Do you like anniversaries? I do. What I enjoy most isn’t gifts or attention or the opportunity to dress up and celebrate. My favorite part of anniversaries is the chance to look back.
June 1 marks my first anniversary for this website and the Logos & Mythos blog. That’s one year of memories and words and friends and literature and learning and laughter and tears and successes and mistakes. This is my fifty-seventh blog post. That’s pretty doggone amazing right there!
So, today I’m reflecting on one year of writing. I realize I’m nowhere near where I thought I’d be. In some ways I’m so much further along in reaching my goals and realizing my dream of authorship. But how I got here and exactly where here is are incredibly different from how I envisioned it all. So, today, let’s all get on the same PAGE as I take a look back. (Yes, I’m cheesy and decided to use an acronym!)
First, I’ve got to say thanks.
Thanks for following, for caring, for encouraging. You are why I tap out my random musings to the void each week. I want these posts to be real. This is me, making plans and mistakes, goals and decisions in the most public way possible. My desire is that your love of literature will grow as you watch the process of one girl’s path to authorship.
The writing community drives me. So many writers are simply incredible people whose love of the written word and stories makes them generous with encouragement, advice and support. I am so thankful for the ones who have embraced me and made me part of them.
The best writers don’t compete with one another; they cheer one another on in the daily grind, console each other on the rough days and celebrate together when one reaches the ultimate goal.
My family and friends have encouraged me in this process in ways I never expected. Those who have known me the longest have seen my dream for many years. They’ve also seen my previous attempts to work toward achieving it. But, I think they also see how different this time is. They know I had to overcome some things—battle some giants and a balrog or two—and learn some lessons before I was ready to take up the task I believe I was created to do …
… write stories that will transcend time, transport the readers and transform both writer and readers.
When I launched this site a year ago, that was me planting my flag, declaring my allegiance and vowing to protect and defend what it stood for—no turning back, one step at a time toward success.
While I have many failures in this past year that I have learned from, I also have some major accomplishments that I’m proud of and thankful for. Not a single one of these would have been possible, though, without all of you. Seriously, your encouragement, your comments, just knowing you’re following along—those push me and keep me going on the many days when all I want to do is give up. Because, friends, this journey isn’t easy. To some, it seems silly. Writing stories, fairy tales, make believe is not important at all, right?
I’m going to have to give that a great big WRONG! You see, the thing is books (stories) are vital to people of all times and places.
It is through stories that we learn who we are, who others are and who we can all be. Books bind us. Inspire us. Rouse us to action.
Because of this I choose to write stories that can be just as powerful and inspirational 50 years from now and 50 decades from now as they can be today. I’m pouring my heart and soul into the foundation for what will be my literary legacy.
My soul overflows with stories; so I frantically write for they are immortal, but I am not.
That is why I write and why I have chosen this path. Sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged when we’re in the midst of the daily grind. When we step out for a moment and look how far we’ve come, we may just be amazed. Reflecting on one year of writing has shown me what we’ve achieved already in the past year:
1. Two books
2. The beginnings of what will become a fantasy series
3. Four short stories, including one that won second place in a contest and will be featured in an anthology (check out the details HERE)
4. Several poems
5. 57 blog posts
6. Countless new friendships
That’s one incredible first year! See what happens when a community of lit lovers comes together?
If you’ve read a few of my posts, chances are pretty high you know I’m a fan of goals and goal-setting. One of the biggest things I’ve learned this past year is that my goals change constantly. If you look back at some of the goals I’ve set in the past 12 months, you’ll see that many of them have changed.
Ashlee’s book has moved to the back burner as her family is thinking through a point of view switch. My plan to launch an online course and accompanying e-book this year has taken a backseat to my fiction writing. Even that has been tossed up a time or two. I thought I would be launching into my fantasy series, but I realized quickly that world-building would take me much longer than I originally thought and I had some things to learn and think through first. That led me to what I thought would be a quick-to-write thriller series until I admitted to myself that’s not me.
Enter literary fiction and Beast.
Now, I’ve written, read and edited the first draft with plans to send it to my amazing critique partners next week. I’m lining up beta readers and doing a zillion other business-y things behind the scenes to prepare for publication while I wait to get it back in a month for my second round of revisions/edits.
Through all of this—and perhaps because of all the changes—I better understand my writing purpose and my ultimate writing goal.
I have a much more clearly defined sense of who I am as a writer and who I want to be as an author.
My husband and I went to a Christian college that was named after a missionary, William Carey. One of his quotes was our school’s motto, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” That’s stuck with me over the years.
I look forward to the upcoming year of this writing journey with high expectations. I believe God’s got some incredible things in store that are going to blow my piddly expectations out of the water. But, I also enter this next stage mindful that I have much more attempting to do.
While I may not be heading around the world to be a missionary like William Carey, I will be sending my words throughout the world where I hope they will continue to circulate long after I’m gone. I desire them to be worthy, true and lasting words—whether they’re fiction or fact, fantasy or reality.
As I attempt big things here on my site this month in celebration of this milestone, let me hear your expectations for me. What would you like to see more of on this site? What types of posts have been your favorite? What’s something I haven’t shared that you’d like me to? What do you hope to see me accomplish in the next year?