This is where I hand you a list of what I did with the year and my scribbled, hopeful notes about the next one.
But first I have to be honest about this one.
2014 for me was the year of waiting.
Sitting alone with my manuscript at the end of 2013 I’d wished and something impossible happened. I ran after the hope as it dashed through my life, hands out, weaving incredible stories I couldn’t believe yet. Hope told me to wait for just one moment, so I ran back to grab my coat, rushed out to the garden, where I sat, on my suitcase, staring at the sky, waiting for the groan of brakes from that magic blue box.
It didn’t come for me this year.
Oh, but how I waited. I waited and waited as I listened out for the chime of my phone, waiting for something new to be slipped into my inbox. Something new to stir and bump into the old things and wake them. See if maybe I got it right this time.
I didn’t. So I spent the year waiting.
It’s a balance. Opening up about the process of querying literary agents, but maintaing the professional quiet. It’s a balance to put yourself out there, your name and your manuscript, and then to simply wait.
To realize you’re not ready yet. To get back notes that rock your world and step back from the arena.
I did that, too.
I didn’t get my agent this year. But I did get something else. I found other writers. And they were my blue box this year.
They’ve read and reread. They’ve listened and somehow, even after every stop and fall, they’ve believed. Always slipping me songs or shouting from the arena, never once letting me forget the orange grove I took them to.
And my captain who has been beside me since the beginning, sitting on this suitcase in the garden, holding my coat for me when I get tired of watching the sky. Telling me stories when I forget.
But you need new fire to keep going. To keep the girl who got the guts to send that first email, enter that first contest. That girl was riding the high of creation. She’d built a ship with words and heartbreak and made up people and was watching the sea beyond the garden. She was made of stardust and ran on impossible ideas.
She was my forward momentum. Always had been, always would be.
So, I stepped back. Moved my thumb away from Twitter and made a new playlist. Built a new ship.
And in October I finished another manuscript.
And then a window opened somewhere behind me, in a crumbling house out in a swamp and a gust of something new blew through. Rifling through pages of the old story. I went back to it, slid my finger over the words and old thoughts bumped into new ones and everyone woke up.
And here I am revising that story again. Because I’m tireless. Because that window opened unexpectedly. Because now others are waiting. I’ve got a new story and whispers of others pulling at my hair asking me to put fingers to keyboard and come explore. I’m spilling over with stardust and impossibility.
And yes, I’m waiting. And I’ll spend 2015 waiting at new turns in the road.
But I’m also writing. And believing.
And hoping with my coat close at hand.