I do this every year (you know, the year in review thing), so this year is not any different than previous years - except for one thing. This year I became an author. Or rather, I became a published author.
When it happened, there were no crowds cheering, there were no offers of a book contract and there were certainly no buckets of cash delivered to my front door. And honestly, that is perfectly okay with me.
The reason that all of this is perfectly okay with me is that I really do not like being the center of attention. I am an introvert by nature and writing is a solitary thing. It is something I can do alone and away from the chaos and drama in the world.
Besides, the main goal of my writing is not to become famous or wealthy like most authors strive to be, but to have an outlet that makes me content. I write because it makes me happy. Period.
One other thing that is different this year is that I stepped out of my comfort zone and decided (actually forced myself) to expose others to my writing. As luck would have it, many people actually liked my writing and this led to publication of several of my short stories.
The first two short stories were winners of a weekly flash fiction contest through Indies Unlimited - a wonderful place for writers/authors/reviewers to gather ideas. They also produce a yearly anthology of the flash fiction weekly winners which will be available on Amazon in early 2014. (CAVEAT - Do not blindly submit flash fiction or any other items to them, please seem "How Indies Unlimited Works" for further details.
The third short story I submitted was an essay accepted for publication on another great website called Midlife Collage. I did not have much hope of acceptance when I submitted my short story, "Her Name was Half Calf" to the editor. But, again, as luck would have it, the editor liked my story and decided to showcase it along with four other stories in a weekly contest. I was thrilled to win the contest along with a $50 prize.
After the hubbub of winning the first few short story contests had died down, I decided to try NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November 2013.
The main reason for attempting NaNoWriMo was to determine if I had a full-length novel inside of me. By November 25th, it appeared that I did indeed have a book inside of me waiting to be written. The working title of my debut novel is "Before the Rooster Crows" and I am currently editing the draft for publication in mid to late 2014.
Since the end of November, I have been "cocooning" and keeping to myself for the most part. Along with working 10 - 12 hour days in my normal job as a systems engineer for a major bank and taking care of many family issues along the way, I have been writing several more short stories to be included in a collection that I plan to publish on Amazon in the spring of 2014.
Looking back on 2013, I am pleased with the progress I have made as a writer/author, corporate worker, spouse and as a human being in general. I have learned a lot this past year about myself and about the writing business.
To sum up the year in one sentence, it would be my most used mantra in 2013 - these five simple words:
DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY !!
Thank you, my dear readers for a wonderful 2013 and I look forward to what is to come in 2014. May you all have peace, prosperity and happiness in the coming year.