To go along with my previous post about trajectory and progress, I thought I’d show you a copy of the timeline I created and keep on my office whiteboard:
It more or less shows all my key writing/publishing career moments. You’ll notice it skips from 2004 to 2010, but that’s because in 2005, 2008 & 2009 I was busy being pregnant and having children. Once it was clear I would be staying home rather than continuing to work in big publishing, I started writing again.
To break it down, in 2004 I had my first few works published. Two poems and one short story to be exact. I was also working in book publishing and not devoting much time to my own writing. Having kids changed that.
In 2010 you’ll see it reads “fanfic.” That’s how I jumped back into writing, and that’s where I got encouragement from the masses to continue. I’ve saved every nice response to my work from that time as a reminder that people out there really did like it. As I’ve mentioned in my post on my writing history, the fanfic was a good way to scrub the rust off my skills.
By 2012, however, I was doing original work. I had my first play produced and tested the self-publishing waters for the first time. In 2013 I won a screenwriting award and was also placing well in screenwriting competitions. (Not shown on the timeline: in 2014, the play that had been produced got picked up to be made into a short film. That film premiered in San Diego last year.)
Which leads us up to 2016, the here and now. Two books picked up for publication by small publishers. Which means I’ve graduated from the self-publishing trenches . . . Though, depending on my experiences, I may yet continue to self-publish some of my work. Brynnde will be self-published when it’s done. Guess that makes me a hybrid author, but I’m okay with that.
This is also the year I’ll first attend a conference as a guest author, which is an exciting step.
This is my path, my trajectory. I’ve had people try to make me feel bad that I don’t have an agent or big publishing house names behind my work, but whenever I look at this timeline I see the progress I’ve made and I’m pleased with it. I’ve come a long way from just a couple of poems.
And on days when I ask myself why I ever thought I wanted children, I also have this reminder that, if not for them, I’d probably have just kept toiling in the publishing house trenches myself. And I’m so much happier now than I ever was then.
So. What does this mean for you? I encourage anyone feeling frustrated, stuck, or like a failure to go make a similar timeline. A visual representation of your progress. I made mine online here, but I’m sure there are any number of options, or you can even just draw one freehand. Whatever works for you!