So, I meant to post this in January—you know, for the new year—but now it’s April, I haven’t left my apartment in two and a half weeks, and I’ve run out of excuses. I’ve been procrastinating on this post because after last year’s Re-Introduction post, I hoped I would be further in my writing career instead of…in exactly the same place. At times, it’s felt like I’ve wasted a year of my life, but my best friends would argue (and have argued, many times) that this past year has been a year of personal growth and milestones.
So, without further ado, to all my fellow bloggers, my readers, my best friends, and the whole wide world, are you listening? Can you see me? I’m re-introducing myself.
Who is Jade M. Wong?
Jade M. Wong is a pseudonym that combines my Birth Name (Mei Wong) with “jade”, an important gemstone in the Chinese culture. I chose this name because it allows me to honor my Chinese heritage, while at the same time, pave my own future. My parents chose my birth name with their dreams and hopes, but I chose my pseudonym because writing is my dream, not theirs.
From The Past…
Last year’s Re-Introduction post left off with the announcement of my first poetry collection, Glow Stick, and my plans to acquire either a literary agent or a publisher. Sigh…this is the part I was dreading, because I have neither. I did send out a book proposal to my dream publisher (whose submission guidelines stated no agents required), but while waiting to hear back, I delved further into the “I wrote a poetry book, now what?” rabbit hole of Google and felt increasingly frustrated and deterred.
I knew I wanted the support of a professional team of marketers, designers, etc, as well as the other resources a traditional publisher could provide. Although I’ve tried through trial, error, and tears to grow an online presence, at the end of the day, I still needed some help. The problem with traditional publishing was that it usually required a literary agent to get a foot in the door and most agents didn’t represent poetry books because there’s no money in poetry. Cue frustration, and the image of standing in front of a locked door, no idea how to open it.
After temporarily quitting the dream of a writing career because I was struggling a lot with my mental health last year and, for the first time in my life, I was struggling with writing itself, I’m back now with the realization that writing will always be what I am meant to do. It’s the only thing that has ever made sense to me, and the only thing I’ve ever felt I could offer to help make a difference. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but some day, someone might be hurting the same way I am. My words have saved me my whole life, and maybe one day, they might save someone else’s.
About That Mental Health Though…
One of my biggest milestones last year was when I started therapy, which not only gave me an official Major Depressive Disorder diagnosis, but also helped me refocus on my budding writing career. (You see, this is why I want to go into traditional publishing—I function so much better with professional help!)
Well, I’m not giving up on acquiring a literary agent and have finally sent out my first (of many) query letters. I’m also looking into reputable poetry contests to bulk up my writing resume, as well as restarting my research into smaller publishing agencies (I was supposed to do this last year, but…well…yeah.) Last but not least, I will continue to write every day. That’s been a silver lining of this Covid-19 Social Distancing—so much writing time. Here’s hoping my next Re-Introduction post will be in a happier year.
P.S. How is everyone coping with the Covid-19 pandemic and the social distancing/quarantining that is now daily life for many of us? I’m sure I’m not the only one whose sleep schedule went from a not-bad 12am-7am to a horrid 4am-1pm, thanks to all that anxiety. I’ve also been feeling a little helpless at the news of all the medical supply shortages and aid that our healthcare workers need. Sometimes, I wish I were a doctor or a billionaire, so I could be more useful. I hope you are all staying safe, healthy, and sane. I hope we all remember our humanity, and spend a little less time discriminating and a little more time spreading kindness. I hope we make it out the other side without losing too many more lives.