PUBLISHED BOOK = HAPPINESS
UNPUBLISHED = UNHAPPY
I was wrong.
The most important thing I've learned on this journey is to ENJOY THE PROCESS. Art is not a product-based profession. Who knew?? For me success is measured in happiness levels. Not in money or sales or number of readers. If I do not enjoy this process, I will not be successful. I've learned to enjoy the moment and have a rough plan for the future, but not obsess over it. Because everything can change in the blink of an eye.
After completing my first Young Adult novel, Ring of Fire (which took 4.5 years!), I landed a wonderful agent, rode the submission and revision roller coaster, have been writing and revising my second novel, Fall, and have completely fallen in love with everything children's and YA lit. I am lucky to have found the perfect career for me! Though I still remain pre-published, I am happy. And I don't regret a single moment I've had during the ride.
I've made hundreds of lifelong friends, read hundreds of books, seen hundreds of speakers, and logged hundreds (okay, thousands) of miles on my car in the name of research and education. I've traveled through Mexico, all over the state of California, to NYC and Europe and Florida and Hawaii, gathering bits and pieces of seemingly random information that will somehow be woven into multilayered tapestries of stories.
I believe that things are not always what they seem. Under the surface, a story, like a person, is full of paradoxes and surprises and hidden layers and deep emotions. A story, also like a person, is never one single thing to everybody. Each of us will take something completely different away from the same exact story. My primary goal in writing is to entertain. But I also hope that my writing encourages people to think and wonder and hope in ways they never thought possible.
I'm all about hope. And perseverance. And getting the absolute most out of a life. And opening minds. And helping the less fortunate. And finding the good in people. And cafe mochas, and gummy bears, and cupcakes. And Brad Pitt movies, and Dave Eggers books, and Warren Miller flicks. But I suppose those are all separate blog posts!
So, there you have it. New blog. New Year. New President (woo-hoo!). New hope for the future. New energy and enthusiasm for writing. Life is good.
Thanks for reading!