A Year After Graduation: My progress

One year ago today my name was announced as I walked across the stage at the Spring Commencement of the University of Houston Downtown. Before we get into what I’ve done in the 365 days since that wonderful day, let me tell you all a little about it.

I woke up extremely early. Around six. Guys, this may be regular for some of you, but I do not EVER wake up this early. I ate a rather large breakfast because the ceremony wasn’t set to begin for another four hours, and then I wouldn’t get to eat for several more after that. Then I did the only thing I could. I got ready.

About five hours later the name John Raymond Guillen, Cum Laude, was announced. I know this happens a gazillion times every year in America, but I came so close to crying on stage in front of about 1,000 graduates and like 20,000 friends and family members. It wasn’t because it was unexpected. Or because I was the first of eight siblings to make it to this day. It was simply because I’d done it. I had maybe 25-30 family members and a few friends there for me. But only three friends went to our little lunch get together afterward, and I told them I’d never forget that they were there. Because it turned into a 13-14 hour day for everyone involved. Mercedes, I love you. Grant and Nathan, same goes for you guys.

I didn’t cry during the ceremony. Or before. It wasn’t until I started reading all the graduation cards I’d gotten that I finally did. I was graduating from college and it was writing that got me to cry. Now let’s see what I’ve done since then.

I wrote a book

This is definitely something to be proud of. The day I received my author proof is still probably the second best day of my life. Behind graduation up there. And the only things that could even come close to it that may be happening within the next decade or so are my wedding day, getting an agent, and getting a publishing contract.

I started a blog

Starting a blog isn’t significant in itself, it’s the people I’ve met from blogging. You all might think I’m crazy, but I seriously love you all. Did I ever think I’d be approaching 1,000 followers, ever? No. Did I ever think I’d talk to so many great people just about everyday? No. I could name like ten of you guys who I thoroughly enjoy talking to, but I don’t want to embarrass anyone. BUT I want to name one. Mahrukh. Oh my goodness. Could you imagine if I’d never started a blog? Then I wouldn’t have found yours. Then we wouldn’t talk. I mean, it’s almost scary. I’m lucky. And so are you. πŸ™‚

But that’s it. I wanted to have so much more by the time this day arrived. I was supposed to have my second book written by January 1. I was supposed to finish writing my current WIP and have another book written by the time 2014 came to an end. I was supposed to be working toward getting an agent by now. But I’m not. And I don’t think I have the time to write another book once I finish the one I’m working on. And I don’t know anything about agents or query letters or anything.

I’m not going to sit here and act like I’m completely disappointed with myself. I’m not. I just wanted more from the last 365 days than I’ve gotten. I need to get with it. And soon. I don’t want 2014 to end up being the year of accomplishing nothing.

I’ll leave you with some pictures.

ImageImage

ImageImageNow I need some words of encouragement from you guys.

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25 thoughts on “A Year After Graduation: My progress

  1. You’ve accomplished so much in only a year. Which is not really that long of a time. So be proud! And get crackin’ over there! You’ve got a bunch of people waiting to read your next book, so start haulin’ on it!

    Um… don’t know if that counts as encouragement or just a kick in the pants. YOU. CAN. DO. IT!!!

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  2. That’s great that you have accomplished so much in one year! Having built a strong audience who enjoy your work and blog–Things can only get better!!!

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  3. congrats πŸ™‚ thats great. Keep going! You have accomplished much already πŸ˜€

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  4. OH MY GOD. Hahahhahahaha. Hi. πŸ™‚

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  5. It’s never to late to readjust and do some goal setting. You obviously have talent, so plan it out and go get them. Imagine that you are invited to stand in front of next years graduating class and make a speech on what you’ve achieved – now go do it.

    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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  6. All that you’ve done in the past year makes me dare to believe that it’s all possible. You’re inspiring. I can only hope to accomplish half the things you did – and I think you missed one on your list.
    You didn’t lose hope. You persevered. Writing isn’t always easy, writing a book definitely isn’t; you fought the demons inside you that told you your dream was hopeless, and YOU WON.
    Congratulations. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on graduating. This is the first step and you did it! Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve the rest of your dreams! Best of luck!!

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  8. Where have you been?! I have missed you :,( Congrats btw – epic achievement! πŸ™‚

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  9. Pingback: Two Years After Graduation: My Progress | Write me a book, John!

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