Just a few short years ago, I was pre-published. Yes, that's what I call the time before my first book came out. And yes--I made that word up.
I remember being on the other side of published--shooting for that star and praying, wishing, hoping, for some level of success. Taking my rejections in stride because that was part of the process, and each rejection was closer to an acceptance, right?
I learned so much then. And, three books later--I'm still learning. Why?
1. Because publishing is an ever-changing industry.
2. Because my goal with each book is to be better than the last.
Three books in, I still feel like a newbie. I remember being impressed by people who'd published one or two books and thinking that someday it might be me. Now it is me, and I don't feel that I've learned enough.
I haven't learned how to manage setbacks as successfully as I'd like.
I haven't learned how to manage my time better. Yet. That one kills me. If you ever go back through my posts, you'll see the common thread of making new goals, rearranging my schedule again--all to fit in more writing time. I have SO many ideas running rampant through my brain, but there's precious little being done about it. (*note--this leads to cranky Cheri, who is unpleasant to deal with, even for me.)
Sure, I'm still hopeful for that "breakout novel" that will catapult me to my success. But the pressure is huge. First I have to write it. And then I'll have to top it.
I'm pretty sure that's where my fear of success is hobbling me. I want it. Need it. And I go pretty good for a stretch until I fall flat and struggle to regain my footing. My stretch was this summer. Now I'm struggling again.
There's no magic formula to being a successful writer. There's just writing. Actually doing it. You write and write and eventually turn out something worthy of print. The window of opportunity isn't just going to open up for you to have time. You MAKE time. If it's important, you do it.
It is important. I feel it to my core. Why can't I do more of it?
But, I do promise this: I will never stop. I may stumble. I may flounder. I may go weeks or months without a new chapter making it to paper.
But I won't quit.