It’s done! The Chronicles of a Dancing Heart is complete and the feeling is indescribable. Eight years ago, I set out on this writing journey without a clue where I was headed. I simply sat at my computer, opened up a Word Doc, and started typing. I haven’t stopped since.
Now, I have two published books, one work-in-progress, and two other projects (potentially three) sitting on the sidelines. For a chick who up until a few years ago didn’t even have writing novels on her radar, I’d say that’s a pretty awesome accomplishment. So YAY me!!! And it’s totally acceptable to pat yourself on the back. Totally.
If I can give other aspiring authors one piece of advice, it’s to keep your eyes in-front of you and never look back. The number one lesson I’ve learned in this business has been never to compare myself to other writers. Easier said than done, I know. Truth is, you will never get ahead trying to walk in someone else’s shoes.
Others will be more successful while others will probably never even start their engines. You need to worry about one thing. You.
I now know—and accept—I am not the kind of author who can pump out five books a year. Not even three. At least not yet. I’m a one-book-per-year type of girl for now, and that’s ok. It really is. (And that’s just the writing part, by the way. Tack on another year for production).
I used to beat myself up about the amount time I would spend researching, re-writing, or listening to my characters hash it out in my head with zero words on paper to account for all the mayhem. Writers would be on their fourth and fifth book for the year, and I’d still be on my one measly book. Clearly, I wasn’t doing the writing thing right.
I’d made a choice. A personal choice. And at times, it was not a choice, but a directive from life. I have a 9-5, a husband, three busy boys, friends who refuse to let me become a hermit, and a body that tells me, “Hey, you. Quit it and get some sleep.” Staying up until 4am on a daily basis was deteriorating me. And nothing is worth destroying your health.
This is my path and mine alone. It may not be in line with the trends in the market. I will probably fall behind everyone else who is able to crank out books like they are a factory, but that is more than ok. It’s perfectly OKAY. The minute you find your path or writing rhythm, and you accept it, and own it, regardless of what that path may be, you’ll become a more patient writer. And a patient writer is a happy writer.
Be. Happy. That is all.
Come. Celebrate with me. The completion of CoaDH is not just a culmination of countless hours slaving over a keyboard. It is the realization of a dream I never knew I had, but one that has shaped me into the kind of person I always wanted to be.
A writer. Oorah!