Facing a new year, I have taken a moment to look back at the past year. Last January, I decided to take the plunge and taking my writing to a new level, take it more seriously. Though I have always loved to write, I now have time to dedicate to my craft. So, I set some lofty goals for myself and I'm proud to say that I have followed through on every one, probably for the first time in my life! (He, he, a little pat on the back!)

I attended several conferences, joined a critique group, joined a couple of writer groups, joined Twitter, subscribed to two writer magazines, submitted some of my work, and dedicated more hours to writing, revising, and seeking advice. And because of all my effort, I have learned more in the past year than I have in the last seven years (all put together). But I must say, it wasn't easy putting myself out there. As a matter of fact it was actually quite scary! A bit on the shy side, I had to swallow down several hard knots lodged in my throat, take a deep breath, extend a shaky hand, all the while feeling my face growing redder by the minute because of nerves, and say, "Hi."

I was pleasantly surprised to find out how gracious and friendly other writers are, and how willing editors and agents are to help--- thank you to all! It's not such a scary place anymore. Though I was turned down, and rightfully so, I might add, I received wonderful critique and so many encouraged me to continue, that they liked my writing, but that I needed a bit more work to get my story up to snuff.

I hope by writing this in my blog, it will give others the courage to also try. I know how frightening it can be to put what you have created out there for others to judge, something that is so near and dear to your heart. You can do it!

So, now, taking a huge gulp of air, I'm preparing myself for the new challenges ahead, fixing my manuscript, perfecting my query letters, and taking the plunge again, submitting.

I'm anxious to get started, anxious for new adventures, both inside my head to be written on the blank page and finding new friends and work in the writing world!


Kaylie said...

I never would have guessed that you were nervous or shy. You seem like one of the gracious and friendly writers you mentioned. Goes to show you never know about people from the outside. I'm glad you made the effort!

Gwen Stickle said...

That's very kind of you, thank you.