December is always a time of reflection for me. Looking back at 2019 feels like stress. I have several blog posts through the year that I started but never felt comfortable sharing. We had a lot happening in out personal lives that didn't feel shareable. It was a year of change and growth. I learned a lot about myself in 2019, what my limits are, what I can tolerate, what I need in order to keep myself whole.
I tried some new things with the blog in 2019 and realized I didn’t really love them. I started off trying to monetize or make my blog businesslike. It was stressful and exhausting and felt like I was trying to be something I’m not. I was trying to increase my online presence by building a mailing list and posting promotions on social media. I hated it. Trying to pay attention to "likes" and subcribers and sales felt something like failure to me so I let it go.
The blog had always been my way of connecting between strories and I lost that in 2019. I bought into the idea that my sucess as a writer was tied into the number of digits filled in my bank account. That has never been who I am. I never wrote because I wanted to make money, I wrote because I wanted to share something and thought somebody else might enjoy it along the way. Don't get me wrong, I do need to make money from my books or I cannot justify continuing to publish. It costs money to edit, to design, to print books. Byond that, it takes a lot of time to put words on a page in a fashion that others enjoy. So money is important, but I understand now that it's still not a business for me. I don't want to always be promoting or posting about my books. Which is one of the reasons I dropped off of social media in 2019. I burned out, my husband would say. It felt like running on a treadmill and expecting to reach a destination. I was tired and I dripped out.
But looking back, I realize how much I have missed talking to you.
So let's catch up.
Life is mostly good at the Beech House although I feel like I'm endlessly busy. My girls are now ten and full of all that tween attitude that I know I handed to my mom in heavy doses in my day. We're getting through it. My husband changed jobs in August and his travel increased a great deal, just as the girls were heading back to school. I was struggling with my next book and was begining to think that it didn't have an ending, or a middle, for that matter, and really, the more I thought about it, I wasn't all that in love with the beginning, either. Maybe I had just missed the mark on this one. Looking at several long days with me, my words, and two aging dogs for distraction made me think that maybe I needed a littile... well, distraction.
So I got myself a little part time job, and then I got another. Suddenly my hours were full and I was squeezing my own writing into small pockets of stolen time. August seems like it was just a blink away and here we are coming through the Ides of December.
We had a big loss at the Beech House this year. Our Ruger the Great, Great Dane passed away on November 27, the day before Thanksgiving. I am thankful that he is no longer in pain, but the hole in my heart feels enormous. He was an amazing dog. I cannot believe how quiet the house is without him. We kept him going with medications maybe longer than we should have. We were unable to see a future without him. We still can't quite. Our girls are feeling the loss more than I expected and in both of their Chistmas letters they offered to forego all other gifts if we could get a new puppy. I am not quite ready for a new puppy but recognize that I am the only person in the house that now has a dog. My little dog Bailey is fifteen and feeling every minute of it. He has always just been my dog, so I understand what the girls are saying.
Regarding my writing: I have a first draft of a novel that I am slowly reworking. I've come back to it after some excellent feedback and am beginning to see it with fresh eyes. I started a new book in November and am about 30,000 words in. It is shaping up nicely, although I've been pulled away from it by other projects. I am looking for an agent who can help me reach a larger audience, so there may be some delays in my next publishing date. I've been happy working with thewordverve and will continue to be part of their team, but together, we agreed that it was time to consider bigger platforms.
In exciting news -- all of my books are now available on Audible. I chose five unique performers to bring Alison and Stacy to life. I am thrilled with the end result. Search Angie Gallion on Audible or though Amazon and all of my books will show up available now in audio.. Finally!