Saturday, December 31, 2011

End of Year Observance from one Writer to Another

It’s time to reflect. The end of the year is a good time to do that; one’s birthday is even better. Nevertheless, I do a lot of introspection these days. My horoscope said 2011 would be a superb year in which I would have much success in many areas including, publishing, the arts (meaning to me – writing), journalism, job opportunities, increased wealth, love, etc., etc. In fact, I have had some success in those areas but not what I expected when I published my novel earlier this year.

Even though I may have accomplished some of my goals, I feel I've been less than successful in others.  But this is intended as a message of inspiration -- not of disappointment!

You see, one must look at things from a positive perspective. (My son Stephen says, you get more of what you focus on). So, let me recite instead the good things that have happened in my life recently.

I’ve expanded my writing community through the publication of my novel.

I’m averaging 20 or so hits a day on my blog. Not a lot, but growing.

Sales from my book got off to a pretty slow start earlier in the year, but are now picking up.

I was selected (without promoting myself) to become a featured novelist by 5-STAR books and their new website.

I’ve had a few good reviews that I didn’t have to pay for.

I have friends who are there when I need them and are very supportive.

I live in a nice house, and am not picking through trash cans to stay alive.

I’m robust and healthy and full of the “ol’ Nick,” as my husband likes to say.
I have a good man who helps me through the dark times.

My writing has been described as compelling, lucid, graceful, limpid, and thoughtful.

This is certainly progress and yet I want more. 

You see, I’ve been writing since I was twelve, seriously writing. I started when I received a five year diary and believed I would not live to finish it at seventeen. The diary turned into journals, essays, short stories, novels, plays and now blogs. 

I make myself remember the history behind Karl Marlantes’ novel, “Matterhorn, a novel of the Vietnam War.” I love his story because it reflects the victory of the human spirit over rejection upon rejection. Here is a veteran who came home from war in the early seventies, began writing a novel at that time, tried to get published, was rejected, tried again, put it in the drawer, dragged it out a year or so later, submitted again, and was still rejected. His novel was finally published by Atlantic Press in 2010. That’s something like 35 years, folks.

I decided not to wait that long and have gone the "Indie" route. But I believe in the tireless perseverance of people like Marlantes who have the faith in themselves and in their talent to keep at it -- those of you who are still trying to go through the agent-publisher-rejection routine.  I wish you nothing but  success and a good financial advisor.

As for me, I'm a hard woman to keep down.  I will never stop writing for long, and I, like many of you, have an agenda of projects that are as long as my arm.  In fact, just writing about it here and now, inspires me to sit down tomorrow and begin my next novel.  I have a spunky protagonist who wants to be heard and the conflict is as weird and whacky as I am and maybe a little complicated, too.  I like that.

For better or worse, we are writers who don't just talk about it.  We follow the voices wherever they may take us and we learn from them -- the sometimes weird, quirky characters that rise up out of our imaginations and clarify who we are. These people make sense out of a sometimes non-sensical existence.  They keep me sane even if they are in-sane.  I love them and I miss them and I can't live without them.

Because of that, I can never stop writing and neither can you.  That is the one thing we can never do. That would be anathema to everything we are.
So, here's wishing us all a very happy and busy new year, filled with writing, learning, good conversations with interesting people at the coffee shop or in our minds and in keeping our focus and our faith.   

Ciao for now, Sue McGhee


  1. May all your dreams come true, Miss Sue.

    Happy New Year.

  2. And happy new year to you, Ray. I always love hearing from you.

    Thank you for your recent piece on The Journal Pulp re: The Truckdriver. As always, I'm impressed with the quality of your writing. Be well.