When an urban area becomes old and run down, nobody wants to go there. Residents and businesses leave, and shadier characters begin to move in. Buildings fall into disrepair from neglect. Kind of like my writing career.
But if some enterprising souls come along and begin to work on the area again -- slowly, one project at a time -- it breathes new life into the community. As more improvements are made, more people return to the area and soon it's a vibrant destination rather than something to be avoided.
The process is called revitalization and it has some lessons that I've been able to apply to myself. How is this happening for me?
I had two stories published this year: one in the Dark Captive: Manlove Edition anthology, and another Romance On The Go title, Losing It In the Closet. Considering my last published work was 2 years ago, I was thrilled to have gotten those titles out. I've been writing more this year and it makes me so happy to be able to do that. I just have to work on time management so I can find more time to devote to something I love so much.
Both of those books were recently nominated for the Evernight Readers' Choice Awards, to my surprise and delight. It appeared that there were people coming to visit my writing after all.
A good friend, Kacey Hammell, invited me to blog with her and an amazing group of Canadian authors over at Romance Eh? Canadian Style. I gladly accepted the invitation as one more step in my revitalization process but realized that my own blog had suffered from neglect.
Yesterday I spent several hours developing new branding; I designed a new logo and updated the design of my blog and other social media. I cleaned up some of the content here and fixed broken links as well as adding my latest releases. I'm pleased with the results and the new look made me feel a lot better.
Then this morning I discovered that Losing It In the Closet had won the award for Best Romance On The Go!
Things are looking up for sure. But revitalization isn't a solitary process. This wouldn't have been possible without the love and support of some amazing people along the way: my family, who have been learning to survive on cereal and take-out while I get stuff done; the amazing staff at Evernight Publishing who have been with me through the publishing process; writing friends that I had the pleasure of meeting this fall at an Evernight retreat; Kacey and the ladies at Romance Eh?
And of course, my readers. Without you there would be no purpose to what I do. Thank you for being with me along this journey.