I don't make resolutions just because the calendar says I now have 365 days to get it right. Something about the entire concept of waiting until January 1 has always made me cynical rather than optimistic; I guess I'm a "year is half-empty" rather than a "year is half-full" kind of gal.
In the past few weeks, though, I've been feeling a tug to set aside 2008 as the year that I re-establish my once blossoming writing career. Because I shrink from the notion of New Year's Resolutions, I am calling this a goal. And yes, I am hung up on semantics, thankyouverymuch.
'Twas a time, dear reader, when this homeschooling momma embraced not only the creative portion of being a writer, but the business end as well. I set aside time weekly to query and submit, and I even attended conferences so that I could hobnob with those who might just help me up the food chain of the publishing world. I had a few moderate successes in this area--things long since forgotten in an industry that moves at the speed of email. The most enduring piece from this era of my life is an essay that was published in an anthology entitled Lessons from Our Children approximately 8 years ago. I call this episode "enduring" because Jo treasures our sole remaining copy of the book primarily because it has her name in it.
Since then, I have published perhaps two dozen of nonfiction articles in rather small markets, two short stories and a couple of essays. Nothing that will set the world on fire, I assure you. Nothing, even, that gets me on Amazon.com.
Usually, I am o.k. with this. I wake up in the morning, I look in the mirror and I wonder what I will make for breakfast, what chapter we'll be reading in our current read-aloud and whether or not I need to go to the library to pick up our holds. In other words, I am wearing my homeschooling mother hat, and it fits just fine.
Other mornings, I roll out of bed and wonder how my characters would handle the day I have planned ahead of me. I think their thoughts, listen to their voices and put them through the paces of a real life to see exactly how their skin fits. This is my writer hat. Oddly enough, it seems to fit right on top of that homeschooling mother hat--even though, for years, I was certain that the two were mutually exclusive.
Now that I've figured out that I can be both a mother and a writer, I have been slowly working towards blending the two elements that are ME into a recipe everyone under my roof can live by. I've managed the daily writing time with few exceptions for quite some time. Now, it's time to move forward. What's the use in writing all this stuff if I am only making occasional free-throws in an attempt to get it published? Talking with friend E. (also a writer) has given me new hope; I can do this. I can do this.
I hereby decree 2008 as the year MG makes an effort to re-enter the world of publishing. Hold me to it, guys.