Publishing The Silver Braid was a big thing for me. For years, I’d kept my stories to myself. I only shared it with a few friends because I was scared of the reactions I would get. Maybe people would tell me I couldn’t write. Maybe they would shatter my dreams. Maybe… on and on my thoughts went, until I realised that the only way to overcome my fear of sharing my writing with others was to share it in a way that made it accessible to everyone. So I did, trying to keep in mind that I did it to learn. To grow.
And boy, have I learnt a lot in the past year. I’ve experienced first-hand how amazing the book community is, readers, authors and bloggers alike. I’ve found new friends who support me with every step I take, every plot turn I wrestle with, every sentence that won’t come out right. They also have absolutely no problem with kicking my ass to sit down and write (and they enjoy that far too much!)
In the past year, I wrote my first novel. I put it aside for weeks. I did the first round of edits and sent it to my friends. I revised again after their comments. A query letter and synopsis followed. I participated in several pitch contests. My pitches received favourites. Favourites turned into rejections. More revisions—both for the query letter and the novel. I’ve dealt with my ‘I suck’ moments. When you receive a rejection, it stings—although I like to think I’m down to earth about it, and can move on fast. After all: If you look at the past, you’re standing with your back to the future… so I take note of a rejection and refuse to let it bring me down. If it’s a form letter, I simply mark the rejection on the file that I keep. If it’s a helpful reply, then I’ll go over it, let it sink in, and decide. Some have certainly turned into more revisions.
Looking back on The Silver Braid now, I see how much I’ve grown in the past year. I still love TSB, but I also have the urge to take it offline and revise again. And at some point, I probably will, because I’ve grown as a person, in my writing, and everything related to that. And I’m proud of it.
So here’s to another year of writing, joy, revisions and frustration. Hopefully, a year from now, I can look back and say: yes, it was a good year.