A cover with my name on it. A real, book-shaped book. Making my dream into my full-time job. Seeing my book on shelves. A launch party. An 8-city tour with kindred spirits. A starred review. Emails and tweets from readers who love my book, who spend all afternoon reading it or stay up too late or want to know how soon the next one will be out and will Finn and Cate end up together?
It’s all amazing. It all happened in the last year. And yet–
I fret. Am I meeting publisher expectations? What do these Bookscan numbers mean? I’m not a crazy breakout NYT bestseller. Only one starred review. 1-star reviews. Is the new book good? Will I get to go on tour again? Will the new cover be pretty? The next book. The next book. The next book.
I am full of wanting, and always have been. I’m happy — but rarely content, exactly. I feel that radio-static chatter of anxiety, the constant craving drumbeat of ambition.
Which is why it’s important, sometimes, to stop. To look at where I am now and where I was a year ago. To be grateful, and note what I have accomplished, instead of all that is yet to come. Birthdays are good for that.
Last week I did two book-talks at my old high school and saw five former teachers. I did a reading and signing at my hometown library, and half a dozen high school classmates came, and lots of family. There was a write-up in the local paper. People threw around words like proud and successful and made your dreams come true and it was both wonderful and strange because: yes. And still no. My dreams are a moving target, it seems.
Today I am 32. I’m sitting here in my green and yellow office, wearing a Princess Sparkle T-shirt, drinking strawberry tea and noodling around on Twitter and daydreaming about the next-next-next book. Later, I’m going out with friends and The Playwright for cocktails.
I am grateful.
And to celebrate, I’m going to have a contest! You could win some of my favorite books this year:
A signed copy of BORN WICKED
A signed copy of UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi
A copy of THE WICKED AND THE JUST by J. Anderson Coats, with swag
A signed ARC of FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS by Diana Peterfreund
All you have to do is leave a comment below, telling me something awesome YOU accomplished in the last year. Contest open until Thursday, May 10 at noon. International entries are fine.
This is absolutely a fantastic giveaway! And so sweet of you to do it on you birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESSICA. I hope it's wonderful and awesome. <33
Something awesome I accomplished last uear(and some of this year too) is moving to a new school, where I didn't know hardly anybody, but now I have plenty of friends and the schools great! Thanks for the giveaway!!!:)
I am accomplishing my dream everyday…I'm in nursing school. I quit school when i became pregnant with my first child 6 years ago and then got pregnant AGAIN with my daughter. They are preschool age now and finally possible to focus on me again! So A Bachelors degree of science in nursing is where I am h headed!
Try to enjoy your success, it is well deserved! I adored Born Wicked and would love a signed copy! And Happy Birthday!!!!
First off, congratulations on the book and another birthday! Birthdays are wonderful 🙂
Something amazing that I accomplished this year (along with the help of my hubs) was turning our downstairs living area into a library. I love it! It's the perfect place to just relax and read to my heart's content 🙂
Well, my agent recently sold my book …
And happy happy birthday! I've got a few blog posts about Born Wicked in the works…
I have found a way to communicate with my teenage daughter, I've been able to open up to my husband about things in healthy ways and I've learned to not be so hard on myself! 🙂
I love this! Your book has been recommended to me several times and is high on my tbr list. This year I graduated with my Masters degree, I interned with several publishers, and I recently landed my dream job at Entangled Pub. So it's been an awesome year.
This is true – I think our dreams will always be a moving target. I have yet to fulfill my dream of getting published, but since the last year, I have finally convinced myself to start a blog design site. And well, I have to say I am proud of myself and where I've gotten. Still small, but I think I have time – I just turned 19 after all. Thanks for the chance to win!
In the past year I have started back to school and I am working towards finishing my degree. It is something I have wanted to do for a few years but lack of time and money has kept me from finishing. Slowly but surely I will have a degree worthy of all my hard work! I would love to be in journalism of some sort one day but for now I am working towards a degree in health care. Happy Birthday!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESSICA!!!!
My accomplishment so far for this year was beating my fear of heights. It would stop me from doing so many things at school camp, not to mention going on planes! But earlier this year my friend took me rock climbing and started climbing with me, and helped me when I got stuck because I got scared. I went higher then any other time before and I feel like I can handle heights now (or at least better then before)
Good on everyone else for their acomplishments!!