“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – Les Brown
Today is my birthday. I realize blogging about it might at first glance seem a little narcissistic but I do have a point to make connected to my writing. So I am asking you to indulge me.
A year ago, we were getting ready to launch the e-book version of MacCullough’s Women. The plan was to go with the e-book in August and follow in October with the paperback.
I was a wreck. As I poured over the final edits alone in my office night after night, I definitely heard voices – all negative. I wondered if my dream of being a writer was a foolish pipedream. I was terrified nobody would like the book.Was I kidding myself by thinking it was a good story? At one point, no doubt tired of listening to me, my husband said, “Then don’t do it.” I will always love him for being generous enough to make that offer after all the work we both had done in order to publish the book.
I found that I couldn’t abandon the book. You may not understand this if you are not a writer, but it was not about me, it was about them – Brid, Franny, Neil, Drew, and the others. I felt they deserved a chance. So we pressed on with the plan.
Last Friday, I was invited to join the Wilson Training Language Book Club at their monthly meeting. It was the third time I met with a group of readers who had read MacCullough’s Women. I have had a wonderful time chatting with each of these groups. I can’t tell you how thrilling it is as a writer to listen to what my readers have thought about my book. The ladies I met with at Wilson understood the characters and they also understood the theme that I hope will be present in all my books: the amazing willingness of seemingly very different women to help one another. And they told me that they really enjoyed the book.
In looking back on this year, I am thrilled with the success of MacCullough’s Women. I am happy to have found that it has touched women of different ages and life experiences because that was my intention when I wrote it.
Publishing and promoting MacCullough’s Women taught me a lot of things that I didn’t know about myself. I hope that I am a better person because of that. I am grateful for the support of so many people: family, friends, friends of friends, women in my neighborhood, women I went to high school with and many others. This was hard for me and their support is what has gotten me through this exciting and challenging year.
There are years and there are years. This was a good one. I received a note this morning from someone who is very dear to me, whose friendship I will always view as a precious and unexpected gift. This is what she said:
Today I am reflecting on what a magical year it has been for you. It’s quite impressive to see you realize some of your significant dreams – and expand on them! I know the next year will be even better. May you have continued good health, happiness, laughter and love!
I do consider this to have been a magical year. Notice that I didn’t tell you which birthday I am celebrating. I considered it. If you have been reading this blog, I have given you enough clues to figure it out. I decided that in the end, how old I am doesn’t really matter. I am old enough to know that some years are NOT magical which allows me to savor this with one. My goal for this upcoming year is to continue to improve my writing and to finish Francesca’s Foundlings, the second book in the Lynton Series.
I am also old enough to look back and realize that I have been given many gifts and blessings in my life. On my birthday, I always think of the one that in the end probably for me made the difference. I had two wonderful parents. They were the best.
Thanks, Mom and Dad for everything.
Kathleen, this is beautiful!