Most days in writing and publishing are a series of small steps. Sometimes you don’t step at all, no matter how far you want to walk. Your feet are encased in lead, or you’re stuck in a marsh, and no matter how hard you try, you just don’t make any progress, especially at the beginning.
It can be disheartening, especially when you know that there is very little you can do to change it. We’re all told that books need reviews, they need word of mouth, but if other people aren’t leaving the reviews, you can’t do anything. You can push people you know have read it to leave reviews, but push too hard and you’re annoying. Sometimes, you have to just keep making those small steps.
Then there are times when you make big leaps. Often, you don’t even know you’re making them until you’ve landed, looking at the distance you just covered. Whether it’s a splurge of reviews, contact from someone you’ve never met who loved your book, or a friend who shares your book to 500 people on Facebook, etc. Big leaps come out of nowhere.
Last night I landed from a big leap, a leap I took months ago. I received an email telling me that Dead and Buryd won the Science Fiction category of the LYRA 2013 Independent Book Award run by Bookstore without Borders.
Look, it got a ribbon on it and everything. (I was contacted and told that they would provide me with a copy for the new cover as well, yey!)
I entered this award back in October. It’s a small award, and relatively unknown, but fto me it’s a huge. This is a group of people, other than my very enthusiastic family and friends, who have read the book and said “Yep, this one is worth it.”
Don’t get me wrong, I have been incredibly proud of Dead and Buryd since the day it came out. It is my first, my baby, and I love it dearly. However, no matter how much I love it, there has been that deep seated fear, the paranoia of a new author, that my best isn’t good enough. I’m sure most authors go through this at one point or another.
Are our friends and family only saying they love it because we wrote it? Will I ever manage to hike myself a little higher on this deluge of new books? Does what I love so much stand up against those wonderful books I read every day?
It’s a small award, but for a new author, small awards like this are a huge leap. They are a boost in confidence that, for a while, will shout louder and more ferociously than all that paranoia. It’s a push to keep going. It’s a promise that good things are still coming, to keep taking those small steps, because they are all worth it, and some will lead to big leaps.
Today, I am a very happy bunny!