“This is the Year…”

From 2011 to 2017, I’d watch the Times Square ball drop on television and tell myself, “This is the year I’ll have a book published.” In that span of time, that determination only came true once. While I’ll admit it frustrated me to watch another twelve months pass without fulfilling that, I never allowed myself to be crushed. Why, you ask?

Unlike all the goals that are set every January, I realized mine couldn’t be achieved through my own resolve. Since I couldn’t pursue self-publishing, my success depended, in part, on a company or agent looking for the right story at the right time. With the publishing world flooded by aspiring authors, it doesn’t stop and let you hop on. One has to dive in as it spins at full speed, and oftentimes, is thrown out repeatedly regardless of his/her willpower or even talent.

Knowing this helped me stay positive through all the failed attempts to secure a place in that world. At one point, I accepted the prospect of going decades without a book deal. Nonetheless, I stayed motivated to do my part to accomplish the objective. In 2014 alone, I queried 77 agents and publishers, with no prospects by the end of it.

My understanding of the intense industry wasn’t the sole reason I persevered, however. As a disabled person, I’ve had many endeavors that required cooperation from another person or my own stubborn body. I can safely say both have let me down, but the latter has the advantage. For a lot of my childhood, I vowed to walk before the calendar was up, but no matter how much I wanted it, my body wouldn’t let it happen until I was a teenager.

While reaching for that, I discovered the danger of putting a date on such a purpose. Having wished to walk independently before I faced my teen years, I became disheartened at the thought of turning thirteen without the desire satisfied. With some encouragement from loved ones, I overcame my despair, and in an ironic twist, I began walking almost exactly a year later. Nonetheless, the experience made me shy away from placing deadlines on myself.

Thus, I learned the right balance—no pun intended!—of setting goals but resisting a “now or never” approach, especially when it’s dependent on an uncontrollable variable. If you’re looking to have a book published or accomplish another pursuit that requires some outside influence in 2019, then, give it your all but stay optimistically realistic. Some aspirations take longer than twelve months to take form, but like well-percolated coffee, they’re deliciously worth the wait.


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