On being Resolved.
Happy first full week of the New Year! I hope all of my friends and readers saw 2014 out with a kiss and a wave (or a good boot to the door, whatever was needed) and that you’ve had a brilliant beginning to 2015. I spent mine with my core family, and am so grateful for every moment. In years past the holidays were frenetic and crazed—I’ve been known to say that I loathe December altogether more than once—but this year was all Flow. It was dinners out with friends, travel, and celebrations mixed in with real life. I had and met deadlines with ease, and there were none of the holiday worries about overeating or missing workouts—it was just Life. It was…weird.
So I’d planned a post today about resolutions—yes, I made some this year, and filling up this space more regularly is one of them—but I’ve decided to save that post for next week. An email arrived on the first of the year and it made me so happy that I can’t get it out of my mind.
I belong to the International Thriller Writers (ITW) organization and they have a monthly newsletter called The Big Thrill. I love to read the interviews therein, and am lucky enough to have been featured before as well, but yesterday’s edition held something special. A feature story on writer Susan Adrian, and her new release, TUNNEL VISION.
TUNNEL VISION is a YA thriller, and you may be thinking, but Vic—you write adult para-mysteries and now a thriller…why do you care? Well, here’s the deal: Susan Adrian and I have been friends for well over a decade, when we were both part of an online community (back before there was a proliferation of online communities) called Books and Writers over at CompuServe. I wish I knew the percentage of published writers who came out of this forum because it was an absolute creative think-tank for so many of us who love writing fiction. Diana Gabaldon was the great draw for most of us; she was a forum section leader, and a mentor by example, and the graciousness and accessibility she exhibits online today has deep roots in a decades-long practice of the same behavior. (I think it’s fair to say that most of us had read OUTLANDER before Sam Heughan was even out of diapers, and that’s not even hyperbole…but I digress.)
Anyhoo. Susan was a fellow forumite. We were contemporaries. And when my first book sold in ’05, she was one of the first to congratulate me, and continued to support me for years. It couldn’t have been easy at all times. As much as we all know that one person’s success does not mean your own failure, there’s always an element of When is it going to be my turn? I understand this. I feel it, too—which is why her support meant so much. Meanwhile, Susan continued to write. She wrote and wrote and wrote. She finished books. She acquired rejections. She acquired an agent. And still she had to wait. (To read about her journey in her own words, go here.)
Friends, this business is hard. What people don’t realize—what I didn’t realize even after I was published—is that you continue to experience rejection and failure at every level. I still do, which is why—like a shark—we gotta keep moving. That’s not easy even when you’re doing well, and it’s damned near-impossible during hard times. Noes are everywhere. Blocking them out and keeping to a singular faith—I want to do this, I can do this, I have the right to do this—is hard, and every writer I know struggles with it.
That’s why I’m so proud of Susan—for indeed sticking it out, for listening to her heart, for ignoring the noes, and doing what she wanted anyway. It humbles me to see it, and it gives me hope—because, hey, I’ve written ten books, but now I’m facing down number eleven and I’ve never done that before. Thinking of Susan, typing to the beat of her stubborn heart in the middle of the night—creating her own yes one word at a time—is so inspiring. So thank you, Susan, for persevering and bringing TUNNEL VISION into the world. I am so happy and excited for you, and I can’t wait to read it.
Everyone else: Read her book. Read it to your kids. Read it and know that being resolved in your own heart really does pay off. Not a bad reminder as we head into this new year.