How I finally published a novel I started 10 years ago… with a kick in the pants from 99U

Photo of 99U

Making stuff in a 99U Conference workshop, 2013.

Scene: Two women in an espresso shop.

Woman #1 (sipping giant latte): You’ve gotten a lot done this year.

Woman #2 (staring longingly at tiny, empty espresso cup): Yeah.

Woman #1: I mean you’ve really charged. You’ve made a lot of things happen.

Woman #2: Hey, yeah, you know, thanks. 

Seriously, thanks. Sometimes it takes someone else to point stuff out to you, you know?

There have been many friends cheering me on from the start, offering their support in all sorts of ways, including creatively. I need that. We all need that. Sometimes, you’re not sure where to look for it, am I right?

99U Conference as cheerleader

Not only do I have my inspiring friends to thank for bringing my first novel to market, but I also have a conference to thank.

Yes, really.

Here’s a recap of what I’ve done since 99U in May, 2013:

1) I embraced the idea of approaching my writing as an entrepreneur.

2) I started this blog and a whole lotta social media.

3) I published a short story that now has half a dozen reviews on Amazon.

4) I just produced an audio version of said short story that’s now available.

5) I finished my novel, a novel that I thought I had put away forever because it had been in a drawer for TEN YEARS.

And now here we are, together, on the eve of its release. I’m just waiting for the print proofs, and then it’s party time.

For reals: ISBN-13: 978-1497566705

Making ideas happen

In 2013, on my search for a conference that would be a fit for me, I went to the 99U Conference in New York City. I took notes. I drew sketches. I sat in awe of Alice Tulley Hall and the speakers who rocked it (my favorite was Jane ni Dhulchaointigh, founder of Sugru). I polished up my improvisational chops. I even came back to my job at a university library and instituted a whole new public program that puts students at the center.

But what I’m most excited about is this. You, here, reading, now.

At 99U, I figured out fast that a lot was possible, if I would just get to it. What was stopping me? Not much, it turned out. I just needed to approach it as a process and go.

Thank you, 99U.

One thought on “How I finally published a novel I started 10 years ago… with a kick in the pants from 99U

  1. What an inspiration! Wow! Well-done ;)! Can’t wait to celebrate with you! Lots of !!!!! & love to you. Love, Al

    Sent from my iPhone

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