Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Lot Can Happen in A Year

Do you ever read the archives of your blog?
I do. When I kept a diary, I would often spend hours pouring over old entries, laughing at myself,
marveling sometimes, and a lot of the time vowing never to go down that road again.

So it is with blogging. As you may have gathered, I'm pretty open about sharing my feelings. Maybe I should be a little more reserved, but I figure if anyone's stopping long enough to read what I have to say, the least I can do is be honest.
The past year was pretty interesting for me as a writer. We started off the year pitching Hidden in the Heart, a story about a woman's journey to find her birth mother. It's a good book. Hopefully you'll get to read it sometime.
Like I said, a lot can happen in a year.

I blogged about waiting. I blogged about my frustrations, my doubts, my fears. There was a lot of good feedback on the manuscript, but nobody liked it enough to buy it. My naturally sanguine attitude began to sag a little. (hint - naturally sanguine - are you kidding me?). I'm sure I blogged about that too. I blogged about some stupid stuff when I really didn't have anything to say, but let's be honest, last year I had about four followers.
And then, after taking the summer off, things began to happen.

I had the slightest inkling that change might be on the wind.
Ever so slowly, I began to walk toward a now open door that I was sure would remain locked forever.
Suddenly, on October 26th,2010, within minutes, my world as a writer changed.

I got promoted. No longer was I the 'aspiring author' (there has to be a better term, right?), I was about to join the ranks of the published. I was suddenly the real deal.

If you're not in that place - attempting to land an agent or a contract - you won't be able to fully fathom what that moment means. But I can tell you, it's good.
And yes, it has changed me.

I'm very conscious now of who I am and what I do.
I believe in myself and my abilities. Sure I have moments when I think the phone will ring and my editor will sheepishly explain that they made a huge mistake and there's actually another Catherine West out there who wrote a book about Vietnam and...yeah, I'm telling you. I have issues.
However, I'm taking this baton and running with it as best I know how.
I have made a real effort to expand my blogging connections if you will - I'm visiting a lot of blogs and I'm finding that people are visiting mine in return. All in all, I have to say this whole blogging thing is a pretty sweet deal. It kind of makes the world just a little smaller.
I like knowing that there are people out there just like me. I love making connections and hearing your stories, sharing your hopes and dreams and sometimes just being silly.
I like being able to give not-yet-published authors encouragement. There is hope to be had in the world. You just have to know where to look.

I suppose the purpose of this post is really just to say how thankful I am to be on this journey. As the publication date for Yesterday's Tomorrow comes closer, I'm getting nervous. I've sent out several copies to lovely people who've offered to either endorse or influence on their blogs. And I'm getting some wonderful feedback. Just yesterday I received some words of encouragement from a published author who's just started reading my book. I sat back, stunned, scratched my nose and thought, "Is she on drugs?" But then I figured, nah, can't be. So I read her words over.
Let them sink in good and deep and allowed myself a really big grin.

Yes, a lot can happen in a year. And this year has only just begun.

My prayer today:
God keep me humble. Make me available.
Use me, use my words and deeds to glorify You.
I want to be worthy of this blessing.

Have you reflected on 2010? How was your year?


Katie Ganshert said...

You're not alone! I reread my journals a lot. And blog archives are fun to revisit too. A cool learning experience.

I love your prayers. I shall adopt them as my own. :)

Heather Sunseri said...

Oh, yes. I do read my past journals and blog posts. I've been reading some of my past blog posts recently, trying to figure out if I have a distinct voice in each of my posts. I'm still thinking on that one.

You've had a fantastic year, and I'm so excited for you!

Keli Gwyn said...

Cathy, I appreciate your honesty. It's nice to know I'm not alone with the doubts, questions, anxieties that pester me at times.

I'm so excited about your upcoming release and the wonderful reviews already pouring in.

Angela C. said...

reflecting back on a previous year can be a wonderful thing. my husband and i just did that last weekend. looking back on last year and setting new goals for 2011. you're right. a lot can happen in one year! i also wanted to comment on what you wrote about blogging. i just started and you are totally right! it just makes the world feel smaller and i can already see how a community begins to form. it is a wonderful, exciting thing!!

Catherine West said...

Thanks guys! And Angie, welcome to the blogosphere!!