Wow, when I think about my life a year ago and I look at where I am now, sometimes it's pretty hard to believe. A year ago I wasn't recovering from a very bad case of the flu (as I am now) but I was battling illness after illness in my precious, premature baby's life. In between going to five different specialists for him and staying up most of the night just listening to make sure he was still breathing, I was trying to sell a novel, trying to land an agent, trying to make the writing career for myself that I'd always wanted. Not to mention trying to take care of my oldest two children and not let my day job of English professor suffer. I was more exhausted than I'd ever been in my life.
So exhausted, in fact, that when I got the call that my very first novel-- A Christmas Wedding-- had sold, I did something completely out of character. I broke down on the phone with my brand-new editor and started to cry. She was perfectly charming about the whole thing and I hung up the phone with a huge smile on my face. I had sold a book!
And as of that moment, I expected everything to change right away. What I found out was that absolutely everything and absolutely nothing had. Yes, I was a "published" author now, but I was still a newbie with a lot to learn. And I ended up learning a lot of it the hard way. I lost a line and an editor within three months of each other, went to my first conference as a published writer and learned just how incredibly ignorant I was about the world of publishing.
So, this year-- on top of everything else-- has been an incredible teacher. I've met amazing people, made a number of friends-- and lost some I'd expected to keep, learned more than I can say about this business of writing books, got the agent of my dreams, and-- most importantly-- have watched my baby grow into a healthy, happy toddler who rarely so much as sneezes.
And today, as I think back to where I was a year ago, I realize I wouldn't trade a thing. Not the steep learning curve or the closed line, not the sleepless nights or the days when I could barely keep my eyes open as I walked into my classroom to teach. Because everything that happened in this past year has brought me to where I am now. A place where my children are healthy, my friendships are solid, and God willing, my career is on the rise.
So, tell me, how is your life different today than it was a year or two ago? What have you learned?