So here it is: What I wish I had known last January, heading into what would be one of the more tumultuous years of my life.
I wish I had known to ask for help sooner.
Whether it was help promoting FREE VERSE, which released in March, or help figuring out my own complicated life, I needed help. We all need help, and asking is a skill not often taught. If I have learned something this year, it's how to notice I'm in over my head and how to ask for help getting back out. Thank goodness there are good, kind people in the world -- agents, editors, teachers, readers, coworkers -- who are there to help if you let them.
I wish I had known to take my FREE VERSE release day off work. I love work and I love the people there. But it's difficult to do your job when you can't stop mooning over the fact that your favorite little character just wandered out into the world! Celebration matters! Book release day is not just another day!
I wish I had been better about sticking to my writing routine. Routine matters, especially when things are off-kilter. This year, I've let my writing slip away into the hours of figuring things out, arranging new apartments, traveling from town to town. I've forgotten my writing time is sacred, and it's time to renew that piece of my life.
Most of all, I wish I had known I would get through it. That's my advice to myself and everyone else who needs it: You will get through it. Ask for help, take time for yourself, stick to what matters, and you will get through.
Let's charge into the coming new year with a renewed sense of well-being!