A lot of water goes under a bridge in a year.
Twelve months ago today I flew home from the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ Colorado Gold Conference with a hopeful heart and a dream. I had pitched my mystery novel, Shinobi, to an editor and an agent – both of whom requested the full manuscript.
After seven years, five manuscripts, and enough rejections to bring down a mammoth (though none, so far, on SHINOBI), I knew better than to get my hopes up.
But they were up anyway.
Ignoring statistics, I let myself dream. This might be the one that turned the lifelong fantasy into reality. This might be the novel that made me a published author.
Two months later, I had an agent. Five months later, I had a three-book deal. Between then and now, I’ve had plenty of things to celebrate – completing my edits, receiving my first great blurbs, and most recently receiving RMFW’s pen award – granted to members of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers who make their first sale in a given year.
That’s a lot of water under the bridge in 365 days.
One message I heard repeated over and over at Colorado Gold, which resonates with me as powerfully now as it did before I had an agent and a publishing deal: a writer must keep writing. Dreamers of any nature must keep pursuing the dream – and pursuing it actively, pushing toward the goal no matter how difficult or far away it seems.
Perhaps you’re a writer struggling to finish a manuscript. Perhaps you always wanted to write a novel or fly a plane or learn a language – or maybe your dream is something else altogether. It doesn’t matter. Keep moving toward it. Don’t ever give up.
But as you move through the process, keep your eye on the water going under the bridge. Enjoy the moments. Celebrate tiny milestones as well as large ones. The water moves quickly under the bridge. Take time to watch it flow.
A life can change dramatically in a year. You never know which year it will be yours, but the process itself becomes a delight when you take the time to watch the water pass beneath the bridge.