It's been quite a year...
... but I've just spent the last half hour trying to remember the last twelve months of it. I can vaguely recall January to May, and have some memories of June to September. October to December was almost 100% book-related (with a side of uni work).
We've also been through a very uncertain year in the Wider World, which has sent everyone and everything into a bit of a spin.
That's why it's been so important to find things to hang onto, family, friends, side-hustles and hobbies, and yes - stories. We need that escapism and the light break from our real lives, before we have to charge back into the melee.
But it's not been without its struggles:
- It's been difficult on some fronts as an independently published author to make as much headway as I might have done through traditional publishing. I don't have the contacts, networking or budget that some books get. BUT the indie publishing process is becoming much more accepted in general
- The learning curve has been very steep, figuring out what order to do stuff in, how the distribution channels work and above all, that querulous mistress we call marketing. BUT I made it!
- The self-doubt is all-encompassing. You don't have an agent to fall back on or the reassurance that 'they must have picked me for a reason'. BUT I have amazing writing friends who understand and reassure me, and everyone has been so generous and kind with their support - it truly is the writing community that makes all this possible and I LOVE all of you (no, the gin hasn't been opened yet...)
After all of that, your book is out there in the world, getting lovely reviews from wonderful readers, but there's still the post-publishing droop. I think people mention it, but I've only experienced fully this past month.
You throw yourself into this exciting project, fall in love with it, nurture it, send it out into the world and finally enjoy the enthusiasm of the limelight that comes flying back.
Then the situation fades. It's someone else's turn. The enthusiasm still turns up from the odd review, reader, tweet, marketing push, but it's droplets instead of a downpour.
It's like getting a full request from an agent then hearing crickets. Like getting a whole agent then being told the whole story needs re-writing, or going on submission and not getting a publisher.
So, amid all this uncertainty, the real lesson I've learned this year is this:
You keep going.
You charge onto the next project.
You write your next draft, edit your next WIP and, in my case, publish the next book.
ABOVE ALL you keep your writing friends close, and cherish them because they truly do make this whole process bearable!
Now that my heartfelt reminiscence is swept away and left in 2021, it seems like a good time for a 2022 announcement!
Flapping not withstanding, book two of the Arcanium series will be winging its way to readers sometime in the spring *fanfare, drums, general merriment and celebration*
I'm hoping to have a cover and title reveal in the next month or so, but that's not all!
If you enjoyed The Trouble With Fairies and can't wait until the spring to get back to Arcanium, there might be a little something extra on the way for newsletter subscribers.
I won't say any more just now, but if you haven't subscribed yet and you want to see what's coming, the subscribe button is on the homepage and I promise I'm very minimal with my newslettering - important news only!
All that's left is to thank everyone who has supported my journey and the book so far, and to wish you all a very happy, healthy and fruitful New Year!
(Please also enjoy this image I made of the Arcanium atrium - it's actually not half bad for something I made!)