2012 was a huge year for me with the long-awaited release of Thrill Seekers. Finally, after ten years of full-time writing I had a book out in the world to prove I hadn’t just been sitting at home watching Oprah the whole time.
And yet, I still feel only at the very start of my career as a writer, a beginner. When, in 2002 I picked up a pen and wrote my first short story since high school, I’d known what an arduous road lay ahead of me, perhaps I would never have tried. But I’m glad I did, and would do it all again.
Writing is a wonderful profession. Your comrades are sensitive, intelligent, thoughtful creators and I have been lucky to share my journey with good writing friends who have cheered and supported, and cried and commiserated, with me as together we have made steps towards seeing our dreams of books on shelves become reality. Baby steps and then suddenly this year, some giant leaps.
And the writing itself still never fails to excite me, infuriate, confound, besot and delight me. Each new project is greeted with enthusiasm, each draft a challenge to surmount. I’ve learned to love rewriting, perhaps even more than the initial draft. I’ve lost that true beginners’ enchantment with the first draft, knowing as I write it that most will end up trashed. But still, it is thrilling, the places stories will take you, the characters that take over and demand to be given their say. I love it.
This year too, I’ve learned the business side of writing. Every writer runs their own small business whether they like it or not. Marketing your work is essential, from targeting the right publisher to entering competitions, to applying for grants. These skills too, need to be mastered. Can’t say I love this part of the business quite as much, but I’m getting a little better at it.
My heart is filled with gratitude at the turn of events in 2012, and especially for those who have championed my work, like my dear uncle, Jonathan Shaw, who has just released his own book of poetry, Veny Armanno, Julianne Schultz, Favel Parrett, Helena Pastor, Katherine Howell and Stephen Romei.
Who knows what 2013 will bring. I wish you all much love and luck and good fortune.
Onwards and upwards, dear friends. Onwards and upwards!