One year on
A year ago on 2nd Feb, I received an email from Angela James of Carina Press which began "I'm sorry I'm unable..." As soon as I scanned those first few words I screwed up my eyes and tried to stop reading. A couple of months ago I'd submitted a contemporary romance to Carina Press, and I was so sure this was another rejection. But then as I skimmed through the rest of the email, I began to read strange phrases like "offer to publish" and "deal sheet", and it dawned on me that it wasn't a rejection but an acceptance!
In the year since I received that wonderful email, I've learned a lot about writing and about publishing. The thing that strikes me the most is that there's not such a big difference between being published and unpublished as I used to think. Before I was published I used to think writers were basically in two separate camps - one for published, one for unpublished. Now I realise that everyone has their own ladder to climb and getting your first book published is just another step along the learning curve. One year on, I'm still suffering from self-doubt, wondering if my writing sucks. I'm still getting rejections, and they hurt just as bad. And I'm still getting to grips with marketing, promotion, and social media. But most importantly my writing has also improved, and not least because of my editor's efforts. Here's hoping my improvements bear fruit this year!