Sitting here in the evening of the first day of a new year and looking back over 2021, I can only say the year was a mixture of both struggle and success. An intense and amazing combination of ups and downs. Somehow during the 364 days that made up the year 2021, I was kicked from a publication I was passionate about, as well as a writers group that was inspiring me, participated successfully in not one but three amazing publications in a variety of ways, and wrote over two hundred and twenty thousand words across multiple projects.
The juxtaposition of all that happened in 2021 hasn’t been easy to navigate as a writer or a person, but looking back I’m choosing to concentrate on the achievements, rather than the struggles. The low points of this last year taught me I have friends who care and believe in me. The accomplishments taught me the faith of those who trusted in me was justified.
2021 was the first year I celebrated multiple publications in one year. All previous publication years I have had no more than one publication. 2021 was also the year I celebrated my first pro publication with Air and Nothingness Press. What feels truly special to me about each of these publications, though, is the different ways I was able to be a part of them.
Upon A Twice Time by Air and Nothingness Press was my first publication of 2021. For me it was an amazing experience because it was the only book I was a part of in 2021 where I had the chance to just be an author with no other concerns but enjoying the publication process. I loved every moment of it, and found myself carried away in every fairytale mashup the book contained.
Shadows Redefined: A Write of Passion Literary Journal Anthology by Write of Passion Publishing House was my second publication of 2021 and an incredibly unique experience all of its own. I was both the head of the publishing team behind Shadows Redefined and an author in the book. Seeing a book go from idea to reality, and to be personally a part of each stage of that development, was more than an honor and I am proud of Shadows Redefined for more reasons than just our #2 bestseller ranking.
Dragons Within: Embracing Her Fire by Balance of Seven was my third publication of 2021 and the only one in which I wasn’t an author. Somewhere in the midst of 2019, I presented the idea of an anthology to Balance of Seven, and they decided to run with it. 2020 and the ensuing pandemic almost killed the anthology, but the truly fabulous people at Balance of Seven refused to let the book die, and in 2021 it finally began coming to life. During the submissions process a good friend and amazing fellow author became one of those whose work was chosen to be featured in the book, I was asked to write the introduction for the anthology, and I sat back to watch the project take shape. But the realities of COVID and living in a worldwide pandemic meant having to adjust to sudden changes, and in early March I found myself going from avid supporter of the book to developmental editor. It was a shift I hadn’t expected, but an experience I now wouldn’t trade, despite how difficult I found it. Looking at each piece of what was to become Dragons Within: Embracing Her Fire with a critical eye and being the one responsible for making those already amazing stories shine even brighter, I found myself learning as much or more as the authors I had the chance to work with during this editorial process.
And in the end, learning was the true center of what made up 2021.Through struggles I learned who I actually write for and why I write what I write. Through successes I learned how to be stronger as a writer. Each part of 2021 taught me something different in its own way, and as I set foot into 2022 I will take those lessons with me.