Mackenzi Fisk. EC Bell. Chris Marrs. Craig Dilouie. Robert J. Sawyer. Michell Plested. Lisa Shore.
And Joshua Pantalleresco.
Pretty cool huh?
Before I continue, I want to take a quick moment to thank Stacey O’Sullivan for the photograph. She was nice enough to let me use this picture for the blog. So Stace, thank you.
This shot occurred right after A Taste of Local Authors at Owl’s Nest Books in Calgary. I was nervous – a little more so than usual. It’s one thing to talk about your book in front of strangers; another to talk about it, let alone read it in front of your peers. Not only was I reading in front of these guys, but also authors like Aviva Bel’Harold, Randy McCharles, GW Renshaw and others.
I read from Stormdancer – specifically, chapter nine “Jailbreak”, and I got a nice ovation. I started kind of nervous, but as I relaxed, the words, and the power behind them came. The crowd was receptive, and I got a few pats on the back when it was done by some of those said peers. All in all, it was an incredibly fun evening.
It was a fun high. One of the most surreal things about dreaming about doing this as a kid is that I’m now doing this as an adult. Part of me is still that kid dreaming about becoming successful.
I have to remember though that I’m not underneath anyone and need to take a back seat to anyone anymore. Sure, there are quite a few authors more successful on the financial front than I am, but at the same time, I’ve written two books, and working on two more, and feel I have a legitimate shot of publishing them somewhere next year.
Because I’ve done it.
I belong. I am a writer.
I’m not an outsider. I’m someone that does work on their craft. I go out into the community and that’s what I present myself. My job on my profiles is writer. It’s what I do.
And I deserve it. That’s the real hard trick to this. I do belong. I do this everyday. I stare at the computer screen and make stuff up. Sometimes it’s amazing, other times it’s horrible; in any case, I do it. This is what I dedicate my time and my effort to.
My dad brought this up to me in a podcast. Doing radio stuff for years, my dad listens to my show and gives me feedback. One of the things I had to work on, he said, was that I belonged to this community. I’m not a newbie trying to break in anymore. I have broken in.
I am a writer.
Stuff like this is validation in some ways to all the hard work I’ve done. It’s also motivating. Coming back to the day job this week…I cannot tell you how depressing it was. Here I was three days ago talking about my book with some of the best writers in Canada, and now here I am hearing whatever you would call that meeting about who has access to the new toilet in my department. It’s amazing where you can end up in three days.
I use both these experiences to motivate myself. Right now, shaking my head at what I heard today, I use this to humble myself and to keep me hungry. I want to have more experiences being with my peers, and reading to a packed book store. I want less of the bathroom talk.
I still have a long way to go to get away from the later, but I can see the day more and more clearly where I can walk away. And that, is a good thing.
Stay hungry and stay inspired. You never know where hard work can lead you. Maybe to something as cool as this:
Whatever the case though, remember that you belong. You deserved to be where you are and you can make things work.