It's almost time to bid goodbye to the strange year that has been 2020. So many lives have been affected by an insidious global pandemic, causing much fear, depression, and loss. I hope and pray it hasn't been too hard on you and yours. It's definitely been a year to remember and we can only hope next one brings us something better.
Despite the frustration of the pandemic, I had a pretty good writerly year. I wrote TEN short stories, and submitted EIGHT of them to various magazines and anthologies. I received SIX rejections, but TWO have been chosen for publication (click HERE to see the one that's already available). As for my yet-unpublished slow-burn novel, The Flower Maiden, I sent queries to SEVEN literary agents and received FOUR rejections. After a few more months without hearing from the remaining three, they will become rejections by default. Que sera sera.
I know my chosen author-road is an arduous one, yet I'm committed to giving it my absolute best. I convince myself that every defeat is an opportunity to find a better fit for my stories, and that the literary world is just like the art world—subjective. It's my job to find a good agent or a publisher match for myself, and it's going to take a lot of time. When I find myself wondering and fretting, I try to remember all of this. It's hard, but I think I'm getting the hang of this patience thing.
You may be wondering—what does 2021 look like for me?
Well, with the encouragement of my amazing critique group, I've begun writing a NEW novel (a portal fantasy) based on one of my short stories with a tentative title of The Sanctuary. I will also continue to look for an agent or publisher who believes in The Flower Maiden as much as I do. I plan to roll with the punches and keep looking for my place in the literary world—and on bookshelves.
May 2021 be better for all of us in some way, even though I'm certain there are still dark days ahead. Don't lose your hope. Keep dreaming. Keep trying, because you'll learn something amazing along the way.