Today is a good day. I found out Cassandra is on the shortlist for the Best Fantasy Novel in the Aurealis Awards. This is a big deal for me. Equal in excitement to the first time I was published and when Odysessy Books agreed to publish Cassandra.
I will celebrate this moderate success because it helps me to keep the faith. To be a writer you first have to believe in yourself enough to put fingers to the keyboard. Then you have to believe in yourself enough to share your work with someone. Then you have to believe in yourself enough to submit it somewhere.
Most people will not believe in you.
For every moderate success, for every published story, for every yes, a writer will hear many more times – no. Or nothing at all which is the same as no but even more disheartening.
There have been times when I have invested too much emotional energy in a hoped-for outcome. I’ve marked the date for an announcement and watched the calendar. I have ‘failed’ and been quietly devastated. I have learnt to (try and) invest less in the outcome. I do the best work I can. I keep trying to improve my writing and storytelling. I submit my work to competitions and magazines. Over and over and over.
Sometimes I get a yes but mostly I get a no. That is the way it goes. The yes is what keeps us all going.
Congratulations to all of the Aurealis shortlisted authors. I hope you are celebrating. If you not on the list, then a wish you another list sometime soon.