Yesterday I finished Finding Papa's Shining Star, the sequel to Where Is Papa's Shining Star? , the novel due to be released in print and as an e-book by The Wild Rose Press sometime next year. It is a first draft--and has a long way to go in revision before it's ready for submission and, hopefully, a contract. However, it's done, and I can take a breath, let it "percolate" for a few days, and move on to other things.
I keep a projects chart/folder in which I record particular projects I'm working on, what I did with them (submission, research queries,etc.), and what resulted from the action (acceptance, rejection, answer received etc.). There are pages and pages of contests and other places for submission, sent to me by friends or received through online newsletters, that I haven't been able to study yet. As a teacher, I was good at multi-tasking. As a writer, it's all or nothing!
So now I can sit back with a highlighter and see what possibilities are out there--hopefully with a $ "reward". The prospect is pleasing. In addition, I have three novels in first-draft which need editing and revising. The prospect is daunting!
In addition, I would like to find a publisher for Four Summer Days, which is, I feel, the best thing I've ever done. I had copies printed on my own (this was in the days before I knew what I know now about submitting with an eye to publication), and the response from those who read it was gratifying. There's got to be a publisher somewhere who will take a chance on it. It has a sequel, too, but it's less than stellar--and I can say that because I wrote it, and I think authors are brutally honest about their own work.
As this year comes in an end amid cold, gray days, I have the satisfaction of knowing that I've learned a great deal and made some progress. I can call myself a writer because that's what I DO--not because my name is a "household word" or I've "made a bundle". Neither of those will happen, and I can honestly say that those are not even at the bottom of my list of goals. The small achievements are, for me, the very best simply because they are mine.
One of the most exciting prospects for the new year is watching and waiting with other writer-friends for the achievement of their goals. You know who you are out there---and I can't wait to share the joy of your successes!