Regret is not something I do very much – what’s the point? I try to learn from my mistakes, not always successfully, or I bury them deep where they can rest in peace. On the other hand I do believe in having a dream – something to work towards and give your life meaning.

Most of us need goals to take us step by step in the direction we want to go. For me, trying is even more important that attainment because as long as you’re trying the hope of success is alive, and if you’re trying, you’re certainly closer to your dream than if you made no effort at all.

The end of the year seems an appropriate time to review how near I am towards achieving my dream – to write and be published.

This year I ventured into the world of social media and started a blog last February. I'm finding it a good writing experience. Blogging is immediate, it’s out there as soon as you press the button, and it’s all you, the writer – no narrator or character between you and the reader – so you're more exposed. I’m gratified I persevered and found the discipline to post once a week, and I’m definitely going to continue blogging.

I probably could be more active on Google+ and Twitter (which I joined later in the year), but find it a juggling act to balance the rewards (support from others, alerting the world to your existence) with the effort and time it consumes. I’m hoping to continue creating friendships and links with other writers in the coming year.

I managed to collect enough haikus to epublish a short book, Gold Dragon Haiku, on Amazon. Success has been small, and I have no plans to publish any more poetry – other than the weekly haiku on my blog, and the odd one on Twitter. However, the experience of preparing, formatting and uploading the work - dipping my toe in the ebook ocean - was invaluable.

Writing Update

The more I learn of what it takes to be a writer (silly me, I thought you just had to write) the more I respect those who have achieved publication. This past week I’ve had the pleasurable experience of writing a synopsis – a skill worth honing, because reading what the agent/publisher wants is vital if you hope to get more than your subject line read. Next on the list is the cover letter and trawling those lists for agents and publishers.
I find it hard to believe but my novel is almost at the point where I feel confident enough to send it off for consideration. I’m making the choice to try traditional publishing first, partly because they have the publicity, printing and distribution chain in place. And I guess having a book accepted for publication by the establishment still feels like a worthwhile acknowledgement. My next step towards achieving my dream is to pursue this route first, and if unsuccessful, I will epublish.

Although I started several years ago, the last two years of planning, writing, redrafting, editing and proof reading this story has occupied so much of my inner self that now it’s almost finished I may be suffering from empty nest/book syndrome. There's sadness and a sense of emptiness where the story lived. Writers invest not just their head space, but their heart and emotions in their writing – they live their stories. Without doubt, the answer is to start the next one (plans are simmering), but letting go of the current one isn’t the same as closing a book someone else wrote.

I do believe in my story and I do want it out there for readers to discover and enjoy. This novel may be as ready as I can get it, but the journey is far from over, and I'm looking forward to seeing what 2014 brings!

Today’s Haiku
half lit sign glows red
sends sporadic messages
in alien code

Useful links:

mslexyia provides great links for lists of agents, publishers etc.
Writers & Artists website and book are still good places to start a search.
My haiku ebook Gold Dragon Haiku can be found via the following link:

To all the lovely people who've supported me on this writing adventure, on New Year’s Eve, 2013, I wish you all a brilliant 2014! May all your writing dreams – and your other ones – at least come closer to fruition!

Join me on Twitter at: teagankearney@modhaiku

To all story lovers out there, good reading, and to those of you who write, good writing.

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