It’s the two year anniversary of my blog!
As of today, I’ve written 62 posts, received over 3,100 views, and have 558 followers. Slowly but surely I’m building my tribe. (Still optimistically hoping for a thousand followers by end of year.)
I have learned a lot about writing, blogging, and publishing over the last two years. I started this blog knowing I loved to write, and having been told that I needed to do this in order to catch the eye of an agent or publishing house for the novel I’m working on. My how the publishing industry, my process, this blog, and my life has changed in two short years!
When I started this, I had one novel, one devotional book, and one non-fiction book in the works. I had recently stopped teaching (still hate the term “occupationally disabled”), and had never heard of a writer’s retreat, never met a real-life author, never considered self-publishing. I had just started forcing myself out of my home alone with my new service dog to attend writers’ meetings. I truly considered my writing more therapeutic than professional, not sure if my damaged brain was even able to process enough information to write something worth selling.
Two years later, I barely recognize my life. On the personal front, my husband returned to graduate school, we sold our home and downsized into an apartment, my eldest got married and moved out, and my youngest has graduated high school. After being vegetarian since 2003, I went vegan in March of 2013. I’ve lost over 75 pounds. Gizmo has afforded me more independence than I thought possible, and with him I have traveled alone by taxi, bus, train, and airplane. I have met dozens of published authors, and now consider many to be friends.
Professionally, I now know I have the mental acumen to write what others want to read, and am steadily moving closer to my goal of publishing a book. I have one novel almost complete, two others in the research and outline stage, and two others invading my waking and sleeping dreams. My one non-fiction book about service dogs is still a work in progress and will be as Gizmo and I live what I am writing about; his Facebook page is my main notebook for the book that will come. My second non-fiction WIP is growing out of a Bible study I wrote and taught at church over what the Bible teaches about illness and healing. My devotional book about the women of the Bible continues to grow, as it is a labor of love and not something I want to rush. Additionally, I have written a few flash-fiction pieces, and a couple short stories. I have received a number of rejection letters, and based on all the author testimonies I have heard, that is a good thing. Apart from actual writing, I am now on the board of the Writers’ Guild of Texas, and the facilitator of an E-critique group.
I share all of this to point out that there are more opportunities available than one can imagine. Life requires us to be open to possibilities. My fear was of being isolated and alone as my boys left the nest, and that my health would continue to decline. I faced that fear by writing about it and taking risks to overcome it. I also have written about what I’ve learned in order to pay-it-forward as a benefit to others in similar situations. In the process, I found support and encouragement in friends new and old.