I released my first published book this year, which is a HUGE accomplishment in it of itself, but the way it was received was amazing (see, all my gushing posts below ;)
I also completed the second and third books in the trilogy as well as starting on some new projects. Once I acknowledged in myself how important writing was and not to fear the label of "author", I felt free in my craft. For years I was quiet about writing. I may have mentioned it to a person or two, but it was basically a private thing I did. With the release of Four Corners, I had to be vocal about it. I had to push myself out of my comfort zone and let people into my passion. It can be a scary experience! When you share something with someone, it opens them up to like it or not. It's hard not taking it personally when people don't like something you've created. The feedback I have gotten so far has been so positive, but I still doubt myself. I still wonder if I am any good, but I have to make peace with that. With the knowledge that I am my toughest critic and to put myself out there anyway.
I struggled with editing Two Worlds and reaching the point where I thought it was ready for my publisher, but I just had to take a deep breath and do it. The same with One Earth. I just sat down and decided that I wasn't going to let fear keep me from trying. To keep me from putting words to paper (whether literal or electronic). It's not all perfect, but it's there. It exists and that I can work with.
I also started giving talks to writing groups about firearms and talked so some school classes about writing. While certainly not someone who struggles with public speaking per se, it was still a scary thing to put myself out there in another form.
My New Years resolution for 2016 is to keep doing that. To keep putting myself out there, both in person and in my work, and I encourage you to do the same. Is it scary? Yes! Yes of course it is! But those butterflies let us know that we are on the path of growth. That we are stretching from what we thought we could do and pushing the limits toward what we never thought we could. Keep pushing. Surround yourself with people who may pull you from time to time. Who will jump in first and let you know the water is fine. Do the same for someone else. If you see someone behind you going through a similar thing you just got through, tell them. Let them know it may not have been easy, but you did it, and they will too, and you will cheer them on when you do.
I had a lot of people cheering me. Those whose believe in me helped raise me up. I hope to be in a position to do that for someone this year. Are you thinking about writing? Are you wondering where to start? Let me know, I'd love to be on your team.
May 2016 bring you immeasurable joy, just don't be afraid to run out and chase it.