Well, it is official I'm celebrating my 500th Blog Post today on Digging Out of Distraction. I started this blog with nary an idea of what I was doing. I did know that I wanted to develop my writing voice, and I wanted to connect with other writers in my world. Since that first post, I've been on a strange and wonderful journey. I've made new friends, I've grown as a writer, I've experienced many firsts. So for today, rather than go on and on about the journey, I figure the best way to share it is to show it to you via my retro blogs.
So enjoy my little trip down memory lane. If you discover a blog you never read, or you rediscover one that tickled your fancy, then please let me know! I would love to hear from you. And today I'm adding to the fun because I will have a prize for one lucky commentator.
Here is my first blog post from November 16, 2008. I kept it pretty short. I think I've gotten more verbose over the last three years.
I blogged about my favorite feline, the Dowager Feline Clancy here. Since her introduction to my cyber world, DFC has developed renal failure. She was diagnosed in August 2010. I thought she was not going to last long, and I was quite distraught. Once again, my feisty kitty has proved me wrong. Although she has had some tough days, she still has a lively personality and an incredible will to live. She's often curled up on my office chair waiting for me to show up and get to work. Every day is a bonus.
Writing is often a lonely pursuit, but my Romance Writers of America groups give all of us a lot of ways to connect. Since I began this blog I've attended the RWA National Conference twice, the Moonlight & Magnolia's Conference twice, dozens of local chapter meetings at the Heart of Dixie, Southern Magic, and Georgia Romance Writers of America writing groups. I've traveled with my writing friend and shared many adventures about my road trips. You can read about one of my favorite trips here.
In November, 2008 I had written three books. My third manuscript, SWEET SENSATIONS, finaled in the prestigious MAGGIE contest in 2009. It's gone on in various incarnations to win the Emerald City Opener contest in 2010. I have written two more books and completed an overview of a series of four books as well. My 4th manuscript placed second in the Emerald City Opener contest in 2010. So that was a one-two hit for me. While I am not published yet, I feel that I am edging closer to my goal.
Part of writing is learning to embrace one's process. Each book is a learning experience. I've written about my process here and here. At times I've doubted my abilities, but I've rallied and bounced back with the help of my friends, my family, and my own determination to beat the odds. I've written many blogs about how to stay focused and on task. I hope that in some way I have encouraged other people to keep reaching for the brass ring. I've written about how to beat the demons of doubt and despair here and here.
I've been fortunate enough to join two group blogs. Southern Magic's Romance Magicians and Georgia Romance Writer's Petit Fours & Hot Tamales. I love being part of the group blogs. The authors and writers who contribute to them are a blessing to me. Check them out some time by clicking on the links.
The new year meant the dawning of a new me. I am more focused than ever on my writing. I've had some serious interest in my manuscripts, and I'm determined to beat back the dark days of writing with the glowing memories of what has been and with the hope for what can be. I don't know WHEN I'll be published, I do believe in my heart that the operative word is WHEN. If I get down or discouraged, I remind myself that there is a bigger picture. I remember that WHO I am is more important than WHAT I am. You can read about those thoughts here and here.
Too often people get so focused on the end result of their pursuits that they forget that who they are when they get there is much more important. I'm determined to succeed, but not at the expense of my internal moral compass. I have a lot of examples of published writers who give generously of their time and who support those of us who are not published. I wish I could name them all, but that would take many blogs and many days. Those of you who have helped me, particularly with my agent questions and my revise and resubmit questions ;-), I give you my ongoing gratitude. I promise that when I make it into the world of publishing that I will pay it forward. I will strive to be the mentor that you have been to me.
And now, the fun part! If you have time to read or revisit any of the blogs I linked to for my 500th Anniversary blog, let me know which one was your favorite. I'd love to know. I'm drawing a name from the list of comments and giving a surprise to one lucky winner.
I hope you continue to join me on my journey toward publication. I hope each and every one of you reach your goals. And I wish that when you do that you will also continue to pay it forward with grace, dignity, humbleness and generosity.