2011 was a tumultuous year for me, both in terms of writing and in life in general.
This year, I grew up a lot. I landed a full-time, permanent job, and now evidently I’m an adult with a mortgage and a pension, which is weird.
2011 was the year I finally shared my writing with strangers. Before that, only my husband and my closest of friends had actually read any parts of my novels (I was working on two concurrently). I was worried that even though I loved my character and my world that no one else would, and that my husband and best friends were just being polite at my fledgling efforts. I joined an in-person writer’s group that began in February 2011 (I think), and when I shared the first two chapters of one of my novels with them, they were the ones to urge me to submit to Angry Robot’s Open Door Month, which one of the other members had shared on our Facebook group wall. I waffled, and finally sent off the email with my first five chapters on the 30th of March, just a day before the deadline. In retrospect, it was rather cheeky of me to submit a first draft. I was even more shocked and amazed and delighted to have it make the final round, where it is still awaiting its final verdict.
Even if Angry Robot decide my novel is not for them, I’m still so grateful, for the whole process gave me such a burst of confidence (though, of course, there’s been plenty of anxious refreshing of email, as well). I joined the AbsoluteWrite forums and educated myself so I wasn’t quite so much of a n00b about the publishing industry. I’ve connected with a lot of the other people to make it to the final round and we’ve created an online writers group, the Anxious Appliances, and they’re all such talented writers (watch out for them! Their books will be on the shelves in the future). I went to my first convention, FantasyCon, and introduced myself to Angry Robot Overlords Lee, Marc, and Amanda (hopefully I didn’t scare them), and loads of other writers and industry professionals, which I would never have been brave enough to do the previous year. I’ve also befriended a few Angry Robot authors like Anne Lyle and Adam Christopher. I made a Twitter (ahem) and this website and worked on creating a small web presence and connecting with other writers and readers. Basically, 2011 was the year I kept writing and actually joined the writing community. And I love it. I feel at home. I think I’ll stay awhile.
I started “seriously” writing at the tail end of 2009, a few months after I moved from California to Scotland. The girl who was typing away in 2009-2010 in cafes and at home, wondering if it anyone would ever like what she was writing, would be delighted to see what I accomplished in 2011. I don’t have a publishing contract or an agent and I’ve still a long way to go, but I really do feel like I am on my way. Maybe 2012 will be the year I accomplish the next of my goals.
So, 2012: let’s dance.