I’m completely exhausted, but at the same time, I’m filled with a renewed drive to strive toward sharing my stories with the world.
The last month has been conference season for me. 🙂 I spent a weekend with a lot of my friends from the Washington DC Chapter of Romance Writers of America, made new friends and won a beautiful award for volunteering for my chapter.
The next weekend, I loaded up in my Swaggerwagon (okay it’s a mini-van) with one of my besties, Harper Kincaid, and made the ten hour drive to Atalanta for RT Book Lover’s Convention, the year’s biggest conference for Romance Readers, Librarians, Bloggers, Booksellers and Authors: basically anyone who loves romance novels. While there, it was non-stop workshops, meeting readers, participating in reader events and hanging out with some of the best authors of Historical Romance in the industry.
A week later we were climbing back in the vehicle for what turned out to be an eleven and a half hour drive home, where Harper indulged my road trip craving for Pringles and a Diet Coke, then put up with me as I got over my fear of singing in front of others and blasted her with country music along with the increasing volume of my voice the closer we got to home.
The next Saturday, I was leading the WRWDC monthly meeting, but before heading out the door, I opened an email from my editor. I couldn’t look at all of it right away, I saw that it called for more revisions than I wanted to make and the most dreaded word of all – synopsis – for Book Four in the Highland Pride Series. Pushing that from my mind, I went to the meeting, hung out with some writing friends for a bit and then came home. Deciding to ignore everything else after weeks of exhaustion, I enjoyed dinner with my family.
Hours later, after finally deciding to open my inbox again, I saw a new message, one I wasn’t expecting. It was from a coordinator of the Holt Medallion Contest. Highland Deception had finaled in the Historical and Best First Book Categories. I showed it to my husband, my eyes immediately watering, telling him, I needed some good news.
Monday rolled back around and I was out walking with friends. I let one of them know how stressed I was and how I just didn’t have enough time to get everything done. She had me visualize locking my computer in a drawer and giving her the key and it helped. She gave me the pretend key back after the walk. 😉 Upon entering the house, I saw I had a message on the new cell phone my husband had just gotten me for Mother’s Day and I didn’t take with me because I didn’t have a cover yet. It was from a coordinator for the National Readers’ Choice Awards and I had finaled in that contest as well.
Even if I don’t win, it’s uplifting despite the feeling that I could still sleep for two weeks straight. I feel like I have new motivation and more to strive for. It gives me hope that I’m doing a good job, despite my panic after reading a letter from my editor, who is brilliant by the way. 🙂 I think all writers have that moment (or a lot of them) when you have to listen and then take a step back and see the merit in what others see, sometimes that’s just tough when your exhausted, but looking again today, I feel better about the changes I need to make.
I have also heard that the cover and blurb for Highland Deception won First Place in the Readers portion of the Strut Your Stuff Contest. And it even came with this really cute web badge. 🙂
Another goal I’m striving for is to keep the joy in writing. I love this and I want to always remember it and keep that feeling when I know my story is developing into something beautiful.
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