By Fae Rowen
I’m pretty certain 2020 didn’t turn out like you thought it would. I usually pick one word as a focus for the new year, but 2021 is going to require THREE -- Hope, Edit and Love.
I’ve always known that without hope there would be little reason to fight life’s challenges. Hope gives us the fortitude to last just a bit longer when hanging on in the face of miserable conditions. Hope that tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, the worst will be behind us and we’ll again be happier.
My 2020 Experience
I was on track to update my first release, P.R.I.S.M. Book One, by the end of September in anticipation of releasing its sequel, PRISM 2: Rebellion, before Halloween. By Thanksgiving, I’d planned to release Keeping Athena. All of these had been edited at least four times already. My only job was to go through the text, approving the final copy edits.
None of those releases happened, but a lot of other things did—to my friends and to me. As the days passed, I lost hope about meeting my self-appointed deadlines. When each one slipped by, I felt like a failure because I couldn’t work on the required edits. My head just wasn’t in the game. I struggled to maintain my exercise routine because I knew that after my injury, my physical health was important for success in all endeavors. Even though I couldn’t walk as far, I walked three days a week. I completed my Zoom workouts with my trainer, though my slower speed often allowed only 2 sets instead of my usual three in the hour.
Though they weren’t as good as before, my physical workouts gave me hope that one day I would fight my way back to where I used to be. I’ve parlayed that hope into beginning work on the final edits for those two new books. There’s an outside chance that one (or with a miracle, both) will be up on Amazon before the end of the year.
Imagine you’ve got two books totaling nine hundred pages of edits, and you’ve just finished an edit of another over four-hundred-page book. That fourth book that I hope to publish in April? It’s finished, just requires a couple more rounds of, you guessed it, edits. Makes you want to run right into your computer and plow through pages, right?
Luckily, my wonderful developmental editor, Tiffany Yates Martin, published a book titled Intuitive Editing. You can listen to a podcast with her here. Her book came out at just the right time to help me regain hope as I began what seemed like an eternal slog through over a thousand pages to edit. I’ve learned so much from working with Tiffany, but her book reminded me of points I haven’t yet mastered and encouraged me to stay in the game.
While in the middle of the edits I took a week-long virtual intensive class with a view toward the next book that I hope to publish in the late spring of 2021. Learning new information that could be immediately applied brought new meaning to hope and edit. The eight-hour-a-day virtual classes brought the love of writing back.
For why do we go through all we do to write our stories, if not for love? Love of writing. Love of story-telling. No matter what genre you write, you won’t write for long if you don’t love “the work.” It takes thousands of hours to learn to craft a saleable book, thousands more for a best-seller. That’s a lot of time after a day job and life’s requirements. Time that could have been spent (before Covid) with friends and family or recreation or a number of other enjoyable pursuits.
So there you have it. Hope. Edit. Love. Three four-letter words passed on to me for 2021 through the literal, and not so literal, fires of 2020. Perhaps they can help you re-focus your energy for the new year.
What word (or words) will help you thrive in 2021? Let's talk about them down in the comments!
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Fae Rowen discovered the romance genre after years as a sci fi freak. Writing futuristics and medieval paranormals, she jokes that she can live anywhere but the present.
Punished, oh-no, that’s published as a co-author of a math textbook, she yearns to hear personal stories about finding love from those who read her books, rather than horrors of arithmetic lessons gone wrong.
A “hard” scientist who avoided writing classes like the plague, she now enjoys sharing her brain with characters who demand that their stories be told. Amazing, gifted critique partners keep her on the straight and narrow.
PRISM 2: Rebellion
She’s the best pilot on her prison world. He’s heir to Earth’s largest conglomerate. What could they possibly have in common? The engagement ring he gave her before he returned to Earth.
O’Neill isn’t sure if the Earther will return to her. She’s been a little busy defending herself against the First Law of Prism.
On Earth, Jericho Montgomery finds that Gatfield Montgomery, the man he’d thought was his father, has signed an engagement contract for Jericho to marry. He defies Gatfield and returns to Prism—to the only woman he’s ever loved.
If you like fiercely independent characters willing to fight for what they believe in, a world with a unique society, and surprises, you’ll love Fae Rowen’s latest science fiction romance.