Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Sunday, December 21, 2014

2014: The year of letting go

As the year of 2014 draws to a close, I have found that I often reflect on everything that I have been through with my writing this year. So much has happened. There were the challenges (especially with self-publishing!), the letdowns (the acceptances that later turned into rejections), and the fun stuff (pretending to be a marriage therapist for a week while working on an assignment – ah, the hats we writers wear!).

One thing I have noticed about this year, though, is that it sort of had a theme. Last year, the movie Frozen may have been THE big film of the year, and the hit song “Let It Go” stayed a hit song throughout this year (and the movie has enjoyed a lot of popularity even still this year, too!). The song title sort of reflected my own year. I had to let go of quite a few things on a personal level this year, but I had to let go of some other things, too – things related to my writing.

At the beginning of the year, I worked as an independent manuscript editor. I really didn’t want to go back to doing this, because I know it’s not my strength, but two people talked me into editing their books for them. I enjoyed the work, but eventually decided that, once again, this job is REALLY not for me. So the next time someone tries to talk me into editing their manuscript, I’ll be a little more firm in declining their request.

This year, I let go of something else: My dream to have my own publishing company. I tried to get things moving along with the publishing company, deciding later on to turn it into a nonprofit venture then deciding again to abandon the whole idea altogether.

There’s something else I let go of this year, too. I once again tried to find another agent. I have had two bad experiences with a literary agent and I was not yet ready to ditch my goal of getting my book published by a major publishing house through an agent. But later on in the year, I did abandon this goal too. It’s no skin off my back. I’m happy with the publishers I work with right now.

Dreams aren’t really all THAT important to me anymore, anyway....

There was something else I had to let go of something else this year, too: My frustrations over being asked to do a rewrite. When I was asked to rewrite GHOST Group 4, I almost flew off the handle. My publisher never knew this, of course, because the only person I shared this grievance with was a close friend. But I loved the story I’d written and wanted to keep it. I was pretty upset when the publisher said this story would not work. Neither did the revised story I eventually sent in. ARGH! I eventually got over myself, though. I let go of my anger and disappointment and wrote a third story which, thankfully, was accepted then published.

Finally, I let go of my desire to ever go back to working as a freelance writer. I did toy with the idea on and off this year, but eventually decided that it’s just not something I ever want to get into again. I have pretty much also started distancing myself from the community of freelance writers. I’m happy for them, but this is just not for me anymore. I will, however, focus on trying to get short stories into magazines. Any magazine, really. Even E-zines! I love writing short fiction and it was awesome get short stories accepted for publication, but I’d really like to send short stories to magazines and see if I can get any of them published. If I do, yay! If not, no biggie. This is just something I’ll do on the side. I HAVE had short fiction published in a few zines and I’d just like to focus on that for a while, too.

In addition to me letting go of things this year, I was let go, two. Three times. I lost my part-time gig (it was a non-writing job). THEN I teamed up with, then lost, a collaborator for a book – twice. So, yeah, sorta fits in with the whole “letting go” theme here. (As to the book, I am totally fine with being the only one authoring it!)

Still, some good things happened this year.

This year, I was pleasantly surprised to find what I'd put together of a nonfiction book that I had previously THOUGHT I'd lost in an email crash. I got back to work on it and completed the book. I recently submitted it to a publisher.

And speaking of finishing a book: This year, finally and at long last, after many years, I finished working on the haunted cities book. Not only this, but I sent it off to my publisher and it was published this year. What an amazing feeling to see A Ghost on Every Corner in print after all that time and work put into it.

Another book I was thrilled to see published after so many years of working on it was Parenting Pauses: Life as a Deaf Parent. Wow, my deaf parenting book certainly went through A LOT of changes and revisions. I am very pleased with the book it turned into and just so happy to finally see this one published, too.

I was also happy to see other books get published this year, too. I’ll list them all in my blog post next weekend.

I was also able to accomplish my goal of authoring/coauthoring 20 books by the time I turned 40 years old (which I did in May). I was very happy to get to that point!

The best thing of all to happen this year was FINALLY landing a ghostwriting gig where I got to ghostwrite books. I still have this gig. I’m excited about it because I’ve wanted to do this for a long time and it finally happened. I am enjoying the work and the client is awesome to work with. Yay! I will keep working as a ghostwriter of books for as long as the work is there.

Of course, I’ll continue to write my own books, too. I have quite a few of them planned for next year.

It’s definitely been a year of ups and downs for me as a writer, but a pretty good year overall. Here’s to more writing-related adventures in 2015!

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