Of blood…Just kidding. This is not a vampire story.
Or, maybe kind of…No, no it’s not. But it could be…
Anywhoo….what this post is actually about is that first, sweet taste of publication.
This story begins when I was a wee gal of just 5-years-old….kidding, kind of. I have always wanted to write. Since I was just that wee gal writing on wee pieces of paper. And, like I mentioned in my last post, and like anyone that has dreamed of being a writer, I’ve always dreamed of publication. Seeing your name on the front of a book, knowing people are reading your words and crying or laughing or shaking in terror or avoiding clowns for the rest of their lives…
It’s every writer’s dream.
Yet, sometimes, that dream feels unattainable. And you get discouraged. And feelings start to set in. And you don’t feel like writing. That happens, trust me.
But then, sometimes, the Writing Gods smile down at you and your hard work and practice and writer’s block-fueled-wine-binges are rewarded and…you’re published. It doesn’t matter where, it doesn’t matter how, but when you see your name on that cover for the first time…well, something happens.
I know, because it happened to me. A short story of mine was recently accepted into a sci-fi anthology called Future Visions Volume 2. Today, that book went live. While I don’t have a copy in my hands yet, something inside me squeed a little (ok, a lot) when I saw my name on the cover of that book.
Sure, it was listed along with other authors (other awesome authors) but it’s there. There is a book out there with my words in it and ya know how that makes me feel? Like I wanna do it again. And again. That first win? That first taste of publication? It can do wonders for your ego, for your motivation, and for your doubts. I want to write again. I want to create more things that people want to read and that I can see in the real world instead of just on my computer. I want to keep going.
That first taste? I got it because of small steps. This story was the first story I ever wrote for the NYC Midnight Short Story Competition. I have since competed multiple times and have some great stories under my belt. Stories I never would have written without the competition. I then took the small step of answering a call for stories I found online. Then, I forgot I submitted it. It took some time, and during that time I experienced a lull in motivation and confidence and wasn’t even sure I wanted to keep writing. But I did. Little things like more of the contests, some stories for local events…and then, something else happened. I realize that because of those small things, I had one big thing…a book.
Now, after a period where I thought maybe I should stop writing for a bit and see if that inspired me to write, I am featured in an anthology AND I am publishing a book in October. All it took was a few baby steps. A few small wins.
So, my advice to you if you’re feeling discouraged? Start small. Submit to contests, forums, magazines, etc. Heck, publish the damn book yourself. But be careful, because once you get that first taste? It’s all downhill from there…wait…is that good? Is that better than uphill? Downhill seems easier but…worse? Hmmm….that’s a weird saying. Just get started. And be better at metaphors than me. Oh, and check out Future Vision Volume 2 on Amazon, available as an ebook or in paperback.