Sometime in the last month, I crawled under the fence that had previously stood between my writing efforts and Published Author Land. It was an unremarkable day. No rainbows or balloons.
I can't say I was over- or underwhelmed, but I was relieved and a bit hopeful. My hair was especially hopeful.
I've been writing on and off for years and it was a long, arduous process that involved 1) maintaining the desire to write while learning just how difficult it is to do well, 2) improving, and 3) keeping at it when it seems pointless.
One day, I realized writing had became a bad relationship for me; I kept giving and giving, but felt like I got nothing back. (The only good thing about it was my writer friends who understood steps 1, 2, and 3 above. Friends that helped me grow, encouraged me and gave me helpful feedback. My Inkwell sisters!)
There are so many quotes out there--maxims to keep pushing ourselves toward success. At some point, they become their own sort of punishment. Then there's the matter of figuring out what SUCCESS is.
I'm pretty sure that the 'published' fence I spoke of is just one hurdle in a series of hurdles.
Publishing with a small press is a wonderful option. So is self-publishing. Today's opportunities mean anyone can be an author (Author meaning published writer). Hundreds of e books are 'published' each day on Amazon--incredible fiction and inedible slop both. To get noticed you might want to jump off a cliff in flaming pink leotards, or spend more time marketing than writing the next book.
I'm relieved to have that 'first book' hurdle behind me, and thankful for the opportunity to work with a great small press. Oh and hey, I've got another novella releasing in January (with high hopes!). Overall, I enjoyed writing my Christmas novella, because I wrote it for myself. I had a great time researching, getting to know my characters, and finding joy in the process. I found a balance I'd previously lost.
Success can be little things, and I'm feeling successful. If you haven't seen this yet, please consider my novella Desert Duet--a quick, lighthearted read and unlike The Elf on the Shelf, available and readable any time of the year!
Purchase at Amazon, or let me know if you're dying to read it, etc, etc.