Take Time Out to Celebrate 2015

In a writers’ group I belong to, we were all asked to share our biggest brags from 2015. If you’re friends with many writers or authors, you might know that for the most part, writers are an insecure, self-deprecating and timid bunch. Bragging doesn’t come naturally to most writers I know, myself included. And I have many days when I feel like nothing I do or write is good enough. But one thing I’ve learned this year is that it’s OK to feel good about your successes, both big and small. Every day you put words to paper (or screen) is a good day and a big accomplishment … and if you’re not excited about that, no one else will be. Also, writing is a solitary craft … and if you don’t share your experiences and highs, no one else will know about them. So I guess one thing I’ve learned in 2015 is how to brag. And I think that’s a good thing.

When 2015 began, the best word to describe my place in the publishing world was clueless. At every step in the process, I felt like a baby deer, wobbling in my attempts to stand on shaky, newborn legs. Sharing my book on social media, announcing my status as a published author – even to friends and family – was terrifying. Watching my book launch out into the world, knowing people were reading it, that they’d soon be reviewing it on Amazon and Goodreads (in essence, judging me) was mortifying. And I’ll be honest, that part doesn’t get easier with time. At least, it hasn’t for me.

But I got through it. I got my first one- and two-star reviews, and it didn’t kill me (although it did sting for a minute). It helps that for the most part, readers of my books have been very kind (thank you, thank you, thank you to anyone who realizes, when leaving reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, that authors are people too). And I also got to experience some really big highs in 2015, super exciting moments like my first book signing…

The Booksellers at Laurelwood

Book signing for 30 First Dates at The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis

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To my TV morning show debut…

Live at 9, News Channel 3

“Live at 9” on News Channel 3 in Memphis. The very best thing about this photo is that it was taken by a co-worker of mine who, at the time, was leading a tour group of Asian hoteliers. He was shocked to spot me on-screen in a hotel lobby, and when he told the group he knew me, they all started taking pictures of the TV screen, too.

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To waking up to bestseller rankings on Amazon like this…

Amazon bestseller ranking, 30 First Dates

I still really can’t believe this.

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Amazon bestseller list, 30 First Dates

I shared a screen with Nick Hornby! And The Rosie Project!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I also got to meet and hang out with a fantastic bunch of writers at the RWA 2015 national conference in New York…

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2015 RWA Conference

I might look composed, but really I’m all shriek-y and squeal-y and fangirl-y inside. These authors are the bomb!

 

 

 

 

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And I can’t leave out the fact that in 2015, these books and stories launched into the world…

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Unlucky in Love Series by Stacey Wiedower

30 First Dates, published January 12; Now a Major Motion Picture, June 11; Killer Beach Reads, July 1; Santa’s Little Mistake, November 13, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As you move into a new year with a fresh, clean slate, think about more than goals and resolutions. Take a few minutes to think back on 2015 and remember the good parts, the best parts. This year has been a unique one for me, I’ll admit. It’s had its ups and downs, and that timid, insecure, writerly part of me tends to focus more often than not on the downs rather than the ups. So I’m happy that my writers’ group made me do this exercise in optimism … because for all the dips in the roller coaster ride, this has been a GREAT year. I wish the same in 2016 for anybody reading this. Happy New Year, and make it a great one!


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