When I hit the pause button on finishing writing my novel, Breaking Branches in November, I promised myself I'd set a new, more manageable writing goal when I was ready. Since the beginning of the year I've been making an effort to do one small, writerly thing every day. No, writerly is not a word and yet, it fits. I enjoyed my break from worrying about what I was, or wasn't, writing but am happy to be getting my head (and heart) back into the game.
While I haven't begun to get back into my fiction yet, so far the other details are adding up to remind me: I am still a writer, this is my career and as long as I show up to work, I will be successful. Of course, I have to be willing to define "success" rather loosely. I took it as a good sign that I got my "Bylines" calendar/planner in the mail a few days after bringing Jake home. Bylines is a planner for writers by writers with submisison trackers, places for goal setting and progress tracking as well as a place to track your writing-related expenses for tax time. Anyway, I'm one of the 53 writers that got selected this year and am pretty stoked about that. It's another labor of love, though, as the paycheck was a total of $5.00. Plus, of course, the complimentary planner.
I also got up the courage to address an issue I had with a former editor. I wrote a product review and it never got published because the company decided to stop using freelance writers, rather abruptly and the editor I was working with went MIA. All the emails and voicemails I'd left since last September went unanswered. My biggest frustration was that here I had used these sample products and written the review but the person supplying the products had no idea what happened. To her, it might've looked like I took the money and ran, so to speak. It was an integrity issue for me. So I got in touch with a far more responsive editor at the company and she immediately posted the review and said she'd work with accounting to pay my outstanding invoices. Lesson: The best way to get what you want is to ask for it.
Here's the review: http://www.ecometro.com/portland/default.aspx
And finally, somehow in the fog of bringing home a newborn, and certainly with the help of my mom being here, I got February's column submitted and am hatching a new project I can't quite post about yet.
I'm starting to miss my book and my characters and trust I'll get back into it one of these days. For now, it just feels good to get the car seat and diaper bag off my desk long enough to get a little bit of writerly stuff done.