My debut year is almost over. It was an absolute whirlwind.
Soon there will be other writers experiencing the wonder and madness of their debut years. I could sit and wax long and lyrical about everything I learned this year. (Truthfully, I could also wax long and lyrical about all the questions I still have.)
Still, I know there are things all debut authors have to see and experience for themselves: you really wouldn't believe me if I told ya!
That being said, there is one solitary piece of advice I do have: I can, without a doubt, tell you the best thing I did as a debut author.
The very best thing I did as a debut author was...[drumroll please]...join the Apocalypsies and the Class of 2K12.
I truly cannot imagine having gone through this year without the collective wisdom of such a talented and supportive bunch. I partook in multiple events because of them, things I never would have been able to organize on my own. They were the world's biggest mega-transmitters for a debut author: tweeting and amplifying book news of all sorts. We even made silly music videos together.
But, most importantly, they were good friends and such a unique support system: one that could understand all of my biggest worries and fears. If there was an edit letter to discuss, or a marketing strategy to explore, they were the world's best sounding board. They were full of advice, full of humor, and full of pathos. And nobody can pick you up when you're feeling down in the dumps about your writing, your career, or even life in general like an amazing group of people in the proverbial same boat.
So if you are a debut author now or in the future...find this group. I know they'll be there and that this support system will continue. The Lucky Thirteeners, the Class of 2K13, and beyond.
And to the amazing Apocalypsies and Class of 2K12: one big, heartfelt THANK YOU. For filling my bookshelf and mind with your amazing stories, and for filling my heart with your generosity of time and spirit. I will never, as long as I live, forget this year. And I will never forget sharing it with you.