2014 was a good year for my writing. It was the year of my first publishing offer, and the year I decided to go it alone and self-publish. In 2014, I received many rejection emails, but I never let them knock me back.
So much has happened over the last year, so join me as I venture down memory lane.
So as I'm sure you know, 'Heartbound' has reached the 'ready to be published and let loose on the world' stage. After receiving a publishing offer (which I had to turn down), I decided to self-publish and I can honestly say I think it is the right move.
I completed 'Heartbound' in early April 2014 after working on it since the previous summer. At the time, I was also writing another fantasy novel, which was a sequel to yet another novel that I finished in 2013 (more about that a little later). Let me tell you, writing two novels with two very different plots and characters at the same time is not easy!
I am a big believer in following your intuition. There was something about 'Heartbound' that was calling to me, demanding that I focus more of my energy on it rather than the other novel. Maybe I had a closer connection to my characters in 'Heartbound' but there was something that called me to it. Lo and behold, 'Heartbound' will now be my debut novel!
Shelving (and I'm not talking about DIY)
Like I mentioned above, 'Heartbound' was not the only novel I was working on during 2014. In 2013, I finished writing a novel I will call 'Novel B', but I felt that the story was incomplete. Hence, a sequel was born and I shall call this 'Novel C'.
I had fun writing 'Novel B' and was excited about writing 'Novel C'. The problem was I had a much stronger feeling about 'Heartbound'. Sometimes in life, you have to make a difficult choice. Much as it pained me, I simply had to leave 'Novel C' to concentrate on 'Heartbound'. That's not to say I have completely abandoned 'Novel C'; it just was not the right time.
This is part of any author's journey; you've worked hard on a manuscript, created something you can be proud of... only for agents and publishers to say something like 'sorry it is not for us. Good luck with your endeavors'. Throughout 2014, this happened to me many times.
Did it get me down? To be honest, yes, a little. But it never stopped me, and a phrase that many of my friends told me went as follows: 'it's their loss. You'll get there.' And they're right; you cannot let the rejections get to you. Believe in yourself, and prove to them that you do have something incredible.
Before I decided to go down the self-publish route, I tried the old method of approaching agents and publishers, not just with 'Heartbound' but with 'Novel B' as well. Of course, it was frustrating, but it was that frustration that spurred me on and kept my dream alive.
What about 2015?
We might only be two days in, but I already have a good feeling about this year. It is guaranteed to be my publication year (wow, that's a thought!) and I'm looking forward to seeing what success 'Heartbound' has.
Inevitably, there will be challenges and difficulties but I'm optimistic about what the year will bring.