I had a birthday last week. It was a milestone year, but not quite the biggie that my friends suggested it would be. I chose not to make my birthday a biggie because I don’t want to change a single thing in my life right now. I have a part-time day job that I like, and I still get to write fiction, blogs, or book reviews every day. I’m currently teaching a writing workshop for the month of July and preparing for another talk on August 1st. Honestly, I’m not ready to retire, although my hubby are having these conversations more frequently lately, especially when we get together with friends of a similar age.
Still, given this milestone year and that we’re at the midway point of 2015, I decided to take stock and see how the year’s going so far. To be truthful, it was more challenging than I thought it would be, although not quite as tough as last year. Last year, I had a full-time job, wrote two blogs a week, edited my fourth Casey Holland mystery which was released in September, then submitted the 5th installment to my publisher. I also start writing novellas, attended several writing events, and sold books during the Christmas season. Granted, my day-job assignment ended in October, so Christmas selling season was less stressful than it could have been.
Having gone through a full-time job and a rigid writing schedule last year, I assumed that 2015 would be so much easier that I signed up for or accepted a number of different writing-related events this spring. Three of them were speaking events or workshops, all of which required a fair bit of research and preparation. Hubby and I also took a mini vacation out of town to attend a large, three-day craft fair. We travelled on Thursday as the fair started at 10:00 a.m. the next morning. In fact, the first day of the fair was eleven hours long! After the fair ended on Sunday at 4:00, we packed up quickly and made the five-hour drive back to Vancouver as both of us had to go to work the next day.
While the speaking and selling was going on, I finished editing my first mystery novella. I’m delighted to report that Dead Man Floating was accepted for publication by Imajin Books the day after I submitted it. We’ve been working on the final edits and I now find myself preparing my first virtual launch party in Sept. on Facebook. I’m finding that preparation for this event also requires a fair bit of work. There are guest blogs to arrange, tidbits to incorporate at the launch, reviewers to seek, and promotion to arrange.
It’s new, challenging, and exciting, which has been the theme of most of the events I’ve done so far this year. Speaking to a large group of people, or presenting a workshop is still out of my comfort zone, thus creating some stress, but when the day comes I enjoy myself and am always glad I did it.
I don’t think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew this year, although some days it feels like it. But as a professional writer who wants to continue growing a career, isn’t challenging oneself necessary? I’m devoting the rest of this year to embracing new challenges and learning and having fun. I’m sure there will be more moments of doubt and stress as my launch party approaches. But then I ask myself, how would I feel if I was too chicken to try?