2018 was a year of many ups and downs for me. The beginning of the year saw me leaving a job that I enjoyed because I couldn’t make enough money to pay for childcare. But I also knew my stress levels would decrease and my kids would be happier because I almost never saw them. They were with babysitters constantly, and when I got home, it was always rushing to some extracurricular or another or a rushed dinner and homework time then bed. Plus, I was still working at my first love, editing novels, on the side. I was exhausted and grumpy all the time. Not a healthy thing for either me or my kids.
After I quit, I focused on freelance editing and grew my business; I also decided to finally seriously pursue my biggest, most secret dream of writing a novel of my own. I spent this entire year overextending myself. I’ve slept very little, I’ve lived with constant bouts of anxiety that were almost debilitating, and I’ve dealt with many blows both personally and professionally with a smile because what else could I do. (Okay, I’ll admit there were times I sneaked away and just cried.) My household went into an upheaval when a move was considered, and I ultimately decided it wasn’t healthy for my children or me. And financially things have just been messy. There were other conflicts that are just…private.
There were also some amazing highlights this past year. GRL was a huge one. I’d reached those magical words “The End” on my book by then and had completely rewritten it a second time and was feeling kind of…uncertain. Like maybe I wasn’t meant to be any more than someone who helped others fine tune their books, and I should just hang it up and stop pretending I could actually be a real author. Honestly, I still don’t feel like a real author, and I’m not sure I ever will, but GRL helped me push forward.
Being around other people who’d taken the chance and made it, meeting people I’d only spoken to online in real life, meeting the authors I worked for and hearing their encouraging words in person, all these things gave me a much-needed boost. Making friends with a big group of ladies and gentlemen that I’d only spoken to online and realizing they’re my people, my tribe was a huge highlight. I miss you guys! My clients and friends are the best, and they’ve been so supportive throughout this process; I’m so grateful for them. Sitting down with three authors who write in same genre as me and really talking about it and what it’s like to have your work out there was a big highlight too, and I’m thrilled to say I came away from GRL with closer friendships and the drive to finish what I started.
My book was released, whether or not it’s successful, I don’t really know at this point, but the release itself was what mattered to me. I did get the orange number 1 new release banner for about six hours which was amazing. I’m a newbie author, so the fact that I hit it at all is huge to me. And, honestly, while I do want to be able to make money as an author, I didn’t expect much from a first book, especially since I write in such a small sub genre. Your first book is most often a learning experience, and that was the only expectation I had from it. I know it takes time and hard work to get to the point where your writing is supporting you, and it remains to be seen if I’ll ever get there, but I have hope.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took a chance on a newbie author and read my book or helped me in a multitude of other ways on my journey. I have had a few people message me or post about how much they loved my book, and I can’t even say how much that has meant to me. If my book only resonated with one reader, it would be worth it, to have so many tell me they loved it is beyond my wildest imaginations. I appreciate every one of you who took the time to send me a message or leave a review.
Looking forward to 2019, I have many big plans, but I also have realized something since I made those plans. I have to stop hurting myself to achieve them. I need to be here for my kids for years to come and accepting any and all work that comes my way to my detriment might give us more money, but it doesn’t keep me healthy. I spent most of the time since GRL sick but still slogging through and getting things done. Sleeping four hours a night so I can fit all the work in I need to get done for people is not something I can maintain any longer. So, I’m stepping back. I’m booking less, and I probably won’t be so willing to take last minute edits that need done so quickly I don’t sleep at all. I have to take care of myself so I can take care of the most important things in my life, my kids.
I also want to be able to write more. I know I might be taking a financial hit at first, but I’m hoping it’ll even out in the end. I have plans to release three more full length novels this year and two novellas. I’m not going to say it’ll for sure happen, but it’s my plan. I also have a fourth novel in the maybe category that I have very little written on because I only mess with it when I have extra time, or I need to take a break from The Bearer of Truth world because my brain gets bogged down.
So, my 2019 plan is to be wiser, to have a schedule but realize it is going to change, to give myself a break, to live happily and with love, to be kind, to be healthier, to keep striving to achieve my dreams while remembering I am human, and to get seven glorious hours of sleep a night.