To quote one of the great philosophers of our time, Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Ten years ago, I was feeling a bit discouraged. I’d been submitting work to publishers for a few years and had amassed a thick folder of rejection letters. There were a few personal notes in there, too — a few “Not for us but keep writing!”-type comments, a few “Revise and resubmit?” requests.
I felt like I was close, but also that I could stay close for the term of my natural life, that there was no guarantee a door would open for me, ever. I had begun wondering how much longer I could justify putting time into this writing thing for nil return. I was working long hours in academia; I had a young child. I was stealing time from all over the place in order to indulge this … whatever this was.
I knew I’d never stop writing, never stop jotting down small fragments here and there. But maybe I should stop trying to shape them into stories; maybe I should stick with poetry, which was where I’d started, after all.
Two months later, I signed a contract with Walker Books Australia to publish my first novel, Annabel, Again.
This week, almost exactly 10 years later, these things happened:
- A Single Stone was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards
- A school won a “date” with me
- I saw early sketches for a picture book I have due out in 2017 with Publisher #1
- Publisher #2 asked to meet and discuss picture book submission
- I finalised details for an anthology piece with Publisher #3
- Ten Tiny Things was optioned for an animated series
- I signed a contract for a new junior fiction novel with Publisher #1
This is a week I could never have imagined 10 years ago. Life moves pretty fast. So I’m taking a moment to stop and look around, to be thankful for all of this. I’m not good at celebrating things, but these are moments I don’t want to miss.