Moving Forward, Looking Back

This week marks an important milestone in my writing career. Tomorrow, July 7, it will have been one year since my first book, Wandering Soul, was published 🙂

Wandering Soul by Cassandra Chandler

I adore this book, and have been wanting to go back and read it again—to visit the characters and world of The Summer Park Psychics. The urge is strong, especially with the release of Lingering Touch less than a month away! There’s so much to do going forward, but what I really need to do right now is take a moment (or a blog post) to reflect on how much has already been accomplished.

In the past year, I’ve released the first two novels in The Summer Park Psychics series, Wandering Soul and Whispering Hearts, and the first two novellas in The Department of Homeworld Security series, Gray Card and Resident Alien, through my traditional publisher, Samhain Publishing. I also independently published a third Department of Homeworld Security novella, Business or Pleasure, and the short story, “Second Sight”.

All along the way, I’ve been learning so much. Traditional publishing, Indie publishing. There’s so much that goes along with getting a story out in the world.

And of course, the writing had to go on! Last year, I wrote two novels that are waiting in the wings to be published. The paranormal romance is the first of a six-book series, which is mapped out. It’s currently with an agent (fingers crossed!). And then there’s the full-length scifi romance, which is the first in a four-book series arc, with the fifth one nascent in my subconscious (it will literally take the series in a new direction 🙂 ). That book is pretty much in-the-can, ready for final edits, a bit more cover tweaking, and then formatting for publication.

I’ve brainstormed more Department of Homeworld Security novellas, created detailed outlines for a High Fantasy romance that I’ll write in the elusive “someday”, as well as a full-length scifi novel that I’m chomping at the bit to write…but will also need to wait on. And then there’s the non-fiction book that’s outlined and just waiting for me to flesh out, getting down everything I’ve learned so far.

Last year, I also wrote the third Summer Park Psychics book, Lingering Touch, and worked with Samhain to get it ready for launch next month. There are even story ideas percolating in my mind that would continue that series.

I always thought that getting a handle on the craft part of a writing career was the bulk of the work. It might take the bulk of the time, but there is so much going on behind the scenes that I never really thought about. Marketing, blogging (hello! 🙂 ), newsletters, maintaining an online presence, and wherever possible, helping fellow writers along their paths. And then there are all the business aspects to manage. Bank accounts, contracts, advertising. It’s a lot. In the end, I think all the effort has been worth the investment of time.

Do you know what else is worth the time? Writing this down. Seeing it. Because until I see it written out here, I don’t actually know what I’ve accomplished. It feels like a bunch of running around, and I’ll even let you in on a secret: there are times when I don’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything. And I know I’m not the only one who feels that way.

This is a long game, a big challenge. But one that’s so rewarding.

Every time we make a cover that knocks our socks off, or read something we wrote a while back and are brought to tears. Every time we connect with a new friend, every time we meet a deadline, whether internal or externally assigned. Every time we read a book and our craft gets better. Every time we get up early to jot down an idea. Every time we go to bed on time so our minds are clear for edits the next day.

These are victories.

We need to hold on to them. We need to remember them and celebrate them. Because when we lose our perspective and the voices of doubt are strong, we need to be able to look back and say, “Look at where I started and where I am now. Look at what I’m putting out into the world. Look at what I’m doing with my life, with my time.”

In the end, I don’t want to just move forward. I want to move forward joyfully. And sometimes looking back in celebration and appreciation is the best way to do so.

Thank you for sharing my writer’s journey.


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USA Today Bestselling author of Paranormal and Science Fiction Romance — sometimes in the same book!

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