Looking Back, Looking Forward

This is part of the Bittersweet Book Launch case study, where Dan Blank and Miranda Beverly-Whittemore share the yearlong process of launching her novel. You can view all posts here.

by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore


It’s that time of year where the world is full of “Best of Last Year” and “Most Anticipated of Next Year” lists, that liminal space in which we are encouraged to take stock and make resolutions and dream of the future.

I’m finding myself doing the same, looking back on what has been a whirlwind year and slowing down to appreciate all that has happened to me, and all the work I’ve put in to try to make the most of the investment others have made in me.

In February, Crown bought Bittersweet. My spring and summer were spent revising the book with my thoughtful editor, as well as beginning this online work with Dan. The fall was more about filling my days with Book Launch work, from the redesign of my website, to the building of FriendStories.com, to the creation of a newsletter.

But more than all of that, this year has been, I realize, about refocusing, and redefining, my writing career. For so many years, I had lost such faith in myself and in the career I’d worked so hard to build. As a result, I’d let so much of what I’d worked hard to create just slide. I’d let my website fall out of date. I’d stopped reaching out to my newsletter. I’d stopped believing I had a career and so I’d started acting like I didn’t.

This year has been about reclaiming that for myself. And you know what? I’m really proud of myself for doing it, because it hasn’t always been easy.

Next year? 2014 holds a LOT. Bittersweet’s publication in May. Before that, the launch of FriendStories.com, many short pieces to write and try to place (both online, and in print magazines), book trailers to release, the final draft of Bittersweet to read. Not to mention starting, in earnest, on my next book.

Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I remember myself a year ago, when Bittersweet was just a small spark of hope in what otherwise felt like the dark room of my writing career. And then I remember that I am profoundly lucky. Every step I’m taking is about making that luck as big as I can, and sharing it– there’s finally enough to go around.