Today is January 1, 2021, and I’m writing my very first blog post at exactly midnight. Although my blog isn’t officially live to the public (and may never be), I’ve spent New Year’s Eve self-reflecting on the progress I’ve made so far in my authorship career.
I embarked on my authorship career when I enrolled in Self-Publishing School (SPS) in November 2019. It has been a year-long battle of ups and downs, evolving around a book that I hope to one day publish. Recently, this dream of becoming a published author has become even more elusive because I celebrated my one-year anniversary since joining SPS two months ago.
When I signed up for SPS, I was told that we could write a book in 90-days. I laughed at that statement because I knew that it would be improbable in my situation. I may be a dreamer, but I was also a realist too. I guess you can call me a realistic dreamer. However, I signed up for SPS not because SPS convinced me that I could actually write a book in 90-days. But because I believed that no matter how long it takes, joining SPS would give me the highest chance to make my dream possible. And that’s exactly what SPS continues to do for me today. They’ve given me someone to guide me through the self-publishing journey (my coach) and an entire community of supporters (the students). I’ll provide more insight about SPS in a future post, but let’s get back to the backstory.
So, here’s the scoop: Being a mother, I was reluctant to sacrifice too much of my family time. After all, children are only young once, and the time I spend with my son is always enjoyable. I wouldn’t trade it even if I could. But, then, there’s work, which comes in waves. Working as a professional editor has its perks since our schedules are quite flexible, but the limitation is that we can never really predict our workload. We can go weeks with only a few manuscripts to revise, while other times, we are bombarded with multiple 50-k manuscripts that need to be urgently revised within days. Fortunately, my years of editing experience have made me efficient in my profession. Unfortunately, though, time always seemed to work against me when it came to my authorship career. Admittedly, it was becoming difficult to find a solid block of quiet time just to write. After a month into the program, I knew that changes needed to be made to succeed.
As a student of SPS, we are assigned a coach. My coach was Ramy Vance, the creator of the GoneGod World, a paranormal series dedicated to myth, magic, mischief, and mayhem. I recall one of our earlier coaching calls just before the Christmas holidays. When asked about an update, I went off on a tangent, complaining about how I wasn’t making enough progress and struggled to find the time to write. Coach interrupted my rant and asked me why I wanted to publish my book. I paused for a brief moment before listing off more than five reasons. The next words I remember precisely as these were the words that have kept me going whenever adversity hit: “Do whatever it takes to make it happen.” I’ll talk more about Coach Ramy and my writing journey in some future blog posts.
Now you see that particular coaching call came at a very appropriate time. Around the holidays, I conduct my annual self-reflection and make goals for the upcoming year. I’m sure you can predict what my 2020 New Year’s resolution was—to write my book. I successfully finished my book around November 2020. It didn’t actually take me a year to write my book. I had a few months of no progress in spring/summer when the COVID-19 pandemic started, which delayed everything. I was desperately trying to adjust to having everyone at home throughout the day while figuring out virtual learning for my son. Although I successfully fulfilled my New Year’s resolution before the end of 2020, I felt slightly disappointed because a year has passed, and I still haven’t published.
Admittedly I have high expectations for myself. Knowing that most students publish at least one book within their 1-year membership in the school, it wasn’t very reassuring that I was still aimlessly floating along in this journey. I say aimlessly because I still felt lost; I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I probably was suffering from imposter syndrome too. Although having a coach and a community to support me along this journey was helpful, I lacked support at home, so the struggles I encountered were magnified. The last time I felt like this was many years ago when I graduated from university and started job searching. It was a feeling I hoped never to have to experience again, but here I am going down that path like it was yesterday.
My 2021 New Year's Resolution
And speaking about yesterday (New Year’s Eve), I spent my afternoon self-reflecting on where I was in life. I started to reach out to other authors to ask for advice on improving my writing efficiency. Some believed that I wasn’t writing enough and suggested starting a blog to get more practice. Others thought that I was a perfectionist and would waste time perfecting my words instead of making more progress in my story. Honestly, I felt both parties had valid points, and I was desperate to figure it out to make bigger headway on the self-publishing journey in the coming year.
I actually never followed anyone’s blog before; at most, I read a few posts but was never an avid reader of any. So I spent New Year’s Eve doing a bit of research on blogging. I quickly realized that blogs are an excellent investment of time for writers because this public journal would eventually become your writing portfolio to showcase your work.
Blogs are also a great way to share your thoughts and opinions with the general public. It was accessible, and because you didn’t have to follow specific stylistic rules for blog entries, you could literally write about anything and let your imagination soar. Isn’t there a saying that goes, ‘writers gotta write’?
With everything in mind, I began putting together my New Year’s resolution. So, I’m announcing it here so I can be accountable. My 2021 New Year’s resolution is to start a blog (writing at least once a week) and get my novel published. I will fill this blog with posts about my self-publishing journey, writing tips, anecdotes from my life, parenting advice, reviews, opinions on local/global events, and random thoughts on my mind. Although this blog may never see public eyes, I will write in it to practice becoming a better writer.
A saying I’ve kept repeating throughout this self-publishing journey is: ‘Dream big. Start small.’ I dream of becoming a published author and will continue taking steps (no matter how small) in this direction. Dreaming further into my future, I see myself as a full-time author with a blog that I post to daily to give my readers a ‘daily dose of inspiration’ and a place where they can connect with my work. This is the ultimate dream.
We always have room for improvement. The only limit is our willingness to try. Our journey to self-improvement requires us to keep the promises we make to ourselves. This commitment to getting things done, no matter what, goes a long way. It’s how we get the most out of our lives. The thing about New Year’s resolutions is that most people make them when they’re half-drunk or pressured. I never believed in them when I was younger because I didn’t like being accountable for something when the year’s outlook was unpredictable. However, I’ve gotten into a habit of making resolutions once my son was born.
So many things change when you become a parent. I’ll talk more about this in future posts. It’s important to be a good role model for your children, and making resolutions is good practice for self-assessment because it demands personal honesty and ultimately reinforces humility. Setting goals gives you something to look forward to; ever since I started making resolutions, I felt less scared about life’s unpredictability because I knew my target for something to be accomplished in the future.
Challenge yourself by making New Year’s resolutions today. Dream big. Start small. Happy New Year!