Today I'm another year older, and I have some time on my hands, since my birthday falls on a Monday this year and Monday birthdays are kind of awkward.
I just thought I'd reflect on the things that have changed in the past year.
I reached my sickest point right before last year's birthday. So, this past year has been all about recovering from that. All in all, I'd say I made a few steps forward in the general "getting well" area. I changed doctors, twice. I finally found someone who really gets my migraines and pays attention to how I respond to treatments, instead of just throwing pills at me.
I finally have hope. Although my doctor did say that I will be chronically ill the rest of my life, she does think she can significantly reduce the number of migraine attacks I get, to the point that I'll be able to work a day job again. Fingers crossed!
In a broad sense, I learned that even when you think something is as polished as it can be, it still needs work. This applies to every manuscript I've worked on since last June.
I learned, from a rejected full request, that my old manuscript (we'll call it MS #5) had weaknesses AND strengths that I wasn't aware of. I'm so grateful for the detailed feedback I received. I shelved MS #5, but kept in mind what worked and what didn't.
I wrote, edited, and had MS #9 critiqued a bunch of times. I thought it was good to go. Nope, it still needed work. So I revised and revised. Meanwhile, my recently finished MS #11 is in the roughest of rough drafts, and I'm completely aware of how much work will need to go into this one.
Don't get me wrong, it's not that I thought my crappy drafts were fantastic. I just... missed a lot of things. Critique partners are gold, and I realize I like having a lot of them (at least 4) to really see all angles of my manuscripts.
I think the big picture message here is that I can't see everything from where I am right now. On last year's birthday, I wouldn't have been able to predict everything I learned this year. But time and hard work (writing and revising, as well as trying medical treatment after treatment) might help me get where I want to be.
Sorry for the long post, friends. Hoping it makes up for hardly being around lately. I'll be visiting blogs this week, but feel free to drop a comment to remind me to check yours out.