Did you know that gratitude and worry are incompatible? Apparently the act of focussing on what we have and the pleasure it brings actually diminishes anxiety and increases feelings of satisfaction. For this reason, when I find myself fixating on the "what ifs" of the future, I try to think about what I'm grateful for. So, in the spirit of gratitude here are my favourite literary moments of 2013.
1. Self-publishing Unbound (All Good Things #1): I didn't set out to self-publish Unbound in 2013. In fact, I had begun to send out queries again to select agents when a friend suggested I look into self-publishing. I did and I haven't looked back. I'm so grateful for what I've learned in the last few months. There is a whole world of bloggers, bibliophiles, and authors out there that I may never have known about had I stayed in query mode. On that note, I'm also very grateful to my friend and editor, Sonia, who still has no idea what she volunteered for (voluntold?) and how much it meant to me.
2. Discovering Rainbow Rowell: Eleanor and Park and Fangirl shot straight to the top of my list of favourites for 2013. In addition to her rich characters and great dialogue, what I love about Rowell is that she is unique. Rowell writes across boundaries and categories and does not seem exclusive to any one of them. Fangirl was about a girl in college, but nobody seemed to be arguing about whether this was YA or NA. And although Eleanor and Park is considered contemporary, it had such a different feel than the other YA contemporaries on the market. Rowell has reminded me that I must only strive to be best version of myself.
3. The Raven Boys: This book did something to me. I won't bore you again with my love of Stiefvater's evocative writing. Just read this.
4. This review and this one and this one: I'm a new author and the self-doubt that came along with sending Unbound out into the world has been crippling on occasion. Although I am certain I have a lot to learn and there is much room to grow, these reviews gave me a few moments of peace and satisfaction. Not to worry, the self-doubt came back quickly. I'm told this is normal for writers. Oh goodie.
5. This guest blog: I had such a great time writing my first guest post. It also forced me to learn how to use (and pronounce) gifs (sort of). Look Ma! I'm just like the cool kids (sort of).
5. Unknown (All Good Things #2): I'm grateful to be writing again and feeling motivated by the story I want to tell. It's so important for me to remember how rewarding the writing process can be, without all of the editing and revising and marketing that comes later. Those things can be rewarding too, but in a different way. For now, I'm just thankful that a part of me believes this is only the beginning.