me a depth of emotions I’d never worked before, but they were an escape to a world of my own making. Now that I have written almost 6 books, in 2011 the characters began to speak to me as old friends, coming back over and over again, inspiring me. The stories have taken on a life of their own. Now when I read them, I learn things I didn’t know I’d written. Amazing. Just simply amazing. Yesterday I was looking for something in one of my Guardian books, and actually got sucked into it. Had been about 4 months, and I actually almost couldn’t put it down. It was a pleasant surprise.
In 2011 I’ve gotten over some sensitivity toward the steamy books I write. I do believe sex is good for people, and should be enjoyed a lot and often. One of my beta readers said she was going to read with her husband, taking turns. I thought that was a superb idea. Could one of my love stories actually help a couple become more close? Trained in psychology and wanting to be a marriage and family therapist at one time, I used these techniques in dealing with clients during my successful real estate career. Now can I do the same with my author platform?
This past year, there are lots of people who make me laugh, who are fun to play with and have given me advice I shall cherish and use every day. Tina Folsom has helped me get over myself (well, not always) and get stuff posted, though I have a fear of these computer things. Bella Andre has helped my confidence as a writer. Same for Virna DePaul. Early on, my first meetings with the San Francisco chapter of RWA, and meeting its president, Sophie Littlefield, I knew I had joined the right group. Rachel Herron and her writing journey has inspired me. Darynda Jones, so free with her kind and careful advice. Hannah Schwartz, Marina Chappie, Margie Lawson, Brenda Novak–all these people are like little guardian angels, coming along at just the right time. The first time Veronica Wolff said, “this is hot stuff and you can take that to the bank,” made me write day and night for about a month straight. And who can deny the inspiration Jimmy Thomas brings wearing anything, or even in his birthday suit.
My critique buddies: Shane, Arletta, Kent, Robin and Ronn, as well as Pam, have been gentle, but firm. When I hear, “you can do better” I know to trust that comment. I thank Tina and Grace and Virna for some early reads of my very rough stuff and not throwing up. To Julia Rachel Barrett for making me laugh and being there at a particularly challenging time last year. My goals group, going on about 2 years now: Delilah, Carly, Myla, Riley, Sidney and Susan have been important in questioning what I did and why, and helping me make it specific and measurable. My fellow bloggers at Ravencraft Romance: Danielle Ravencraft, Kay Dee Royal, Charlene Wilson, Deanna Jewel, Marsha Moore, and Bri Clark have helped me grow as a writer, and push me to keep my butt in the chair and churn out the words every week!
There are others.
With so much talent and wind behind my sails, how can I not have a great 2012. Because, I am truly not alone in this journey.