What does it mean to have a "writing career"?
Six years into my journey as a "published YA author," I have accomplished the following:
- Published a "quiet" debut novel, AUDITION, 2011.
- Worked myself to the bone blog-touring, live-touring and otherwise promoting AUDITION.
- Paid my own way to several book events in support of AUDITION.
- Wrote another novel that was passed on by my editor so it is currently filed away.
- Contributed a short story to the DEAR TEEN ME anthology edited by Miranda Kenneally and E. Kristin Anderson, and a short entry to THE GIRL GUIDE by Christine Fonseca.
- Published a more successful (Junior Library Guild selection; made a few award short-lists; PW star, strong reviews) sophomore title, THE SOUND OF LETTING GO, in 2014.
- Did next to nothing (not even a launch party) to promote THE SOUND OF LETTING GO but the reviews have driven slightly better sales.
- Found out my first novel was being remaindered.
- Wrote a fourth novel that was passed on by my editor but I didn't want to file it away--I thought there was something to it--so I wrestled, moaned, moped, tore apart and rewrote it. After a few rejections, realized it needed revision, so that's in progress and I'm writing another story as well.
- Attend (and enjoy) SCBWI meetings and events.
- Collaborate with my local librarian on an on-going monthly writing program in my community which continues to be well-attended.
- Swapped participation in a formal critique group for monthly meetings with several writer-friends for support and feedback.
- Mentor at the online First Five Pages writing workshop.
- Work harder to reach out to other writers (at all stages) I like and admire--for coffee, write-ins, general commiseration.
- Beta-read for a number of fellow-authors; read a lot of YA and fiction more broadly.
- Continue my successful freelance writing and consulting business for which I read about 400-800 pages of other peoples' writing per month.
- Have made some amazing writer friends, several online, and quite a few whom I have ACTUALLY VISITED (in the flesh) in California, Utah, New York, & Massachusetts.
- Attended a writing class at a local college; currently attend a (fantastic) writing class at Hugo House in Seattle.