For some reason as I welcome the New Year the word discombobulate is foremost in my mind. I wasn?t even sure if it was a real word or not so I Googled it. The word means, ?Cause to be confused emotionally, or to be confusing or perplexing; cause to be able to think clearly.? I?m smarter than I thought I was, for the word discombobulate fits me to a tee right now.

A new year always evokes different emotions in me, excitement, fear, agitation, calm, sorrow, and happiness. I feel the need to clean out drawers and closets, to discard things in my life that are not needed. Not just old clothes or shoes, but feelings of insecurity and doubt. I am anxious of what might happen in my writing career this year. Will I ever find an agent? Did I make the right decision last week when a publishing company sent me a contract for my new novel, ?The Color of My Heart? and I turned it down? If there is one thing I?ve learned in my almost fifty-three years it?s to follow my instincts. If something doesn?t feel right, then you better listen to that sixth sense and step away.

What about a little self-pity too? No one understands the life of a writer unless you?re a writer yourself. When family or friends ask me what I?m doing and I say, I?m working; they think that means I?m sitting at my computer playing games on facebook. People in general just don?t get it when you try to explain how many hundreds of hours goes into a ninety thousand-word novel. Not just the initial writing of it but the editing, re-writing and then all the query letters to agents and publishers. Can I get an ?Amen? from all you other writers out there?

Seriously, I?m not crazy about trying to market my work myself. I?d much rather be creating a new story. That?s why I am desperately trying to find an agent, someone to go to bat for me with the big boy publishing companies. Small publishers like Lucky Press that published my first novel are great to work with on a personal level. I am so thankful to Janice Phelps Williams for saying yes to ?Guardian Spirit?. Janice is the one who told me I should look for an agent. Why, because she wants the best for me and has confidence in my work.

Long suffering is something that a writer must have. I believe that most authors who self-publish just run out of patience. After dozens or hundreds of rejections they lose hope of ever finding a traditional publisher. I truly do understand. I?ve come to realize that most of the queries that I send out are not even looked at. The literary world is kind of like Hollywood or the White House. You?ve got to know somebody to get in.

I don?t believe in luck, even though I did feel pretty lucky back in 2010 when Lucky Press published my novel. I do however believe in hard work, persistence and perseverance. My motto is, ?Ideas won?t work unless I do.? If I don?t have any queries out there I have no hope of getting a yes. I feel sure Random House Publishing is not going to show up at my front door offering me a couple of million dollars to publish my next novel.

As writers we?ve got to get our work in front of agents and publishers. We have to take ourselves seriously even if no one else does. In my discombobulated state I resolve to keep on doing what I know I must do. Knock and the door shall be opened, seek and you shall find.

This year I will continue my journey looking for an agent or publisher that feels right, and in the mean time I plan on finishing my fourth novel, tentatively titled, ?The River Keeper.?? While the cold winter wind howls through the pines I will snuggle up with my pencil and pad penning another work. And if it is meant to be I?ll have that next novel out there for all who have been asking very soon. Thanks to you who encourage me with a kind word. And to other discombobulated writers like me we must keep the faith. Remember, it only takes one yes.

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