I have now been published for four years.
Sweet Alaskan asparagus tips! That's, like, how long I was in college.
Did I think I would make it this far? Who knows. But if there was a theme to this past year I would say that it was proving to myself I'm in it for the long haul.
When I first started this whole self-publishing thing I had no idea what I was getting myself into. To be honest, I thought I could just throw the stories I had already written onto the Internet and make money off them. That, as it turns out, is not how this business works. Making money off of your writing requires time, effort and patience.
I feel that I do deserve a pat on the back because I did stick with it even after the harsh reality started to sink in. After all, blogs are really about giving oneself pats on the back.
So here I am... four years later. I wouldn't say that I've struck it rich yet. But I am making a very small but steady side income. That's something, I suppose. At least it's a noticeable difference from the big fat zero I was making when I first started.
Nothing about my publishing has really changed this past year. I have no new strategies. And I've also come to terms with the fact that each word I put down on a page--be it good or bad--is all helping to develop my skills at telling a tale.
Even though nothing has changed on the outside, on the inside I feel different. This past year I've finally come to terms with the fact that I'm a writer. I know that sounds stupid. Of course I'm a writer. I've been writing for years, right?
Writing for years and thinking of yourself as a writer are two very different things. It takes time to become comfortable in the shoes you chose to wear. For a long time they seem like someone else's shoes. They wear you. You're just pretending to be a writer while there are others out there that really are writers. The end result is feeling almost ashamed of your endeavors. Root canals sound more appealing than telling strangers you have your art for sale somewhere.
Well, this past year I finally got over that mental block. I am at peace with my writing self. People ask me about it and I no longer feel like a poser when I answer, "Yes, I'm a writer."