When I was thinking about what to write for this blog post I thought I'd write down some goals for 2017 and talk about what I want to achieve next year, when I realised I should first think about what I have achieved this year. Which is what I am doing now.... Reflecting on 2016 which was, in terms of my writing career, not like anything I expected.
For those of you who know my writing journey - might have even read my journey in Writing the Dream anthology available here - you will know that I began writing some years ago. In fact it was 2010 when I wrote my first novel. It was a young adult book full of angels and demons and I loved it. It was unfortunately dreadfully written and the characters flat and uninteresting (cringy cliched) but I loved it. I still love the concept to this day and have plans to readdress it at some stage. Anyhow, I loved it mostly because I had written it. I'd always wanted to write a book and there, I'd done it. I wasn't a writer, but I had written a book.
Fast forward a number of years and by the beginning of 2016 despite having a book published and completing other manuscripts I didn't consider myself a writer. I was a teacher, a mother, a wife, a friend, a runner, a yoga lover, a book reader, a daughter, a niece, an aunt..... I was many things but I wasn't a writer. I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a writer REAL bad.
But I seemed to be just wasting time. So, December 2015 I decided to write a book that I would love. A book that I wanted to read. Nothing high concept, nothing that was going to be the next Harry Potter or Twilight (because lets face it, what wanna be writer doesn't dream of being the next 'big thing'). I just wrote a book that I loved. That book was Star Struck. After I wrote Star Struck I thought I'd continue on that vein and write another book I'd been thinking about for a long time, Trinity.
I wrote these books really quickly and they were picked up by publishers quickly too. And I now realise that 2016 was the year I became a writer. It wasn't only the year that I signed contracts for five books (OMG FIVE!) but it was the year that I really began to own my identity as a writer for the first time since I'd realised I wanted to be a writer at 8 years old.
Here's what I did that made me a writer:
And the most important thing I learned this year was that I am a writer. I am a romance writer. And I love what I do.
So before I write about my goals for 2017, I want to reflect on 2016. Which, I have to say, has been a damned fine year.
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