Welcome 2013: Please Be An Awesome Year

welcome20132Welcome 2013, please be an awesome year. It’d be highly appreciated, I assure you. I’ve made my New Year’s Resolutions this year and I hope to keep them all.

I can’t fully control most of them, but I can do my best. I don’t want to reveal them all (I totally believe in jinxing myself!) but I will share a few. I wrote them all last night, sealed them up, and put them in a box in my desk drawer so I won’t be able to see them until I open them next year… and I don’t remember all seven off the top of my head. How bad is that? It was just last night.

Some of my 2013 Resolutions:

  • Read at least a 100 books (genres to focus on: YA, contemporary, horror, steampunk YA, pretty much anything YA, actually…)
  • Do something productive toward my goal of getting published EVERY DAY (things like writing, revising, plotting/outlining story ideas, reading, researching, etc)
  • Get a literary agent this year! (‘Cause that’d be awesome)
  • Start my career (as a recent college graduate, I have a job that’s OK but definitely not something I want to make into my career.)

2012 hasn’t been a bad year. It was the first full year I’ve been out of college. Sometimes I find myself regretting my decision to graduate a year early and not go to graduate school. But I didn’t graduate early or did go to graduate school I wouldn’t have been able to travel and intern in Australia and New Zealand for the first half the year. I made awesome friends and saw beautiful things. I did some ridiculous things that I never thought I’d do like swimming with jellyfish (so scared of those things!) and sharks at the Great Barrier Reef and jumping out of an airplane at about 14,000 ft over the Australian rain forest.

While all of that was amazing, I’m happiest about how much I’ve developed as a writer this year. I’d say I’m considerably better than I was this time last year. I’ve begun to reach out to other writers, attended my first writer’s conference, made some very good friends, and joined a few critique groups. The latter has really helped me see the errors in my own writing. I also finally figured out how the publishing world worked. At the start of the year, I was so scared of query letters, synopsis, and researching literary agents, but now I’m not. Granted, I still don’t like synopsis so much (but I learned the trick is to write them before you write the story!) and I’ve actually developed some love for writing query letters. And I love researching things. I really do, so the whole literary agent research work wasn’t so bad once I reminded myself that. It’s different doing research for something you love versus forced-research-college-stuff.

Overall, 2012 was a good year. I’m not really a big fan of odd numbers (I know, weird) so I’m weary of this oncoming year for no good reason. I do think that more good things are in store for this coming year. I hope that there are a lot of great things in store for you, too!

Good luck!

Facing Fears: Rejection

I got my first rejection Sunday, which was nice. I know that might sound weird, but I was really looking forward to the first rejection. I wanted to know how I would react. Overall, I was impressed by how quickly the agent replied and how kind of a rejection letter it was. I thought I would be upset, perhaps even really devastated, but I wasn’t. I won’t say I wasn’t a little disappointed, but it was just a dull pang for a moment then it was gone. Like when I was applying for a job but only submitted a resume, then received an e-mail saying that they were going for different candidates. It was a bit disappointing but I was over it in a couple minutes.

I’m not really surprised by this, I didn’t think I would be too emotionally distraught. I’m aware that the publishing industry is a business and this is just part of the process. Maybe when there are less agents on my list it’ll be more upsetting. It’ll probably be different if I get a rejection on the partial I sent out, too. But I’d rather face a fear than wonder what if?

Source: Wikimedia.org

I actually like being scared. I’ve had an irrational fear of sharks since I was a little girl. Extremely irrational, even, since I grew up in a land locked state. Though, I did spend my summers between Louisiana and Florida so I did go to the beach. In order to get over that, I decided when I was in Australia to go snorkeling with some reef sharks. Of course, those rarely bit or attack people so it wasn’t dangerous but I did get over it. Now I’d like to go to South Africa sometime in the near future to see some Great Whites (don’t worry, I know better than to try and swim with them).

So, even though I worry (fear, really) getting to the end of my literary agent list and seeing nothing but “rejected” next to each name… I’d rather let that fear inspire me to write the best story I can and keep trying instead of giving up. On a related note, I came up with an idea for a YA that deals with fearful things (aka horror). I’ve completed a synopsis for it and might try to do that during NaNoWriMo — either the November or August one.